Herbs are essential requirements for any household. Herbs have many uses, right from garnishing your recipes, to curing certain infections and illnesses to adding an aesthetic look to your garden. The best part of herbs is that you do not need a garden to grow them. Your indoor space can act as a perfect host for growing your favorite herb plants. To top it, indoor herb gardening requires minimal maintenance. Growing an indoor herb garden is a rewarding and efficient way of gaining access to fresh herbs. Your windowsill serves as the best place to grow herbs, where they can get enough sunlight for their proper growth. All you need to do is care about a few aspects like proper temperature and timely watering to get an excellent growth and yield out of your herb. This article provides you with few tips on growing an indoor herb garden. Go ahead and get the maximum benefits out of your favorite herb.
How To Grow An Indoor Herb Garden
Selection of Plants
Before plunging on to enjoy the benefits of an indoor herb garden, you need to make an informed choice about which herb to grow. While discussing about popular indoor grown herbs, basil tops the chart. It is one of the most popular and easiest to grow herbs for indoor gardens. This healthy herb requires more sunlight as compared to other herbs for about 12-16 hours a day. Parsley is yet another famous herb for indoor garden. The herb can be used in both seasoning and garnishing. This herb needs a warmer environment to grow to its full quality. Italian herbs such as sage, oregano or rosemary can also be used in your indoor garden to give a European touch to all your recipes.
Provide Adequate Light
If you want a good herb yield, take good care of the light requirement of the plant. Almost 18 hours of light with 8-9 hours of direct sunlight is extremely essential for the healthy growth of any herb plant. Basil and cilantro need more light as compared to other herb plants. If the sunlight is low because of a gloomy weather, three or four fluorescent lights above the plant should be placed to increase the growth of the plant. A small metal halide light can be a perfect answer to cover a larger area with better lighting, producing plenty of herbs for your culinary and aromatic delight.
Select The Proper Soil
Some of the herbs grow well in poor soil, which helps them develop a stronger flavor. Remember, the oils in the herbs are the ones that add to the essence and make a particular herb special. Fast growing herbs grow plain leaves and stems quickly, than producing essential oils. This makes the herb less effective than what it is intended for. Basil, for example, is said to grow well in poor soil and tastes better if the soil is not fertilized. Remember, herbs need their own time to grow and adding fertilizers and increasing the fertility of the soil and the growth of the plant will not give it enough time to develop the essential oils, thereby ripping it off its qualities.
Know When To Water
Another important aspect of growing herb is timely watering of the plant. Water the plant only when the surface of the soil seems dry to you. Another way in which you can check whether or not it is time to water the plant is by lifting up the container and checking the weight. Herbs like the soil to drain fast. Therefore, it is essential for you to have pots with holes in the bottom. Add a layer of broken roof tiles or other flat small stones at the bottom of each container when you transplant. Water your herbs thoroughly, but less often, i.e., water the container till some water drains out from the bottom, but avoid over-watering them.
Feed Your Herbs
You should start feeding your plants 10 days after sowing them. The roots of the plants are stuck in the container in a compact place, which will quickly mine the plant free of any nutrients, especially if you have not provided enough nutrients while planting them. Feed your herb with half-strength nutrients every 2 weeks for proper growth.
Temperature and moisture are the most important factors for an indoor herb garden. For few herbs, the inside air gets too dry during winter and additional moisture needs to be provided by misting or putting the pot in a tray with pebbles and water. The humidity around the plant caused due to the evaporating water should also be taken care of. Your indoor herb garden can be attacked by pests. Do not be surprised to see few tiny sucking insects appearing around the herb. To avoid this, prepare some tepid, soapy water in the kitchen sink or in a large bowl and treat your herb into it to get rid of the tiny insects. The soapy water will kill the insects without harming the plant.