Fresh herbs turn good dishes into great dishes. But what about us city dwellers who don’t have a back garden for growing mint, thyme, basil and rosemary?
The answer is simple: a windowsill herb garden right in your own kitchen. Growing herbs at home is easy, and it doesn’t require much space at all. Here’s how to do it in just five steps…
1. Pick your plants – The selection of herbs you choose for your indoor garden is completely up to you. Think about the flavours you tend to cook with. If you love to eat Italian dishes, go for oregano, basil and thyme. Or, if you’re a fan of cuisine from the subcontinent, you’ll get a lot of use out of mint, coriander and tarragon. Each herb has its own set of ideal growing conditions, but almost all of them can grow healthily indoors.
2. Buy pots, soil and seeds – That’s everything you need to set up your indoor herb garden. Go for a light soil that accounts for proper drainage. Note: the best soil for indoor herbs is often called “potting mix” and not referred to as “soil” at all. As for the seeds, most herbs are easy to grow from seeds, but to get a head start, you can also buy young plants and transfer them to your pots.
3. Choose your sunniest window – One of the biggest hurdles of an indoor herb garden is making sure you get enough light on the plants to keep them growing strong. However, if you place the plants on the sill of a window that gets regular sunshine, they’ll grow absolutely fine. If the windowsill isn’t wide enough, take a look at these clever hanging herb caddies.
4. Water regularly – Different herbs have different levels of thirst, so do your research and make sure they get the water they need. As a general rule of thumb, watering your herbs thoroughly and less frequently is better than watering them lightly and often. Before you reach for the watering can, test the soil with your finger first. The herbs should only need water if the soil feels dry to the touch. For indoor herb gardens, this tends to be about once a week.
5. Watch out for pests – Keep an eye out for creepy crawlies around your pots. Indoor herb gardens are known for attracting pests like whiteflies, aphids and spider mites. Your instinct may be to toss the plants in the bin at the first bug sighting, but try an insecticidal soap instead. Spraying your herbs with the soap regularly will help put an end to most pest problems and prevent new critters from calling your herb garden home in future.
There you have it! Delicious herbs at an arm’s reach in five easy steps.
What herbs would you like to grow at home?