Your dishes will taste amazingly better if you opt to add fresh herbs to them. Of course, that would be possible only if you have your own personal herb garden in your kitchen. If the thought of growing an indoor herb garden seems to deter you, don’t worry. Herb gardens are easy to grow and maintain, provided you take the necessary steps to care for them.
Many of these herbs are available throughout the year and can easily save you plenty in terms of costs related to buying supermarket produce. So here are some handy tips that would help you grow an indoor herb garden with ease.
Choose the right indoor herbs
Not all herbs would love an indoor climate. So choose herbs that would adapt to indoor conditions and grow nicely. Accordingly, some of the best indoor herbs you can opt for include basil, bay, chervil, chives, and oregano. All you would need to keep in mind is the light and water requirements of each of these herbs in order to allow them to grow uninhibited.
Make a note of growing conditions
Even though you are growing your herbs indoors, you would need to keep a check on the various growing conditions like light, water and soil requirements. You would need to opt for a well-drained soil consistency for desirable growth. A raised bed can offer you this option. The soil should also be alkaline as herbs do not favor acid soil.
So if you have acidic soil, add some lemon juice to the planting area to neutralize it. Also check the light requirements which would vary with different herbs. While many herbs like sunny conditions, herbs like mint, parsley, chervil, lemon balm, chives and meadowsweet will grow well in the shade as well.
Choose an appropriate indoor spot
Even if they are indoors, herbs would need natural light for proper growth. Your best bet would be to place them by a sunny spot inside the home, including near a window or skylight where they can get sunlight for at least 5 hours every day. While north facing windows would not provide ample sunlight, any spot near a south, east or west facing window would do fine.
Provide ample light in low lighting conditions
What happens if your home does not have enough natural light to support your herb garden? The best alternative in this case would be to couple whatever natural sunlight is available with fluorescent lights above the herb garden. This way, you can ensure your herbs receive ample light for optimal growing conditions even when there is very low natural sunlight. You can also choose to install a metal halide light above the herb garden. This would cover more area and would facilitate the growth of an entire garden of herbs rather than just a specific area.
Keep a check to know when to water
How would you know which is the right time to water your herbs? Simple, all you need to do is check the surface of the soil. If it feels dry to the touch, your herbs need water. Another way to find out when to water is to lift the container the herbs are planted in. If it is light, there is no water inside the container and you would need to water the herbs.
While watering, check if the water starts seeping through the holes at the bottom of the container. If it does, it means the herbs have enough water and you would need to stop watering them. This little tip will prevent you from over watering the herbs.
Feed the plants regularly
Since your herbs are grown in containers, they would use up the nutrients in the soil very quickly. Hence, you would need to boost their growth by feeding them on a periodic basis. Adding essential nutrients like Maxsea 16-16-16 to the soil once in ten days or so will help preserve the latter’s nutritional value, thus helping your herbs grow properly.
Growing an indoor herb garden would give you unlimited access to all the herbs you could possibly want to add to your dishes. From checking the soil, water and light conditions to choosing the right spot for optimal growth, these tips will help you grow and maintain an indoor garden to perfection.