Growing Herbs Indoors

Most home gardeners lament the coming of winter since it usually spells the end of the outdoor growing season. But it doesn’t have to be that way. Many herbs can be grown indoors quite successfully in the winter months and then be transplanted into the garden the following spring. There’s something about the taste of fresh, home-grown herbs in cooking that is hard to beat. The flavors are so much more flavorful and aromatic than using something dry out of a shaker bottle.

With the right location and care, many herbs can be fooled into thinking that summer is still here. If you’re a little nervous or skeptical about growing herbs indoors, use some tried and tested varieties such as chives, coriander, dill, mint, oregano, rosemary, parsley, and thyme. Most of these can be started by seed, while mint and rosemary can be started by seed or cutting.

Most herbs are sun lovers and will require a southern facing window that gets at least six hours of sunlight per day. For less sunny locations, mint, parsley and rosemary will get by with less sunlight. You might also consider hanging a grow light 6-9 inches above your plants to provide light on cloudy days. Make sure to also rotate your containers at least once per week in order to help your plants grow evenly.

Start your plants in seed trays and then transplant them to window boxes or larger containers once the plants become rooted. Use a good quality potting soil and make sure the containers you use have drainage holes. If you use water trays under your pots, make sure that you check them after watering and drain any standing water in them.

The herbs mentioned above will do fine provided temperatures are maintained between 55 and 70 degrees. Feed with a water soluble plant food every 2-4 weeks just as you would any other indoor plant, and don’t water until the soil surface becomes dry. The use of a small fan will also help herbs survive the stuffy air conditions that can occur indoors in winter.

Plant pests are usually less prevalent during the winter months. Nevertheless, visually check your plants at least once per week, and treat your plants with an insecticidal soap before pests actually become a problem.

So don’t let the winter doldrums get you down. Spice up your life and your winter meals with the addition of fresh, homegrown indoor herbs!

This entry was posted on Tuesday, November 26th, 2013 at 11:35 pm and is filed under Children and Gardening, Gardening, Organic & Green. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0 feed. You can leave a response, or trackback from your own site.