Guide to Growing Herbs Indoors

Sometimes it is not possible, or desirable, to have an herb garden in the yard. People who live in apartments or rental properties may not be allowed to have an outdoor garden. Despite these restrictions, it is still possible for nearly anyone to have their own herb garden. It can be a small one with two or three herbs to use for cooking, or it can fill a whole window with a large variety of herbs – it just depends on how a person chooses to handle it.

Benefits

There are many benefits to having an herb garden inside the home. The most obvious is having the flavorful herbs available to add into dishes cooked in the kitchen, which is a definite advantage! It is not the only benefit, though. Green plants are known to be good for the air inside the home. They also tend to be mood-lifters and stress relievers.

Supplies

A planter or small pots are required to put the soil in for the plants to grow. How many plants will be growing may be a factor in this decision. A long planter can hold a variety of herbs in a more solid manner than a row of pots, but if the shelf space is available, individual pots can be cute and easier to work with. However, remember that there must be drainage, so make sure that a tray or protector can go under to catch water and protect the furniture or windowsill. A layer of gravel or pebbles can line the bottom to help with drainage, as needed.

A window or a daylight lamp will be a necessity. If the kitchen has a window near a perpendicular wall, that wall can be used for a planting place. Some options are a pocket shoe rack, a set of shelves, or a vertical planting place which can be made using a frame with dividers, and a screen to keep the soil from falling out.

Good potting soil is a must. The herbs need to be nourished and good soil is the best way to do that. The type that has fertilizer already mixed in especially for growing edible plants may be the best starter soil.

The only other thing needed is the plants. These can be started from seeds, or young plants can be purchased from a nursery, if starting from seed is too daunting. They can also be started from cuttings, in most cases, by cutting at the node, then leaving the bottom in water until it sprouts roots.

Plants

Choosing which herbs to add to the kitchen herb garden is the next step. If there are certain herbs that are often a part of dinner preparation, those are an excellent option. If herbs have not been a large part of meal prep in the past, but are desired, consider some of the more common ones.

Some of the best herbs to grow in the kitchen include basil, chives or garlic chives, mint, oregano, sweet parsley, rosemary, and thyme. These are delicious and tend to enjoy the indoors more than some of the other options.

Challenges

Most herbs need six hours or more of sunlight for best results. This means a window that gets a lot of sunlight is a requirement. This can be a challenge in some homes, due to limited windows or small windows in the kitchen. If the kitchen has only one window, and the quantity of herbs desired is large, it is possible to set shelves next to the window to accommodate more pots or planters.

Herbs need water, which should be easy in a kitchen. However, herbs can be overwatered easily, so it is necessary to be careful to keep the soil just moist, and not soaked. Yellow or wilted leaves are an indication of excess water.

Some herbs may grow too large for the pot in which they are planted. If this happens, they can be transplanted into a larger pot. Perennials are likely to need to be replanted at some point, unless a lot of the herb is used regularly. Indications that the plant has outgrown its home include visible roots escaping the drainage holes, stalled growth, and floppiness.

Harvesting

The goal of a kitchen garden is usually to have herbs to use. Fresh leaves can be trimmed from the top or outermost branches and doing so will encourage the plant to keep producing more, as long as it is kept reasonable. Cutting more than a fourth of the plant can kill the plant, so it is better to use a few leaves at a time.

If desired, a whole plant (especially annuals) can be uprooted, washed, and then dried and stored for future use when it is well grown. If this is the plan, having several of the same herb may be desirable.

Resources

Product
Visual
Where to Buy
9 Herb Window Garden
4 Herb Starter Kit
Indoor Herb Garden with Grow Light
Hydroponic Self-Watering Herb Garden Planter
8 Pocket Herb Garden
Your Indoor Herb Garden

 

1. 9 Herb Window Garden

This 40-piece kit is a starter kit for any kitchen gardener. It includes 9 pots, 9 discs of soil rich with nutrients that will expand when water is added, markers so you know which herb is growing in which pot, and 9 herb seed packets. Included herbs are basil, chives, cilantro, dill, oregano, parsley, rosemary, sage, and thyme.

2. 4 Herb Starter Kit

Packaged in a wooden box, this set includes basil, cilantro, parsley, and thyme. Included are burlap bags with a lining that is waterproof, expandable discs of potting soil, plant markers, and seeds. The bags fit neatly into the box for a rustic starter garden.

3. Indoor Herb Garden with Grow Light

The 20W bulb sheds full spectrum light to promote good plant growth. The automatic timer simulates regular daytime and nighttime with 8 hours dark and 16 hours light. The height of the light can be adjusted as needed. Easy to install and use.

4. Hydroponic Self-Watering Herb Garden Planter

Three plants fit in this unit which is made to automatically water plants for 25 days and lights it with a grow light. Plant capsules can be purchased to easily plant into the planter.

5. 8 Pocket Herb Garden

This freestanding garden table holds 8 herbs in preset cubbies. Liners are available. The wood is treated with a preservative that is food safe. A shelf near the floor allows storage. Easy assembly.

6. Your Indoor Herb Garden

Learn more about growing herbs at home with this paperback book full of all sorts of information to assist with creating the best and most productive herb garden possible. It includes tips and tricks, necessary equipment, proper care, medicinal uses, history, and much more.