Herbs have long been revered for both their medicinal and culinary value. Most Herbs are used by people for culinary and healing properties.
Traditionally herbs and spices were used as fragrant, flavor, delicious, aromatic and medicinal plants. Herbs can cure colds, help you sleep and add flavor and zest to dinner.
Herbs are defined as a plant without a woody stem that dies back at the end of each growing season; they were once considered a gift of the gods. Elaborate ceremonies and rituals celebrated their growth, harvest and use.
Today, herbs are also popular in many home gardens, where their leaves are utilized for flavoring and an entire plant and may be used for medicinal purposes.
So, are you planning on starting your own herb garden but aren’t sure if you can do it properly?
Don’t you worry! Starting your very own herb garden will be one of the easiest things you can do.
Growing Herbs is very easy to grow, and the good thing is herbs don’t require a lot of space, almost any kitchen which can accommodate any pots or window boxes, and with the right care and attention, your herbs will absolutely flourish. See also: Herb Garden Containers.
Here are some tips and steps to guide you in making your own kitchen garden possible.
(Location: Find a good spot for your herb garden)
Herb gardens are meant to be used and admired, that’s why it is important to consider practicality when choosing a location for your herb garden.
Location is the most important choice you’ll make in setting your indoor herb garden. When choosing a site for your herb garden, there are several important factors that you need to consider before selecting a permanent location.
Herbs need at least 6 hours of bright sunlight, which may be tough to get during the winter months.
To grow well indoors, herbs need as much natural light as possible, so place them in a sunny spot (maybe near a window in your kitchen) where they’ll get at least 6 hours of sunlight daily in order for them to grow and reach their full potential.
If herbs don’t receive the right amount of sunlight needed, they will end up leggy, and unproductive instead of being lush, beautiful and useful.
Most herbs thrive in typical garden soil, as long as it has good drainage.
However, some herbs, such as rosemary, lavender and bay, are woody plants native to the Mediterranean. These herbs prefer granular, sharply drained soil.
Good drainage is crucial because the roots of Mediterranean natives are likely to rot in moist soil. If your garden soil is heavy, grow these herbs in raised beds or planters.
One of the best places to put your herb garden is right inside your kitchen, on the windowsills. You can also put them in your windowsills or by hanging them using a plant hanger of course. If you have a wide backyard connecting in your kitchen, then you can also invest for a lean to greenhouse. A close by herd garden will make it easier for you to water, prune and tend your herbs as needed. You can also visit: Herb Garden Ideas For Apartments
(Preparing all the Materials needed to start your herb garden)
To be able to make your new kitchen herb garden possible, of course you will be needing supplies. And by supplies, means you will need all the garden tools you can possibly have.
Starting with your garden accessories: from plant hangers, to plant shelves and garden steel bench. Of course don’t forget to buy a variety of herb seeds (How can you plant herbs if you don’t have the seedlings… Right?), soil or soilless potting mix, pots and containers with drainage holes, fertilizers, and watering cans.
Purchase some of your favorite small herb plants or seed packets.
Starting from seed is a less expensive alternative, but will require more attention from you and it will be several months before you can start using them.
Seeds won’t require a large pot, and you can start them in any small container and move them into their final pot, when they are 2 - 4 inches tall. If you want to start with plants, use a container that is at least 6-12 inches deep.
In this way you can plant multiple herbs in a wide or long container or use at least a 6 inch pot for individual plants.
Always make sure that the pots and containers used have a lot of drainage holes and also make sure to have a saucer under them, to avoid ruining your windowsill, plant shelves or furniture. (You can check plant shelves here at gardensonata.com.au).
(Choosing what kinds of herb are suitable for indoor garden)
Herbs are one of the most rewarding container crops. And most of them are also easy to grow.
Still, there are a few things to bear in mind if you want to make sure your potted herbs reach their bushy, lush best.
Try your hand at herbs by growing a few of these fuss-free gems in your garden. Their outstanding flavors are only surpassed by their easy-grows-it personalities.
They’re the perfect choice for gardeners who are new to gardening or growing herbs.
The following Herbs are easy to grow and of course, they are also low maintenance. More ideas can be found here: Indoor Herb Garden Ideas.
Choose curly or flat-leaf, but do give one a place in your kitchen garden.
More than just a garnish, parsley adds bright color and flavor to soups, salads and fresh sauces.
Parsley is a biennial herbaceous plant, although it can also be grown annually,it can easily be propagated from seeds.
Just place it in a sunny or shady (it doesn’t matter), parsley is not picky about soil type too.
However, choose soil that is not too compact. It is one of the most easy to grow herbs for containers.
It’s used in pesto, stuffing, chicken, fish and vegetable dishes.
Harvest individual leaves by pinching stems off near the base.
Grow in a deep pot with rich, organic potting soil and provide strong light.
Thyme is an evergreen shrub that has been used in medicinal and culinary applications for thousands of years.
In terms of its culinary use, the stems and the leaves are used in various dishes, either in whole or dried form.
An easy to grow and less demanding herb, it adapts to all types of soils and is highly resistant to drought.
You only need to provide it the sun.
Use leaves to season fish, beef or poultry dishes.
Add to chowders, root vegetables, bouillabaisse or gumbo. Use to season marinades, sauces, and also apples or pears.
A critical herb for cuisines around the world, a favorite pairing for tomatoes, and is an easy-growing herb that performs well in garden or pot.
