If you’re lucky enough to have a garden or even a greenhouse or allotment then finding the space to grow your own fruit, veg and herbs isn’t a problem. If like me you’re restricted to a small balcony which gets tormented by wind and rain, then growing your herbs and spices indoors could be the answer. Not only are fresh herbs and spices good for you, but they make your cooking taste amazing too!
Growing an indoor herb garden is easy, meaning you don’t need to be a green fingered wiz to pull it off! Even novice gardeners or those who have never picked up a shovel or some compost in their life can create a herb garden with no hassle at all.
The best place to start is to know which herbs you want to grow. To begin with stick to growing the herbs you use most often in your cooking. This is not to say you can’t expand your herb garden in the future and get a bit more adventurous, but starting small is a great way to learn how to care for your herbs and learn how much of each you consume.
Common Herbs and Spices You May Want To Begin With…
If you tend to cook a lot of Italian food than basil is the perfect herb for you to begin to grow. A member or the mint family, it is a great addition to many pasta sauces and even soups.
Perfect for brewing home-made mint tea, there are two types of mint you could consider growing in your home. Peppermint is the stronger of the two and can even be used to create home remedies whilst spearmint has a much milder taste and smell.
Chives are a member of the onion family and grow like clumps of grass, making them a great aesthetic addition to your kitchen. Great for making home-made potato salad these would certainly be my pick!
If you love Mediterranean food then this strong flavoured, green herb is perfect for you!
A perfect paring with many vegetables and meats; thyme is popular herb choice for many.
Believe it or not chillies are fairly easy to grow in small inside spaces, so if you like to add a touch of heat to your food chillies are a perfect option for beginners.
Great for adding freshness to a dish, parsley comes in numerous varieties giving you lots of options to choose from.
How To Pot Your Herbs And Spices
Now you’ve chosen the herbs and spices you would like to grow, it’s time to pot them. Planting or potting your herbs is a little more complex than just shoving them in the first pot you can find. Stick to the following rules and your herbs will be sprouting in no time:
- Be sure to choose a container that allows ample room for growth
- Make sure your chosen pot has holes in the base to allow water drainage
- Place your chosen pot on a tray to avoid making a mess when excess water drains through
- Fill your pot three quarters full with high quality organic soil
- Ensure your soil is moist (Not wet), add a small amount of water if you need to
- Carefully remove the herbs you have purchased from their containers so as not to damage the roots.
- Place your herbs in your chosen pot and cover the root ball with more soil
Pat the soil down gently and finish off with a light watering
- Mint grows like a weed so be sure to plant it in its own containers or it will quickly overtake any other herbs surrounding it.
- Be sure to leave your potted herbs in an area of your house which gets lots of sunlight. About 6-8 hours a day should be enough. Long stems and no leaves are a sign your herbs are not getting the light they need!
- Maintain your herbs by giving them a regular clip. It they begin to grow flowers you are not clipping them often enough.
- Plant herbs with similar watering requirements together, this will make sure you don’t over or under water your herbs.
- Yellow leaves are one of the first signs of over watering!