Do you love to cook with fresh herbs but hate the high price? Do you wish you could find fresher varieties to have on hand at a moment’s notice? Growing herbs garden indoors in containers may be your solution. By growing herbs in a container, you have more access to the herbs you want. They will always be on hand and fresh the very moment you need them. Fresh cut herbs spoil very quickly when you bring them home from the store but when you leave them on the plant until they are needed, they are always at the height of freshness.
Benefits of growing herbs garden indoors
If you have done any type of cooking to any extent you will have realized how different an herb can make to the taste of your dish. There is no doubt that most dishes taste better with a little salt, but did you realize that another herb that is commonly used in the household, pepper is an herb. Most people do not realize that.
Nutmeg, cloves, and cinnamon are common varieties of herbs used in the kitchen. Sage, oregano, and basil are three more.
As more and more plants were discovered for their pungent flavor, people started making extraordinary dishes. What would a roast beef sandwich be without horseradish? Try making a good breakfast sausage when there is no sage around. Herb bread would just be bread if it were not for the flavorful herbs on top.
The fact that herbs do not have any calories or added salts, fatty acids, cholesterol, and other undesirable additives is the reason why so many people now wish to use them for flavoring their dishes. They each have their own unique tastes and flavors and can be used singularly or combined with other herbs to make a new flavor altogether.
Growing herbs in containers indoors
Growing herbs in a container indoors is actually easier in some ways than having an herb garden outside. There is no need to weed, till or mow. You can more easily control the water and sunlight, and you can leave your herbs in the kitchen, where they are needed most. So many times outside variables destroy herb gardens. It can be anything from weeds choking out your basil, caterpillars munching on your parsley or even neighbor cats eating your oregano. Growing herbs indoors gives you complete control over these risks.
An herb pot or base can be an artistic statement and the herbs themselves give a very pleasant and natural ambiance to a room. Some varieties even sprout small flowers, which give off a delicate scent and provide a splash of color to a room. Almost any container can be used to grow herbs in as long as it has plenty of room for the roots and a hole at the bottom for drainage. If you want to save money and go green, consider drilling a hole in the bottom of a clean plastic coffee can. You can paint over the label or leave it as is.
Old teapots also make great herb containers and can be found at thrift stores for cheap. If you are feeling very adventurous, pick up some clay and try your hand at making a container for herbs. This is a great way to get the kids involved in art as well as planting. The best containers to use for herbs, however, are good old fashioned terra cotta pots – these are fairly inexpensive and I think you will find that your herbs do very well in them.
Do indoor herbs need direct sunlight?
Indoor herbs really love a south-facing wall, as this is where they get the optimal sun. Aloe, chamomile, chervil, chives, comfrey, marjoram, mint, and parsley all enjoy partial sun and will thrive in a south-facing window. Basil, cilantro, dill, oregano, rosemary, sage, tarragon, and thyme, however, tend to need a bit more light. I have successfully grown these indoors in the summer, but during the winter, these heartier herbs need extra help.
Growing herbs indoors with grow lights
If you are trying to keep your herb containers going during the winter or do not have access to a south-facing window, consider buying a grow light. Grow lights can be found at most gardening supply stores and online, but they tend to be on the pricey side. It is well worth the cost and effort, though, to have all of your favorite herbs on hand.
One problem many indoor herb growers face is leggy plants. This happens when the stems of the herb get long and woody and all of the leaves are at the top. This can be avoided by careful harvesting. It is always better to take the newest leaves from the top of the plant so that the herb will branch out and get bushier at the bottom. If you always harvest from the bottom of the herb, it will keep growing at the top, but the bottom will become like the trunk of a tree.
Growing herbs indoors can be fun and rewarding but it can also be frustrating if you don’t use the right methods and equipment. It can be a great way for you to add interest to your kitchen as well as ensure you always have fresh herbs for cooking on hand. It’s easy!