Start An Indoor Herb Garden

variety of fresh herbs in terra cotta pots

Even avid gardeners don’t mind the wintertime. However, after a few months, they’re ready for warm weather so that they can plant vegetables and herbs. If you love using fresh ingredients in your food, don’t let winter stop you. Instead, you can start an indoor herb garden and then dry or freeze what you grow.

Choosing the Best Herbs for Indoor Growing

You’ll first want to choose herbs that do incredibly well indoors. Instead of buying things that you’ll struggle with, consider these.

  • Basil
  • Thyme
  • Mint
  • Sage
  • Oregano
  • Chives
  • Rosemary
  • Cilantro
  • Parsley

Select the Ideal Location for Your Herb Garden

Next, you want to place your garden in the right area, so the herbs grow healthy and strong. For this, you want them near a window that receives the most direct sunlight. For instance, both a southwest and south-facing window are perfect. However, you’ll need to use an LED grow light along with natural sunlight.

The herbs will need between 12 and 14 hours of light daily. Although you can go without an LED grow light, that’ll lead to herbs that look stringy.

Containers, Potting Soil, and Fertilizer

As for the type of containers you’ll need for your indoor herb garden, plastic, clay, or even glass jars work great. Just be sure there’s a drain hole. For the potting soil, buy a quality brand. While the potting soil will supply most of the nutrients, it never hurts to add a little fertilizer.

You can use a liquid fish emulsion or all-purpose plant food. Both of these products only cost around $10. Regardless of the one you buy, give the herbs half the suggested amount every other week. Also, fertilize only when the plants are growing. Moreover, give the containers a one-quarter turn weekly so that all sides receive natural sunlight.

Watering the Plants

Some people overwater or underwater indoor herbs. To ensure you give them the right amount, poke your finger down into the soil. You want it to feel moist only to the first knuckle. Then don’t water again for a day or two. Use this method before you add water to prevent giving the herbs too much.

Maintaining the Right Humidity Level

The right humidity level plays an important role in successfully growing herbs indoors. Especially during the cold winter months, when you run the furnace, the air dries out quickly. An easy way to do this is by filling a waterproof tray with about one-half inch of water. Then place small pebbles on top. Now, set the containers on top of the pebbles.

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Indoor Temperature

While you may not realize it, herbs want the same temperatures as humans. So, if you keep the thermostat set anywhere from 65 to 75 degrees, they’ll do great. Basil is the only exception because it prefers a temperature around 70 degrees. Now, even if you keep your house a little cooler at night, that’s fine. However, never allow the plants to touch the window.

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