Décor & Gardening
How to start your own indoor herb garden
All you essentially need for an indoor herb garden, is a sunny balcony or an unused space on your naturally-lit kitchen counter. Creating your very own herb garden really is that simple, not to mention incredibly rewarding. The benefits are many. It’ll cost you less in buying spices and you’ll enjoy more flavourful food. Fresh herbs are just so much tastier than dried ones… Plus, it will add a touch of cosiness to your home. You’ll also be effortlessly teaching you kids about nature and caring for a garden.
You don’t have to substitute ALL your dried, bottled herbs with fresh ones straight away. Woody herbs like rosemary, oregano and thyme keep better in bottles than others, while basil, chives and other soft, tender herbs end up losing their flavours much quicker when dried. These are the ones you’d want to keep fresh.
Chane Hendricks from Garden Master says: “The trick to start growing an indoor herb garden is to be aware of each herbs’ requirements. Always ensure that there is sufficient natural light where they are placed. Choose a site that receives at least six to eight hours of sunlight per day. Most herbs need plenty of sunshine in order to grow and reach their full potential.”
Here are some useful tips to ensure a flourishing indoor herb garden:
1. Allow for sufficient natural light.
2. Water feeds should always be slow and thorough. Be sure to allow the water to drain out, as the roots will rot if they sit in water.
3. Use good quality herb pots – ones with sufficient drainage holes.
4. Grow each herb in its own pot. If you are comfortable with the temperature in the room, they will be too. Basil is the one herb that doesn’t enjoy a cool breeze for ongoing periods of time.
5. Use a good quality organic potting soil.
6. Feed your herbs fertiliser.
Try these culinary herbs in your indoor herb garden:
Mint (Chocolate Mint, Peppermint, Spearmint, or Sweet Mint)
Oregano (Greek Oregano, Italian Oregano, or Hot & Spicy Oregano)
Parsley (Flat Italian Parsley or Curled Parsley)
Thyme (German Thyme or Lemon Thyme)
Watering your herbs
The key to watering herbs indoors is to allow the pots to dry out somewhat in between watering. Test the soil by using your finger. If the soil is dry about two fingers below the top, then it is time to water. Don’t worry that this is too dry and will harm your herb plants. The soil dries out from the top first, so although the top is dry, the soil is probably plenty moist at the bottom. The goal is to get the roots to grow deep down looking for water. This encourages a strong, healthy root system.
Another important tip is to water your herbs slowly. If you water too quickly, the water may run straight through the
pot and out the drainage holes before the soil has had a chance to absorb it.