Looking to spice up your home? Growing herbs indoors is an excellent way to add visual variety, fresh smells, and amazing tastes during the cold months. Indoor herb gardening is fun, easy, and you don’t need the square footage that a regular garden requires.
The following is a “how-to” guide to indoor herb gardening — a unique way to grow and eat plants right in the comfort of your own living space. Let’s get started!
There are several different types of herbs and each type has specific needs. Make sure you understand the subtleties of your chosen herb before you start. Also, depending on how much space you have available, your herb garden could be a few small pots, or you could get a little more creative…
What you need to get started:
• Seeds or an herb from a cutting
• South facing window
• Small amount of space
When it comes to containers, you can use almost anything as long it has good drainage. Good drainage means air can get down to the roots, and water doesn’t get trapped inside the base of the plant. Ultimately, some pots can sit in a small saucer that will collect the excess water, while other pots can utilize sand or rocks at the bottom.
A few 5-gallon pots will be perfect for getting started. If you want to add any creative detailing, then you could experiment with painting or hanging your pots!
Most herbs will do very well in a soil with a pH of 6 or 7. What is a soil pH? It is a measurement of the acidity or alkalinity in the soil, and how easily plants can get nutrients from the soil. Just spread 3 - 4 inches of topsoil over your fruit, vegetable and herb gardens to ensure bigger, healthier plants, and larger fruits and veggies.
Seeds or Herb Cuttings:
The herb you decide to grow will determine whether it is best to start growing from seeds or cuttings. You can buy seeds from local gardening and hardware stores, or online.
South Facing Window:
Placing your collection of herbs by a south-facing window ensures that you give them the greatest amount of sunlight available. If you’re out of luck, you can try an east or west-facing window, but expect a less vibrant herb.
NOW LET’S GET STARTED!
There are several great herbs you can grow indoors. In this brief guide you will learn how to start growing parsley.
1. Fill your container, but leave about 4 inches from the top.
2. Moisten the soil and mix. Pour water into the soil and gently mix.
3. Sprinkle seeds onto the soil.
4. Using your palm, lightly pat the seeds into the soil.
5. Cover the seeds with a thin layer of soil.
6. Water the soil – be careful not to flood the seeds to the top.
7. Place or hang your container by the window!
Tips to remember…
• Never let your soil get dry. Use your judgment when checking.
• Be patient. Some herb seeds can take several weeks to germinate.
• Give them space. If there is not enough room in the container, the herbs won’t grow properly.
• Use scissors to cut the stems. If you pull them, you can ruin the connected roots.
• Empty the saucer water. Don’t let water sit in the saucer as it can kill the herb.
• If the leaves look dry, sprinkle them with water to maintain proper humidity.
It’s that simple! While waiting for the final product may be difficult for some, the satisfaction you get from adding homegrown flavours to your favourite meal is quite rewarding. Start growing, have fun, and bon appetit!