People who love to cook and use different aromatics and flavors from herbs in their cooking and who also do not have much space in their homes are ideal candidates to start growing herbs indoors. Herbs in general are low maintenance plants. The important thing is to prepare all the pre-planting requirements when growing herbs indoors.
The first important requirement when growing herbs indoors is a place where they will potentially get the required amount of sunlight. Sunlight is important for herbs in general, between 6 hours to 8 hours are the optimal amount of sun exposure for herbs. The proper amount of sunlight will ensure that the herbs are able to produce the oil that gives its flavor and aroma. A window that faces the sun is the best spot for growing herbs indoors. In case that sunlight exposure is not enough, herbs may also be exposed to fluorescent lighting. Herbs should be placed around 18 inches from the fluorescent light source.
Proper soil and appropriate drainage should be observed as well when growing herbs indoor. Regarding soil, it is important the soil is able to hold moisture. Herbs do not require a wet or damp soil since this may lead to rotting of their roots. This is where proper drainage comes into play. It would be good to line the bottom of containers with small rocks or wood chips before placing the soil to aid in airing the soil and releasing excess water. Ideally, herbs should be watered once a week. As long as the soil is moist, then the herbs are okay. Some would suggest that when growing herbs indoors, a soilless potting mix is better since this would ensure that the herbs do not get soil-born diseases.
Choose the ideal herbs for growing indoors. Rosemary is a good choice for growing herbs indoors. It is hardy and needs very little maintenance once it becomes stable. It actually prefers dry soil so it requires little watering. It can be used fresh or dried especially for flavoring meats. Thyme is another common herb that is used for cooking. It is also low maintenance and ideal for an indoor herb garden. It requires little watering, just like the rosemary. Basil is another good herb to grow indoors. Unlike the rosemary and thyme, basil prefers moisture and requires plenty of water. They should be regularly harvested to keep them lush.
Growing herbs indoors ensures a steady supply of herbs the whole year round, even during the cold months. However, it is important to harvest the leaves of the herbs or at least trim the plant from time to time to help the herbs grow abundantly. If the herbs can’t be used immediately upon harvesting or trimming, then they may be dried and used on a later date. Most herbs keep their flavors and aroma well even after the drying process.
Originally posted 2009-07-12 10:43:04.