Do the changing seasons leave you a little wistful for summer’s wealth of fresh produce? Then keep the growing season going all year by starting an indoor herb garden!
If you like to cook, you’ll love having fresh herbs right at your fingertips—just snip and sprinkle fresh chives on your steaming baked potato.
To start your herb garden, you must have a sunny window available that receives at least five hours of sunlight per day.
While you can start your herbs from seed , it’s easier to buy starter plants from a local nursery or farmers market. There are several types of containers you can use for the plants, but terracotta planters are very popular. Make sure your pots have drainage holes in the bottom so your herbs don’t rot.
Keep a saucer or another similarly shaped item underneath to catch the excess water as it runs through. Whatever container you select should be deep enough to promote proper root development, ideally from 6-12 inches deep.
Take care when selecting the type of soil for your herbs, as plants are very vulnerable to soil-born diseases. It’s a good idea to go with a store-bought potting mix. Your local gardening center can help you select the right one for your needs.
Pour a two or three-inch layer of potting soil into the bottom of your container and place your plant gently in the container. Finish filling it with potting mix, pressing it firmly around the plants. Leave about an inch of space at the top to make room for watering.
Don’t kill your herbs with kindness by watering too often: Excess water is harmful to the roots and causes rotting. Fertilize your herbs once a month with a product labeled safe to use on edibles. Once you start to see new growth, you can begin to use your herbs for cooking.
Here are a few herbs that are particularly well suited for indoor growth:
Basil (Ocimum basilicum)
Chives (Allium schoenoprasum)
Lemon balm (Melissa officinalis)
Rosemary (Rosmarinus officinalis)
Thyme (Thymus vulgaris)