I’m not sure why I’m obsessed with gardening right now. Maybe it’s because of the miserable winter we just had or I want to do my part to celebrate Earth Day! What ever the reason, I just hope I can sustain my outdoor and indoor garden throughout the summer months. Keeping an indoor garden, or herb garden in this case, is like growing any indoor plants. You have to follow the instructions of that particular plant or herb. I recently created an indoor herb garden and wanted to share some tips on keeping it growing strong this spring and summer! Indoor herb gardens are also great for families without a big backyard or if you just want to experiment with your green thumb.
Tips for growing an Indoor Herb Garden:
1- First select herbs you will actually use. It’s great to grow basil or rosemary but if you never use it, it’s a waste. And choose herbs that don’t grow too wild. You want to make sure you can contain your garden. I decided to grow basil, parsley, rosemary and thyme. Other great options include: chives, lavender and mint.
2 – Use the proper container with drainage. You never want to put herbs in a container with no way for the water to drain. It will soak the roots and kill the plant. Use a container with holes in the bottom. I used specially made herb containers that have built in space at the bottom of the container to hold the water as a reserve.
3- Herbs need lots of sunshine! Make sure you are able to give your indoor herbs at least 4-6 hours of direct sunlight. Make sure it’s getting the direct rays of the sun and not indirect sun light.
4- Make sure you understand and follow a water schedule. Just like any plant, herbs need water to grow….duh! But over watering can be a problem. You can always use the “finger test”. Simply feel the top of the soil to see if it’s still moist. If so, you don’t need to water. If it’s very dry make sure you reach for your watering can.
5- Some herb gardens will need fertilizer. I don’t use a particular brand (I have never gotten that far with my herbs). Check with your local garden center for herb fertilizer recommendations.
6- Don’t cut the herbs too soon. When your herbs are ready to use, you can snip 2-3 inches off the top to encourage more growth. For herbs like parsley and cilantro you can take the entire stem off.
Growing an indoor herb garden can be fun. And it can help inspire you to cook more with natural ingredients. I’m looking forward to finally conquering my fear of making basil pesto!