There’s nothing that tastes better than fresh herbs. And if you love what fresh herbs can do for food. You can satisfy your cravings and keep the flavor at hand.
There are a surprising number of herbs you can grow indoors, as they can easily thrive as indoor plants. Nonetheless, all it takes is a spirit of adventure, a few well-chosen varieties, and a bright space.
It’s usually best to start with plants, rather than seeds to ensure success. Especially at this time of the year, already seeding plants put you months or even years ahead compared to plants started from seeds.
To begin with, you need a bright space such as a room with skylights, a sunroof or a large window. Moreover, the room temperature needs to be between 55 and 75 degrees with a good circulation of air.
There are a few herbs that cannot withstand the cold, therefore, placing them in an area next to a window may be too cold for some herbs, during winter. Nonetheless, at least 5 to 6 hours of bright light is required for most culinary herbs to grow at their best. However, chives, parsley, and mint do fine with just four to five hours of light.
A few other factors to consider while choosing a location to plant herbs can include a patio roof, a roof overhang or nearby trees that cast shade. There are some signs you need to look out for which mean that you may need to move the plant to a more well-lit location.
For instance, if the plant starts to appear as leggy, you may need to move it to a place with fluorescent lights.
Selecting the soil and containers
A fast draining potting mix can be used as garden soil compacted in containers for smoother plant roots. Moreover, while looking for a quick draining potting mix, invest in a premium mix which includes ingredients which are lightweight to help aerate and loosen the final blend.
For example, lightweight ingredients such as vermiculite and perlite. Nonetheless, any pot or container can be used for growing herbs as long as it has drainage holes. However, the container must be at least 6 inches or larger.
Choosing a large pot possible will give it more room for growing its roots, giving you a bigger plant to harvest from.
Tips for growing your own herbs
The water needs of the plant vary depending on the time of the year the plant is being harvested in, type and size of the container, and type and size of the plant. Moreover, plants require lesser water in winter because the light levels are lower. Therefore, plants grow less actively in winter and are dormant.
For growing most herbs, you must allow the soil to be slightly dry. However, when growing parsley, mint, chives and basil, the soil needs to be slightly moist. The best way to judge whether a plant needs water is to stick your finger one inch in the soil. After doing so, if the soil of the plant feels dry, it needs watering.
Herbs start growing more actively during spring which requires for the plants to be fed with a liquid fertilizer every four weeks. Moreover, instead of liquid fertilizer, organic fertilizer granules that you add into the surface of the soil can also be used.
Check your plants regularly each year to keep your indoor herb garden growing strong. Replace the plants that have becomes woody or are short-lived. The best part of harvesting and then using your indoor herbs is yet to come.
Have a look at 10 tips below for growing and using your herbs:
- Herbs of sage and thyme grow best in sunny portions. The medicinal herbs simply love sunshine. You can say that the herbs are true to their Mediterranean heritage.
- The herb basil does not like for its roots to get cold during the night. Therefore, always water the plant before midday if you want the particular herb to grow correctly. Take notes basil lovers!
- Rosemary is one of the most adaptable herbs. It’s great for seasoning meat and can also be used as topiary because it’s a pretty plant. A tip for rosemary which, of which only a few people know is that the shoots of the herb can be used as skewers on a BBQ.
- You don’t need a garden to grow your Contrary to popular belief, don’t be fooled into thinking that you need a garden to grow herbs. Herbs can grow really well in even in a small container if it is well looked after. However, the small containers need to be a part of a balcony or a window.
- The one terrible thing about the summer months is horseflies! Therefore, if you’re sick of flies, you can cut some branches from your sage and hang it at the entrances to ward off the pesky invaders.
- Herbs can be frozen, believe it or not! Just pop them in the freezer if you have too many cuttings accumulated until you’re ready to make use of them. Freezing them does not do any harm to their flavors. Pop your milk thistle herb flowers in the freezer and take them out whenever you fancy milk thistle tea!
- Peppermint is not only an excellent flavor for drinks and tea, but it also has medicinal properties. It can be used as an antidote to relieve flu symptoms, the cold and stomach cramps.
- Not a lot of people know this, but marshmallow roots are also herbs. We all love them roasted on the BBQ. However, the herb is particularly useful for alleviating dry coughs.
- Plantain, which is often mistaken as a garden weed acts as a medicine for inflammation of the mouth and is particularly beneficial for the respiratory system to relieve coughs.
- When growing thyme, the herb needs to be exposed to adequate sunlight to prevent it from becoming brittle and to keep its shape. The woody herb goes a long way when you’re cooking with it.
Got any more herb growing tips to share with us? Let us know in the comments below!