Starting An Herb Garden
An indoor herb garden is at the same time one of the easiest and most useful home gardening projects for you to take on. Many dried and bottled herbs have been sitting on the shelf gathering dust since who knows when, and began losing their flavor from the moment they were picked. Fortunately for all of us, fresh and aromatic herbs are easy to grow and result in singularly delicious meals. Since herbs are by definition leaves, you can begin harvesting them almost immediately without having to wait weeks for fruit to develop. In fact, in most cases you should avoid letting the herbs go to seed. On top of that, they will often produce year-round if tended correctly. The following pointers will help you get your herb garden started and keep you going:
1. Secure a sunny spot
To grow well indoors you want to place your herbs in a spot near a window, ideally facing south. This will afford your flavorful shrubs as much natural light as possible. If a south aspect is not available to you, find a spot where they can get at least four hours of sun every day.
2. Ensure proper drainage
Always pot your herbs in a vessel that allows for adequate drainage. Letting your soil to breathe is critical to preventing rot in your herbs’ delicate root systems. Most clay garden pots will facilitate this nicely, but make sure you put a plastic or metal tray beneath them as they tend to seep. Opus Mix #1 makes for a well-balanced and well-drained soil.
3. Warm herbs are happy herbs
The rule of thumb for herbs and ambient temperature is that if you are comfortable, they probably are too. Herbs thrive in temperature ranges from around 65ºF to 70ºF in the daytime. They’ll be fine if the temperature dips to 55ºF or 60ºF at night, but ensure that the leaves don’t touch the windows as this direct contact with the cold glass will wilt the leaves.
If you feel like growing your herbs from seed, check out the Herb Society of America’s informative site.
Some great herbs for the home include: Chives, Marjoram, Rosemary, Sage, Thyme, Mint, Oregano, Parsley, Lemon Balm, and of course Basil, Basil, Basil.. for some divine homemade pesto. Check out this Green Goddess Pizza + Pesto recipe if you need some extra inspiration to start your own herb garden.