Herbs are really the best plants that you can grow indoors. For indoor gardening, nothing beats herbs, and for that matter, they don’t cost a lot to get growing and producing, even on weekly time frames. The indoor herb garden is the best source of fresh herbs, even though you might find pricey “fresh” herbs within plastic packs at your supermarket all the same.
The flavor and aroma of herbs that are coming straight from freshly cut herbs, is vastly different from stale and dried ones. Although you’ll need to use a little more of the fresh herbs than when using dried herbs, you can snip them without worrying too much, since trimming the top leaves actually promotes new growth for the herb plant.
Some of the most common culinary herbs that are good candidates for indoor growing include basil, sage, tarragon, rosemary, parsley, chives, and thyme. These herbs are very flexible, and only need a sunny spot (maybe by the window sill), occasional fertilizing, and some water.
The rule for indoor herb gardening is one of containers, containers, and more containers. Some of the things you need to pay attention to:
- Soil – Soil should be composed entirely of sterile material such as soil mix, because some organisms in the soil may breed out of hand in the micro environment of an indoor pot, posing a threat to your herb plant. Soil mix can be cheaply obtained at any home and garden store near your area.
- Water – Watering should be done only once every few days, depending on the indoor humidity level. Otherwise you run the risk of root rot, or else waterlogged soil is never good for almost all types of plants. The best water is rainwater, but tap water can also do, provided it is not too heavy in chemicals or soft/hard (acidic/alkaline).
- Sunlight is essential, but avoid direct exposure. Rays from north and eastern directions are less intense and searing than from other directions. The amount of light required varies from species to species, and is also dependent on flowering and fruiting seasons.
- Humidity – Heated rooms will not have much humidity, and the same goes for air-conditioned rooms. Low humidity can affect the growth of your herbs, so site them away from radiators or air conditioning units. A bathroom or kitchen window sill is probably the best place for indoor grown herbs.
A few other pointers
If you want to grow herbs from seed, just remember, it may be easier to just grow them from seedlings. Give yourself a head start on your indoor herb garden by getting seedlings from the nursery during spring (the best time to plant). Many nurseries stock a variety of “take home” herb seedlings in small containers that are easily manageable.
A basic setup for planting a plant indoors is shown here. Have a waterproof tray that is filled with pebbles and can hold any water drain off from watering your herb. The drain off water will also evaporate, raising the micro humidity levels around the plant, while at the same time, pebbles in the tray prevent “wet feet,” which cannot be tolerated by most herbs.
The advantages of an indoor herb garden is obvious, and hopefully, you can get your own indoor herb garden to flourish without too much hassle. You’ll find that some fresh herbs like basil actually taste different from the dried version. If you haven’t already done so, now is the time to actually get started on your indoor herb garden, so you’ll know how different both fresh and dried herbs can be. And there’s no better way to find out!
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