Ideas for Growing an Indoor Herb Garden
Herbs are truly unique in that they taste good while also being good for you. They add flavor to all kinds of recipes and have a long list of health benefits too. How they work is still a mystery, but their anti-inflammatory, antioxidant, and anticarcinogenic properties — along with glucose- and cholesterol-lowering activities — have been proven. These are just some of the reasons growing an indoor herb garden is a good idea. Others include:
- Saving money. You probably have access to most of the herbs you use at your grocery store. But they come at a price. Many stores sell herbs in overpriced packages that won’t last in the refrigerator for more than a few days. The next time you need the same herb, it’s probably another trip to the grocery store.
- Reducing your footprint. Having an indoor herb garden means you only use what you need. You don’t contribute to food waste or to the problem of greenhouse gases caused by throwing them out. You only pick what you need, and there’s no plastic wrap to throw in the trash.
- Removing the risk of pesticides. Buying herbs means you get plants from an unknown source. There is always the chance that you’re eating pesticides every time you use them. Growing your own ensures your plants are safe to eat.
- Adding aesthetic appeal. Adding planted herbs to your kitchen adds aesthetic appeal just as the grown plants add to your dinner table. Have fun and create an artistic display of pots that you enjoy looking at every day.
Are you ready to get started? Here’s what you need to start growing tasty, aromatic herbs in your home!
1. Choose a sunny location
Herbs need 6–8 hours of direct sunlight every day. In front of a window is the perfect location. You might use a small table, a windowsill, or a suction cup shelf. If you don’t have a window space available, you will need an alternate light source. The Agrobrite 4″ Dayspot grow light kit is ideal for your kitchen herb garden.
2. Decide which planters or pots to use
You can use a variety of household items or fun patterned pots to grow your herbs, such as cups, teapots, or tin cans. Or you can purchase decorative pots with uniform size and design. Just make sure they have drainage holes to prevent herbs from sitting in standing water. Smart Pots offer excellent drainage, and they last for years. Choose pots that have a tray or purchase a small saucer to prevent ruining your surfaces.
Use a separate pot for each type of herb you grow. This helps keep different herbs separate and makes it less confusing when it’s time to harvest. You can also use herb markers to make identifying them easier and give your plants a more professional look.
3. Add the perfect potting mix
You want to plant your herbs in potting mix that facilitates additional drainage. Choose one that is suitable for indoor garden plants. Potting mix is lighter than potting soil or the soil from your yard. Never bring in soil from the ground for your herbs. It is too compact and also contains parasites.
4. Find the best herbs to grow indoors
You can grow herbs from seeds or transfer plants from your outdoor garden or nearby nursery. Plants offer the advantage of producing mature plants faster. All herbs don’t thrive indoors — fortunately, some of those you use the most grow well indoors year-round, including:
If you are new to growing herbs, you might want to gain some experience before adding rosemary and lavender to your indoor herb garden. They are some of the most difficult to grow indoors or outdoors.
5. Provide the necessary maintenance
Choose a fertilizer that is recommended for herbs. Fertilize once a week during active growth. Another option is to mix fertilizer at a weaker strength and add it to plants every time you water.
Don’t water the plants too often or too quickly. The top of the soil usually dries out at the top first. Wait until the soil is dry about two inches deep. At most, you should be watering them no more than three times a week. Then, water the herbs slowly so the soil can absorb the moisture.
You will also need to maintain your herb pots. Fertilizers can build up on the sides, as can salt from tap water. This buildup can have a negative impact on your plants. If you see a white residue on the inside of the pots, pour water over it until it runs out the bottom. Leave it in the sink to fully drain before returning it to your herb garden. The better drainage your pots have, the less problem you will have with buildup.
Growing a kitchen herb garden is fun, practical, and fairly easy to do. Once you get your feet wet, you may find yourself expanding your indoor herb garden to include even more of these aromatic plants. There are some additional tools to give you more options for using your crop.
For one, using a digital dehydrator to dry herbs will let you keep fresh plants available while waiting for a new crop. Dried herbs from your kitchen herb garden will still be fresher, have better flavor, and are safer than anything you buy at the store.
If you love adding fresh herbs to soups and stews or making herbal tea, a canning herb ball will release the flavor without adding the plant leaves. It’s another way to enjoy growing your own herbs.
Grange Co-op for Your Herb Growing Needs
Grange Co-op has everything you need to start an indoor herb garden. Get herb pots, fertilizer, grow lights, and more in one convenient store. Contact us for more information on our products and what you need to start growing healthy kitchen herbs.