Thursday, June 21, 2012
Growing An Indoor Herb Garden
Growing herbs indoors is simple and enjoyable. Simply select a spot in your home with ample sunlight or prepare artificial lights to either supplement or fully provide the light your herbs will need. Compact fluorescent lights can supply all the light your herbs need if used within two feet of the plants. Depending on the number of plants you plan to grow, you may need more than one light.
Choose a container that will provide ample room for the mature plants and that will give your herbs proper drainage. A 16 inch rectangular pot will have enough room for about four herb plants.
You can start your herbs from seeds in the same pots where you plan to grow them or you can start them in seedling pots. You can also buy established herb plants at local gardening centers. One note: herbs are very sensitive when it comes to transplanting. It is probably best for beginning gardeners to start the seeds in the pots where the mature plants will remain.
Some of the easiest herbs to grow are rosemary, oregano, chives, basil, cilantro and parsley. However, most herbs are easy and forgiving plants and should prove no problem to the dedicated indoor gardener.
Plant your herbs as you would any other plant and water as needed. Many herbs, such as rosemary and oregano, are Mediterranean plants and prefer a drier soil. To test to see if your herbs need water, poke your finger into the soil around the plants as far as it will go. If the soil at the bottom of the hole is dry, your herbs need water. Watch your herbs carefully for signs of drying. If the leaves begin to look wilted or become too dry, then you are not giving your herbs enough water.
Herbs need very little fertilizer. Use a fertilizer formulated for house plants and follow the label directions carefully, applying the fertilizer only once every two or three months.
Fresh herbs are a delightful addition to any kitchen. They give off a fresh scent and add great flavor to your cooking. And they are so simple to grow and maintain that anyone can have an indoor herb garden.