Growing herbs year round is a healthy and fun way to bring color and function to your home. I am often asked where to start, what are the best herbs to grow indoors, and how to use them. This is an over view and there are other posts that go into each herb and how to best care for it in your indoor garden.
Any type of plant, when it comes from the original source, is going to be more healthy for you than herbs powdered and put in a capsule. Herbs are more than a garnish… more than a pill or extract. They not only give you great flavor in your cooking recipes, but they have many, MANY added health benefits as well. You can use them in oh so many ways to get these benefits – the aroma, as a salve and cooked.
Containers for Growing Herbs Year Round
Planting containers you choose for growing herbs indoors need to be big enough for your plant with a little extra room to grow. Herbs actually do really well in smaller containers, so no need to stress too much about the container size. Herb garden containers must have good drainage… super important for making sure the plant roots are not sitting in water. Over watering is the most common (bad) habit for causing an unhealthy environment for most indoor plants, and most herbs really do not do well in inordinately wet conditions.
Prepare the containers for your window herb garden by adding a quality potting soil to the bottom. This is important because it helps eliminate annoying pests like tiny fungus gnats who thrive on soggy soil. I water the soil a little bit in my containers and make sure it’s evenly moist before placing the plant.
When you are using fresh herbs they need to be stored properly in order to get the most benefit from them. One way is to keep and grow live herbs in your house. How do you do that? It is easy, you grow them!
You can grow several different types of herbs in your house and it doesn’t take up much room to do it. They grow easily in containers. You will need an area by a (preferably) south window for them to get sunlight and a container for them to live in that has proper drainage. Unless of course, you don’t live in the northern hemisphere, in which case you’d turn that around. 😉
There are ways to still grow herbs if you don’t have enough light. You can get a HID grow light which will supplement the light they need. If your herbs don’t get the 4 to 6 hours of light they need to grow, guess what? They won’t.
Although larger leaves are the most tempting to eat as it seems they are the oldest, they are also the plant’s intake leaves. If you only prune off mature leaves your plant will have a hard time growing. Make sure you mix it up by cutting off a mix of mature and brand new leaves and never cut off all the leaves at once).
Indoor herbs can germinate in 7 to 10 days and can start to grow in 3 to 4 weeks with the proper care. When first starting out the best way is to get seedlings instead of seeds.
Basil is one of the easiest herbs for your kitchen garden, but there are several others you can grow as well. These include chives, cilantro, thyme, sage, tarragon, lavender, oregano, parsley and peppermint.
Why should you grow your own herbs indoors? You will always have fresh herbs and easy access. You won’t have to run outside in your garden in order to snip a few leaves of basil or parsley. You walk over to your herb plant and get what you need.
You can have fresh herbs year round. If you like cooking with them this is a good way to do it inexpensively. Going to the grocery store and finding certain fresh herbs can be expensive or they aren’t there. A lot of times you will have to look in the organic section and pay three or four bucks for a small container with only a few leaves in it.
The best part of growing your own kitchen garden is no weeds. Since the containers don’t have room and you will be using potting soil you won’t have to worry about weeds popping up and having to pull them.
Growing herbs year round indoors is not nearly as easy as growing them outdoors, but I assure you, it can be done! Growing your own herbs will save you money and provide fresh flavor all year round.
Starting is easy to do.