Spring DIY: Indoor Herb Gardening
Have you ever wanted your very own herb garden? Well, now that Spring is approaching, it might be a good time to get one started. Here are a few tips to get you growing:
LIGHTING: Before you even begin, you’ll want to choose a nice sunny location for your herbs new home. The area should be able to receive between 6-8 hours of light. A good East or West facing window is ideal. If the area that you live in is mostly cloudy, rainy, or you don’t have a window with good lighting. Its time to invest in a clamp light with a grow bulb or grow lights suited for indoor plants. I can’t stress how important it is to make sure to have sufficient lighting for our herbal friends. You don’t want our friends to become the living dead!! QUARANTINE!!!
CONTAINER: Next, decide on the containers we want to put them in. I would recommend a terra cotta pot because of the excellent air flow it provides to the root system of plants. Just make sure that the matching saucer you choose is glazed over on the inside so the water doesn’t seep out onto any surfaces you place it on. However, any pot from recycled cans, plastic pots, milk jugs, etc., can make a great container as long as there are sufficient drainage holes. DO NOT LET YOUR HERBS SIT IN WATER. You will assassinate them!! In fact, I even recommend putting gravel or pebbles in the saucer that you place your container on to help with air flow and drainage.
PLANTS: Now, lets go adopt our new friends! I would recommend starting with a grown plant rather than from seed. It will help speed up growing times by months and your more than likely starting off with a very healthy plant. Just make sure that when you adopt your new friends, they have healthy green foliage and are free from pests. You don’t want to invite aliens back to your home to multiply! Choose plants that you will want to use in your everyday life and even cooking. Not sure what to choose, don’t worry, at the end of this article, I will provide a list from easy to hard based on my own experience at growing.
WATERING: Here is a step I notice a lot of people will skip over or don’t really place any emphasize on. Well, don’t drown your new friends!! Overwatering is a sure way to re-enact the titanic! DON’T DO IT! The best way to tell if they are thirsty is to stick the tip of your finger into the soil and if it feels dry…water it. If you just hate getting your hands dirty, I would invest in a soil water meter from your local garden center or online store. A warning sign is if your friends foliage turns a puke yellow, they are getting too much water. If their foliage turns limp as a noodle, they are stressed and not getting enough water. However, you never want to reach to any of those stages where it takes plant therapy to make them happy again!
SOIL: Okay! Lets put some new clothes on our new friends! When choosing soil, make sure to choose potting soil and not top soil or soil from the outside yard. Soil from outside can contain pests and may not be in good condition, not to mention, it is really thick so it can suffocate or strangle our new friends and you don’t want that. Geez! We just adopted them for goodness sake! If you are unsure about the soil, don’t chance it and just invest in buying soil specifically geared toward herb growing from your local garden center.
FOOD: Lastly, I want to go over fertilizer. Make sure to provide food for your friends. If not, you will end up with friends that are nothing but skin and bones!! Being in a pot, your herbs will consume a lot of the nutrients in the soil and some of it will wash out between water sessions. I recommend using an organic fertilizer at least once a month. When you choose a fertilizer, make sure to choose one that promotes foliage growth and NOT bloom growth. If you can get your hands on fish emulsion or compost tea, all the better. Who knows, they may have allergies to some things, so the more natural and organic your fertilizer is…the happier your herbs will be.
~List of Herbs~
Easy: Basil, Mints, Bay, Dill, Rosemary, Thyme, Green Onion
Medium: Cilantro, Chives, Parsley, Lemon Grass
Hard: Sage, Lavender, Tarragon, Stevia