Basil is not a long-term houseplant. Basil must be put in a sunny spot and in a well-drained and moist soil.
You can expect to keep and use it for several weeks, until the stems start to grow woody.
To ensure a steady supply, plant a new batch of seeds every few weeks.
These are one of the easiest herbs to grow indoors, as they do not require much light and are prolific in their production.
Chives are hardy perennials that are attractive, tasty, and easy to grow.
These rugged herbs grow in lush grass like clumps that rise from a cluster of small bulbs.
The snipped leaves add a pleasing touch to soups, salads, and vegetable dishes, providing both color and a mild onion or garlic flavor.
In spring and summer, chives boast globelike flowers that are popular as edible garnishes.
The main herb in pizza and spaghetti sauce brings good looks to gardens, too.
Varieties vary in flavor; Greek oregano is one of the most intense.
Oregano bears white or mauve flowers in late summer.
Grow it in well-drained soil in full sun.
However all oregano requires six to eight hours of sunlight per day, so a well-lit window—particularly one with southwestern sun exposure—is best. It also works well in container gardens. Read more at Indoor Herb Garden Kit.
The biggest challenge to the indoor herb gardener is light. Lighting is critically important to all plants, but herbs seem to be especially sensitive to the right light conditions.
If you can just manage to give your herbs effective lighting, you’re 75% of the way to having a great indoor garden. Check out Indoor Herb Garden diy for more tips.
The more sunlight you can provide to your indoor herb garden, the better they will grow.
Did you know that the intensity of the light contributes to the flavor of your herbs
Herbs which are grown from strong bright sunshine will most definitely have the best flavor.
A south or southwest window would be perfect if it gets at least 6 hours of sun per day and is away from drafts.
If you don’t have a reliably sunny kitchen window, you will need to provide some type of plant lighting. Lack of enough sunshine will leave you with spindly, stressed plants, with little flavor.
When you have a lot of space in the back of your kitchen, having a lean-to greenhouse is very wise.
Put it right next to your kitchen adjoining them both to make your kitchen and the lean-to greenhouse one.
In this way, it will be easier for you to take care of your herbs and at the same time, they’ll receive the right amount of sunlight needed.
Lean-to greenhouse is a type of greenhouse that is built against the side of another structure (Such as the back of your kitchen.).
Therefore, it has only one sloping roof and shares a wall with another building with a different intended use.
Lean-to greenhouses can also be considered sun rooms when they are built against a residential property, and can be used for both edible crops and ornamentals.
(Watering your Herbs)
Sparingly water your herb plants. Herbs don’t like to sit in too wet soil. Make sure to drain the saucers, when a lot of excess water accumulates, and test to see if the containers need water by poking your finger into the soil. If it feels dry an inch or two below the surface, it’s time to water. If not, let them be. Although outdoor plants tend to need more water in the summer, indoor plants can dry out quickly when the heat is on in the winter.The right water regime is crucial for plants to thrive.
Water is an area where one size does not fit all. You have to experiment for a couple of weeks to see what watering schedule each of your plants need.
After a few tests, you’ll have a good idea of how often you need to water your herbs, for the time being, just be careful to keep up your detective work as the seasons change.
Once you turn on the heat in winter or the air-conditioning in summer, start opening windows, or move your plant, chances are its watering needs will also change.
(Giving your herbs fertilizers and using good potting soil)
Just like us humans, our plant herbs also need nutrients in their soil and occasionally through the addition of fertilizer.
The best type of fertilizer to use for herbs is either seaweed extract or fish emulsion.They are usually less prone to needing frequent feedings, but they will still need a quality potting mix and some fertilizer incorporated into their water occasionally.
If you are seeing a lot of wispy, delicate growth, lessen the amount or frequency of fertilizer.
If your herbs look like they are struggling, give them a bit more of it.
You will need to adjust your fertilizer schedule with the seasons, and in general, they will grow slower in winter than in summer and will need less food then.
If you are over wintering outdoor potted herbs inside, be sure to check them for pests before you relocate them.
You should also stop fertilizing them as frequently as they will be experiencing some shock from the move and won’t need as much nourishment over the winter anyway.
Herbs have more concentrated flavor if they are grown without a lot of fertilizer.
(Harvesting of Herbs from your Indoor Garden)
Although larger leaves are the most tempting to eat as it may seems they’re the oldest ones, they’re also the plant’s solar panels.
If you only prune off mature leaves your plant will have a difficult time growing.
Make sure you mix it up by cutting off a mix of mature and brand new leaves (and never cut off all the leaves at once).
As a general rule, herbs that are grown for their leaves should be harvested before their flowers bloom. After blooming, most herbs tend to lose their flavor and most likely become bitter.
You also want to pick the leaves when they are tender and contain the highest amount of oil, which supplies taste and fragrance.
For most herbs, the best time to pick is early in the morning just as the dew evaporates, but before the heat of the day.
Do not wash the leaves or aromatic oils will be lost.
Harvesting early in the morning and frequently encourage plants to produce new growth. It’s okay to prune a perennial to about half its height.
You can cut back an annual even more — to just a few inches. Many culinary herbs (Such as chives, basil, mint, parsley, and oregano) grow back quickly and benefit from the constant pruning.
Growing Herbs are very easy right? So why not start your own? And if you already have one back in your house, then you might want to consider those tips mentioned above. They are really helpful and it can be handy at times of need. So good luck! And Happy Planting. You can also check: Small Space Vegetable Gardening.