By Gemma Simko
Indoor herb gardens are an excellent way to keep your dishes flavorful and fresh all year round. I’m growing a small basil plant inside my apartment right now, and the maintenance is so simple. It’s so convenient to walk from my kitchen to my living room to get basil leaves for a fresh caprese salad or yummy Sunday sauce. Even during the summer months, growing indoors allows you to avoid garden mishaps such as unpredictable weather and naughty pets! Read on for some tips on how to get started.
Choosing Your Herbs
First, decide which herbs to grow. Different herbs have different needs regarding sunlight and maintenance, so be sure to do a little research before choosing your seeds. Most herbs will have detailed care instructions on the seed label. Your local gardening store is a also great resource, and you can read more about recommended indoor herbs here.
I chose basil because the light in my apartment is perfect for it…
Getting Set Up
You’re going to need light, water, fertilizer, and pots for your herbs. Each herb has different light needs, usually requiring 6-8 hours of sunlight per day on average. If your home has minimal sunlight, fear not- there are light bulbs designed specifically for indoor plants!
Regarding pots, be sure they have an adequate draining system and saucer to catch the water before it ruins any furniture. Each different herb should have it’s own pot. The size of the roots will vary between herbs and will determine what size pot you need. For recommended pots for different herbs, check out this article.
A big mistake for first time herb growers is over watering. Typically, herbs should be watered 2-3 times per week and should be watered very slowly to ensure adequate soil absorption.
As far as fertilizer goes, it’s best to stick with a seaweed or extract or fish emulsion. Check out this list for some great fertilizing tips.
Encourage Them- No, Really!
Our friends at MythBusters tested the old wives’ tale that talking to plants may actually help them grow- and they proved it right! It turns out speaking to plants does make them flourish more successfully, although apparently it doesn’t matter if the comments are positive or negative. So feel free to encourage your leafy little friends or get out some frustrations with a few choice words- either way, you’re helping them out!
As we mentioned, each herb is going to have different needs. Be sure to do your research or talk to someone at your local gardening store once you decide what herbs you want to grow. Hopefully between that and these helpful tips, your thumb will be green in no time!