New gardeners have come out of the woodwork this year, looking to create a sustainable food supply in their own backyards. Of course, not everyone has the space or the time to create a full-on outdoor garden. So, why not start small…and indoors?
Growing herbs indoors allows you to enjoy homegrown produce that adds a zip of fresh flavor to meals with a quick clip of a few fresh sprigs. For gardening newbies, it also serves as a low-stakes entry into more substantial edible gardening—and all you need is a sunny window. Start your own indoor herb garden this year by following a few helpful tips:
Pick the plants that are right for you.
Think through what herbs you use most while also considering those that are easy to grow. For example, choose a few no-fuss plants that tend to thrive indoors such as basil, chives, mint, oregano, parsley, rosemary and thyme.
Start from seeds or cuttings.
You can start your herb garden with seeds or by cutting sprigs from an existing plant. If you have a family member or neighbor who is an avid gardener, you may want to ask for a few cuttings. Otherwise, simply purchase seeds from a local garden store or online.
Collect the right containers.
You’ll need to use containers that allow for proper drainage, so be sure to purchase pots designated for herbs. Your pots also need something to protect your indoor surface, such as a saucer or round plastic protector. You can use any size container, provided the plant fits. Just realize that the smaller the vessel, the sooner you’ll have to repot.
Show them the light.
The majority of herbs need a lot of sunlight—at least six hours a day. To maximize exposure, place plants as close as possible to your brightest window. The bright light of a south-facing window is best.
Water with care.
Don’t get overzealous with watering. It actually takes very little water to sustain a small herb garden. To make sure your plants prosper, keep the soil consistently moist, but not waterlogged. If leaves begin to wilt or turn yellow, scale back the watering.
Harvest little by little.
Harvest a few sprigs at a time with kitchen shears or by pinching leaves off with your fingers. You’ll want to avoid cutting more than a quarter of the plant at a time because this can cause distress and even kill them.
Whether you have a green thumb or not, following the above tips will help you be victorious in growing your own indoor herb garden. Here’s to getting your gardening on!