Let's face it: herbs are the superheroes of plants. Not only do they contain healing properties that can treat a number of health problems, but with just a few sprigs, they can also transform an ordinary dish into a gourmet-tasting meal. And the best part? These impressive green leaves hardly need any space to works their wondrous powers.
So regardless of how big—or small—your current kitchen is, there's no question an indoor herb garden would make a great addition to your home. Scroll ahead for five easy tips on how to get started.
1. Find a Sunny Spot
Herbs are happy with indoor temperature, but they need sunlight to grow well indoors. Find a warm and sunny spot near a window where they can get at least six hours daily of natural sunlight. Southern-facing windows work best. While herbs will grow well in any sunny room, we recommend finding a spot in the kitchen. This way, you will be able to snip fresh herbs as you cook.
2. Make Sure Your Herbs Maintain Good Drainage
It is very important to make sure that indoor plants have good drainage. For instance, if herbs sit in water for too long, their roots will eventually rot. Plus, if your garden happens to be placed on your countertops, any leakages could damage these surfaces. Therefore, we suggest using a saucer or a drain pan under the pot to catch water.
Beyond aesthetics, it is also important to pay attention to the material of the containers you choose. Although clay pots can help with drainage, they tend to dry out quickly and clay saucers let moisture pass through, which can also damage your countertops. We recommend going with plastic, rubber, glass, or metal options.
3. Pick a Few Good Herbs to Grow
If you're just starting out, don't feel pressured to go overboard with your herb options. Start with your favorite herb and go from there. Instead of growing a variety, it might be better to grow a few batches of the same plant first so that you always have stock. If you're looking for herbs that require minimal maintenance, chives, peppermint, rosemary, and parsley are superb choices. Others, such as basil and thyme, need more sunlight and can be more challenging to grow indoors.
4. Think About Your Containers and Spacing
It is always best to grow each herb in its own pot because each type of plant has their own water requirements. For example, rosemary likes dry soil, while parsley and chives require more water. Mint is known to take over containers and crowd out other plants, so it's best to plant this herb by itself. Once you’ve figured out the logistics of which herbs to group together, follow the directions on the seed packets. Always use good quality soil and give the plants more space than you think is needed.
5. Regularly Maintain Your Herb Garden
As with an outdoor garden, it is vital to regularly maintain your plants. Use your fingers or a scissors to pinch back the tops of the plants to keep them from flowering. Be sure to harvest the plants as soon as they are mature. Just be careful not to remove too much of the plant at once—no more than 1/3-inch at any given time.
Turning the plants frequently can also help ensure the plants are draining properly so the roots don't rot.
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