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Published on April 20th, 2013 | by Rutherford Gbone

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How to Make an Indoor Herb Garden

Don’t you just love using fresh herbs when cooking your favorite pasta or other dishes? The best way to healthy cooking—you take away sodium and other preservatives, but keep the taste by adding natural flavors and aroma with herbs and spices. However, fresh herbs don’t last long when they don’t get used in time. So the best way to always have fresh herbs right at your fingertips is to learn how to make an indoor herb garden.  That’s right, just grow them indoors.

Having a stock of growing herbs doesn’t have to mean digging around in the garden. In fact, it doesn’t have to even mean having a garden to dig around in. Even if you have little experience with plants or very little space to work with, an herb garden is the perfect way to bring a bit of nature into your home, no green thumb required! And growing your own herbs is much more convenient—and affordable—than buying them at the local grocery store.

Featured image by: Lizard10979

If this is your first time to grow an indoor garden, you might want to take note of the following factors indicated below:

Smart tips to keep indoor herb gardens healthy and productive:


Light: Keep herbs healthy by providing 14 to 16 hours of artificial light, or 6 hours of natural light a day.
Temperature: Keep indoor garden temperatures fairly constant, between 60 and 70 degrees is optimal.
Air Circulation: Herbs need to have proper airflow to keep bacteria and pests at bay. Be sure to keep the air moving in the room that contains your indoor herb garden.
Soil: Indoor gardening soil has to be light and have exceptional drainage. Buy potting soil specifically, or make your own using 1 part bagged potting soil, 1 part sand and 1 part peat moss.
Fertilizer: Indoor herbs require a different fertilization schedule than those grown in an outdoor environment.
Water: Indoor herb gardens require careful attention to watering; no matter if your herb likes extra moisture or drier conditions, a plant sitting in water is never good.
Pests: To prevent pests from ruining your indoor garden, keep a close eye on your plants and use a soapy spray at the first sign of infestation. Handpick any pests that you see and provide sticky traps to control the rest.

Watch: How to Grow an Herb Garden Indoors:

 

After knowing the how-to’s in starting your own indoor herb garden, it’s time to choose the best herbs to grow in it:

Basil: Start basil from seeds and place the pots in a south-facing window—it likes lots of sun and warmth.
Bay: A perennial that grows well in containers all year long. Place the pot in an east, or west, facing window, but be sure it does not get crowded—bay needs air circulation to remain healthy.
Chervil: Start chervil seeds in late summer. It grows well in low light but needs 65 to 70 degrees F temperatures to thrive.
Chives: Dig up a clump from your garden at the end of the growing season and pot it up. Leave the pot outside until the leaves die back. In early winter, move the pot to your coolest indoor spot (such as a basement) for a few days, then finally to your brightest window.
Oregano: Your best bet is to start with a tip cutting from an outdoor plant. Place the pot in a south-facing window.
Parsley: You can start this herb from seeds or dig up a clump from your garden at the end of the season. Parsley likes full sun, but will grow slowly in an east, or west, facing window.
Rosemary: Start with a cutting of rosemary, and keep it in moist soiless mix until it roots. It grows best in a south-facing window.
Sage: Take a tip cutting from an outdoor plant to start an indoor sage. It tolerates dry, indoor air well, but it needs the strong sun it will get in a south-facing window.
Tarragon: A dormant period in late fall or early winter is essential for tarragon to grow indoors. Pot up a mature plant from your outdoor garden and leave it outside until the leaves die back. Bring it to your coolest indoor spot for a few days, then place it in a south-facing window for as much sun as possible. Feed well with an organic liquid fertilizer.
Thyme: You can start thyme indoors either by rooting a soft tip cutting or by digging up and potting an outdoor plant. Thyme likes full sun but will grow in an east, or west, facing window.

Okay, so you got your indoor garden going and you’ve got the best herbs to grow. Let’s move to a different view when it comes to indoor gardening. I think you should also consider organizing your plants in an artistic way. Label them so you won’t get confused, it’s up to you. Take a look at the pictures on this page as examples.

Simple Bites: How to Grow Your Own Indoor Culinary Herb Garden

This post is a good example of a how-to in putting up an indoor herb garden. The author clearly demonstrated and enumerated her insight and tips in layman’s terms, which people easily grasps and understands. What caught my attention was the way she introduced the topic, which eventually lead me to read the post down to its comments. She intelligently inserted funny descriptions to the topic (e.g: the plants are “sun worshippers”). On the other hand, the images used for this post were not eye-catching, more specifically the first one. The second one was so-so. She could have used other images which are more colorful and has more plants captured. But I understand where she’s coming from, she doesn’t want the color of the images to overpower or dominate the theme of the site.

Instructables: Mini Indoor Herb Garden

Hands down and two thumbs up for this post! I will describe it as a “post of few words”, I got the idea from an old cliché (*wink*). The images used say it all! Let’s admit it; we are all visual learners in general and would prefer to look at pictures or images for easy understanding. I’d rather go to the next page, or maybe sleep, rather than to read an article word for word to the bottom. Well, this site will definitely get you to finish the article, look for other topics to read on, and even bookmark it for future research. What I love about this post is the way it demonstrated the do-it-yourself instructions for making an indoor herb garden: one-by-one and step-by-step, including all the materials to be used. An all-in-one package, indeed: it will teach you, not just the how-to’s of starting an indoor herb garden, but also the creative ways to give your garden an aesthetic appeal to the surrounding.

WikiHow: How to Grow an Herb Garden Indoors Year Round

This post is a perfect example of using both words and images to illustrate a how-to of making an indoor herb garden. The authors clearly enumerated the do-it-yourself instructions in a manner which can be easily understand by people, and indicated the materials to be used through the images. They, however, used technical terms and specific brand names (read numbers 3, 5 and 6). Based on my perspective, using these kind of terms might slightly, if not actually, discourage the readers to make their own indoor herb garden. Because they might think that the mentioned brand names are the exact brands that they need to have to be able to succeed on their project. The authors could have used “generic” terms or suggested other brands which are widely available all over the world.

Enjoy!

How to Make an Indoor Herb Garden
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About the Author

Ever wondered how life might be different if you got to rock a psuedonym? Rutherford Gnarlybone is not Rutherford Gnarlybone yet is however a husband, father and chronically curious regular guy residing in the south of France.



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