Growing your own indoor herb garden can be a fun and rewarding process. It can be an easy way to lift your spirits by adding a little color to your kitchen. Not to mention having the fresh herbs in your cooking will add a little extra spice to your life. So if you are looking for a fun way to keep your green thumb active in the winter, consider starting your own indoor herb garden. These steps will help you get started, and before you know it your herb garden will be in full bloom.
Pick Your Herbs
The first step in building your indoor herb garden is to pick which herbs you want to grow. Thinking about which herbs you use the most in your cooking will give you a good place to start. There are a few herbs that will be easier to maintain indoors than others. Perennial herbs such as chives, oregano, thyme and rosemary are easiest to grow indoors. You can start them as seeds or seedlings. There are a few benefits to planting seedlings instead of seeds. The first benefit of using seedlings to start your indoor herb garden is that you can begin harvesting sooner. The second is that seedlings can be heartier and harder to kill than seeds. However, if you choose to use seedlings always thoroughly check them for pests, such as aphids, before bringing them into your house.
Pick Your Containers
Once you have chosen a few herbs to grow in your kitchen, you need to pick appropriate containers to plant them in. For best results, only plant one type of herb in each container and avoid overcrowding. You should pick a container that has a drain in the bottom. The roots of your herbs will rot if left sitting in wet soil for too long. To avoid damaging the roots place a few pebbles in the bottom of your container to help drainage. While terra cotta pots are a fun option, they tend to dry out quickly. Look instead for ceramic or glazed pots that will keep the soil moist. Another good recommendation is to find a container that has a saucer underneath. A saucer will ensure that water doesn’t leak out and damage your windowsill or counter.
Choose a Location
Another important step in starting your indoor herb garden is to find the perfect place to set it up. Most herbs require plenty of sunlight to thrive. You should try and find some counter space or a windowsill that gets at least 4-6 hours of sunlight. South facing windows will get the strongest sunlight. East and west facing windows will also get enough sunlight to grow an herb garden. However, east and west facing windows tend to have lower temperatures than southern facing windows. If you don’t have a window that gets adequate sunlight you may want to consider using a grow light. Full spectrum grow lights will work the best for indoor herbs.
Maintain Your Indoor Herb Garden
It shouldn’t be hard to maintain your indoor herb garden. Many herbs need to be watered frequently, but do not like sitting in wet soil. To combat this, consider combining your potting soil with cactus potting soil. This will help your plants drain quicker. When the top inch of soil feels dry, water your herbs again. Another good idea is to use a spray bottle to mist the leaves of your herbs to help water them and keep the air around them moist. You may want to add an all purpose plant fertilizer to your routine at least once a month. As your plants begin to grow, you can divide them to start new seedlings, or harvest them for cooking.
Starting an indoor herb garden can be a fun and easy project to start this winter season. All you need to do is decide which herbs to plant, choose the right containers and locations, and properly water your herbs to get a beautiful and thriving indoor herb garden.