If you love cooking and love plants and indoor herb garden is a great way to combine the two.
Many types of herbs can be easily grown indoors and require minimal space. Small pots can even be used to grow herbs on the windowsill in your kitchen.
Plants can be either purchased at a local nursery or you can start them from seeds in starter trays or peat pellets. Herbs can be grown in any type of container, glass, clay or plastic. If you use clay you will need to water them more often as clay pots allow the moisture to evaporate more quickly.
Herbs that can easily be grown indoors include:
Chives, Sage, Dill, Oregano, Mint, Chamomile, Fenne, Parsley, Basil, Mint, Thyme, Rosemary, Chervil, Savory, Bayleaf, and Garlic.
Herbs can be started from seed any time during the year. But, to get a head start on having flavorful, fresh herbs for cooking it’s better to purchase live plants or bring in smaller plants from your garden. If you start with live plants, choose the healthiest looking plants you can find.
Use a good quality potting soil that is very rich and has good drainage. You can make your own soil medium by mixing equal parts of potting soil, peat moss and sand. If you want to be extra careful about your plants getting any diseases from the soil, use a soil-less potting mix.
Most herbs will require at least a 6″ pot, plants started from seed will need to be re-potted. You can use long window box planters and add several herbs to the same pot, or even add several to a regular pot if it’s large enough.
Herb plants are potted like any other plant, add several inches to the bottom of the pot and then position the plant into the pot. Fill the sides of the pot with soil and then gently press the soil down around the plant.
Herbs don’t like soaking wet soil, many herbs have tender roots that will quickly rot if left sitting in water. Follow the watering instructions for each individual herb to make sure that you don’t over water or under water the plant.
Normally, giving the plant a thorough soaking is better than watering the plant a little now and then. Either set the plant in water and let it soak it up through the drain holes, or water it until water starts to leak out of the holes. And, only water the plants when the soil becomes dry to the touch.
You will need to fertilize your herbs about once a week, but only when they’re growing. Cease fertilization during dormant periods when the growth has slowed or stopped. When using fertilizer be sure to check the label and only use fertilizer that is approved for edible plants.
Most types of herbs require at least 6 hours of direct sunlight every day. Mint, Thyme, Parsley and Rosemary are a few herbs that can survive in partial shade. But, even with lot’s of sunshine your herbs will grow better if you use supplemental lighting as well.
If you don’t have an area that provides enough sunlight, supplement lighting with fluorescent lights. The light fixtures should be around 6 to 8 inches above the top of the plants and leave them on for 14 to 16 hours each day.
Written by Connie Corder for HouseplantsForYou.com, Copyright 2008 All Rights Reserved.