Cultivating a herb garden in your kitchen is a wonderful way to infuse life, fresh air, and savoury seasonings right into your home! And, if you’re new to the gardening world, then an indoor herb garden is a great starting point to learn.
Herbs are not only easy to care for, but also a gorgeous addition to your decor. Which makes them a great way to cultivate your green thumb. Use these 5 steps to grow your own indoor herb garden and your kitchen will be herb-a-licious in less than a week!
1. Choosing Your Herbs
First up, you’ll need to decide what kind of herbs you want to grow? Basil and mint are perhaps the most common herbs found in indoor gardens, as they’re easy to grow.
Mint thrives in a garden, which makes it harder to keep contained. However, if you place it in its own pot, you’ll have a never-ending supply of delicious mint flavours!
Basil is also a great starter plant when learning how to grow your own herb garden— and it smells and tastes great too (mmmm pesto!). It’s also quite simple to manage, as it vis-ibly tells you when it needs water. It will wilt when it’s thirsty, and it will perk right back up after it gets a drink. Basil will help you learn how to monitor your plant’s water pat-terns before diving into other herbs.
Other herbs you may wish to include are rosemary, thyme, oregano, parsley, and sage. You can likely find seeds or small plantings of these herbs at your local hardware store or nursery, and you can get some great herb-specific advice from the gardeners there.
2. Buying or Making Planters
Once you know the type of herbs you’re planting, it’s time to choose a home for them. Consider the theme of your kitchen and how the herb garden will fit in with the overall design.
The best pots for herbs are terracotta planters, however if you wish to opt for an eco-friendly solution, old soup cans do nicely. Wash out the cans and use rubbing alcohol to remove any ink. Then drill drainage holes in the bottom of the cans.
A 14-inch diameter pot works best for most herbs, but a 10-inch diameter pot can do well for the smaller ones.
Next, be sure to place a large terracotta saucer underneath your pots. This will help group together your herb garden in one area of your kitchen, plus help collect water drainage.
Place a layer of river rocks and pebbles at the base of the saucer and the bottom of your potters to improve drainage and water levels. A pebble layer underneath the soil helps to regulate your plants’ water intake so they don’t dehydrate or get too soaked.
3. Planting Your Herbs
Take your planter pots, and lay potting soil on top of the rocks. Fill it with about two thirds of soil. Insert the seeds, or remove baby-herbs from planter pots by gently loosen-ing the roots between your fingers.
Keep each variety of herb separate and in different planters. Fill in the pots with more potting soil if necessary, so the roots are completely covered.
4. Water and Sun
To grow your own indoor herb garden, you will need a sunny windowsill. The plants re-quire at least 6 hours of sunlight every day, but without any exposure to the elements or to any little critters from outside. (If you’re planting your herb garden outside or on a deck, make sure you create a fenced-in area to keep the pests out.)
To ensure your plants get enough sunlight, take note of when sunlight begins and ends or buy a sun calculator. Don’t forget that the amount of sun and the position of the sun in the sky changes throughout the seasons, so you’ll want to check your plants’ sunlight exposure every once and awhile.
Your herbs also need to be watered. The trick is here not to “over” or “under” water. To test a plant’s hydration, put your finger in the pot. The soil should be damp, but not soak-ing wet. If the soil is dry an inch or so below the surface, then your herb needs water.
Using a spray bottle for light watering often, as opposed to heavy watering less often, is the perfect way to control your garden’s moisture levels. If you make it part of your daily routine and spritz with the bottle every other day, then your garden will thrive even more.
5. Create a Display
Finally, have fun making your herb garden a part of your home. You may like to include an additional planter complete with small scissors and a spray can, so you have your tools within reach to water and snip your herbs.
Another homely touch is to label each plant. Not only will it remind you which herb is which, but they look lovely too! You can tie ribbons or string around each planter with the name artfully displayed, write the name directly on the pot with a permanent marker or use sticker, or you can purchase some sweet mini-chalkboard sticks to make a fabulous display.
Finally, get creative arrange your plants on the saucer in an interesting way using varying heights and textures to give dimension to your windowsill.
An indoor herb garden is easy to create, easy to maintain, and even easier to enjoy. You’ll no doubt love adding fresh greenery, aromatic fragrances and savoury tastes to your kitchen and home.