We can all agree that our everyday meals wouldn’t be complete without using herbs and spices. Not only do they add the perfect ‘zing‘ factor to each recipe, but they also provide us with countless health benefits. You can grow any herb indoors if you provide the right conditions. From powerful oregano to top off your pasta dishes to fresh mint to garnish your cocktails, we cover how to start growing herbs indoors to spice up your kitchen.
Indoor Herb Garden Basics
Growing your favourite herbs is easy with the right conditions. Here’s what you need to start your indoor herb garden.
Location, Location, Location
Location is everything when it comes to your indoor herb garden. Ideally, you want to set up your herbs in the brightest corner of your home so they can absorb lots of sunlight. If you don’t have a south-facing window with at least four to six hours of sunlight per day, an affordable countertop herb garden kit will provide you with planting trays and grow lights so that your herbs get enough light! If you already have containers for your herbs, you can buy grow lights separately and make your own setup.
Provide Optimal Drainage
Optimal drainage is essential for healthy growing plants so that your herbs end up in your recipes and on your plate! Herbs grow well in well-draining soil so that the roots get enough oxygen and hydration. A standard potting soil is great for herbs, but you can add some organic matter if you notice that the soil is staying too damp.
Water Regularly, but Avoid Overwatering
No one likes a dried-out herb garden, but you should also be conscious to avoid overwatering them; after all, overwatering is one of the most common ways plant owners kill their plants! Keep a close eye on your indoor herb garden, and water it when the top inch of soil is completely dry. A good rule of green thumb for growing herbs indoors is to water them about once per week.
Fertilize Your Indoor Herb Garden
We highly recommend using organic fertilizer for your herb garden for the best quality! You can fertilize your herbs when you plant them and then fertilize every few months to maintain healthy growth indoors. Liquid fertilizer will give your herbs an immediate boost, or you can use a slow-release fertilizer that activates every time you water. Be sure to follow the instructions on your fertilizer container for the best results.
Harvesting Your Herbs
Harvesting regimens are different for every herb, but learning how to harvest each type is important to get new growth. Harvesting your herbs frequently encourages bushy growth, so this is not a step you’ll want to overlook!
Herbs such as mint, basil, cilantro, and dill should be cut a few inches from the top of each stem, snipping right above a set of leaves. Harvest herbs with long stems like parsley and oregano by cutting the stem near the base of the plant. Harvest rosemary by cutting stems above a pair of leaves, and it will branch out and continue to grow.
It is crucial to properly prune your herbs correctly to promote new and continuous growth. If your herbs start to flower, trim off the flower as soon as you see it to prevent your leaves from turning bitter; this will keep your plant focused on foliage rather than putting all its energy into flower production.
Growing a herb garden indoors is a great addition to your kitchen and will elevate even the most basic recipes. Visit us at Mother Nature in Powell River for more information on starting your herb garden today!