Since Biblical times Herbs have held a special place in the home garden. Various herbs have been said to have “magical powers” or to carry intense meaning and significance. Today, herbs are valued for their culinary as well as for their health benefits.
Plant an Indoor Herb Garden
Starting and growing an indoor herb garden is a great project for new and experienced gardeners alike.
The joys of harvesting garden herbs and cooking with fresh basil, oregano and mint can be enjoyed year round right off your window sill!
- The first step in starting your indoor Herb garden is selecting which Herbs you want to grow. Some of the most popular choices are:
Basil– A warm clove-like flavor and fragrance. Basil works well in combination with tomatoes and enhances vegetables,fish, chicken and egg dishes.
Oregano– Peppery flavor enhances cheese and egg combinations,as well as marinated vegetables and shellfish. Widely used in Greek and Italian cuisine.
Mint– A fresh and clean flavor that enhances a variety of meat, fish and vegetable dishes. Mixes well with lentils, soups, fruit drinks and desserts.
Parsley– A clean taste that serves as a natural breath freshener. Often used as a garnish or chopped and added to sauces and salads.
Cilantro– Cilantro leaves have a strong smell described by some as “soapy”. The stems also have a strong odor and flavor. Pairs well with cuisines of the US Southwest, Latin America, Southeast Asia, India, the Middle East, and in parts of northern Africa. Used to “lift” other flavors; they enhance and promote other pronounced flavors. Coriander roots are used often used fresh as a base flavor for Asian soups.
Sage– A lemony, camphor-like and pleasantly bitter taste makes this a perfect choice for cooking with pork, duck, fish, poultry, eggplant, artichokes and potatoes.
Dill– The delicate, fern-like Dill leaves have an essence of tang. Dill is often used in dressings, salads and fresh fish.
Chives– A sweet, mild onion flavor that complements almost every recipe. Chives are a common addition to potatoes, cream soups and egg dishes.
- Now that you have selected which Herbs to plant, you need to decide on a location for your garden. Your Herbs will need 4-6 hours of good sunlight a day. If you don’t have a window ledge or counter space that can provide enough light, you can supplement with fluorescent lights. Your Herb Garden will also need adequate ventilation. However, try to avoid any direct drafts or great temperature fluctuations.
- When selecting a container to grow your Herbs in, it is recommended that you choose one that is around 8 inches deep and 6-8 inches across. Dixie cups can be great starter containers if you plan to move your herbs to larger containers or outside in the Spring.
- Fill your containers with premium-quality, well draining potting soil mixed with coarse sand and mushroom compost.
- You are now ready to plant your Herbs! Follow the directions on your seed’s label but, generally seeds should be planted to a depth of three to four times their diameter.
- Once your Herbs are planted your job is to Feed, Water and Harvest.
- While your Herb Seedlings are still growing, feed them once a week with seaweed extract or fish emulsion.
- Your Herbs should be watered with a good soaking once or twice a week.
- Harvest! When your seedling have grown enough to enjoy, gently clip what you need- always be sure to leave plenty of vigorous growth on the plant so you can continue to enjoy the benefits of your Indoor Garden Herbs!