Growing herbs indoors brings needed greenery to a dull, lifeless kitchen. It aids in cooking, cuts down on grocery costs, and keeps your home feeling a little brighter. Growing herbs enhances your cooking, and your family and friends will thank you for that. Plus growing your own herbs will save your hundreds of dollars monthly (at the very least).
Can I really do this?
The misconception is that you have to have large amounts of land or at least a large backyard to have a functional herb garden. This is of course, untrue. If you live in the third story apartment of an old warehouse, you can still have an herb garden. People are ingenious by nature and are consistently creating things. Gardens have been created on rooftops in New York City, so they can easily be created in your home.
What Plants to Choose
When you have already committed to having an indoor garden you need to evaluate your space. An indoor garden should receive light from south facing windows. The windows cannot have anything in them that will diminish the light to your little seedlings. Windows that face north or are obstructed by buildings, will hamper the growth. So, if that is all you have you should choose plants that do not require much sunlight. Some gardeners have a grow light, which allows them to buy plants that require sunlight. Also, plants grow well in warmer conditions, so take a survey of heat sources in your home. A chilly window at night is not conducive to you plant and an extremely warm area can kill them.
When planning your indoor garden, keep in mind the amount of care it needs. If you are away from home most of the time, then you would have to have someone water them. If you cannot find someone to help, then you should consider plants that do not require much water, or maintenance. Animals, especially curious cats can interfere with your indoor garden. Ensure, that you have it placed in such a way that the cats will not be tempted to chew on the fresh seedlings. Cats love to eat catnip plants, and grass to name a few. So, always consider the types of plants you will have in your new garden.
Herbs love the sun, so ensuring that they have access to adequate sunlight will determine the success of your crop. The majority of herbs are from the mediterrian, so they require warmer climates. This means sun, sun, sun. A window must have at least four hours or more of sunlight in order to secure a succesful indoor garden. When you have selected an herb then you definately consider light. Perhaps, purchasing a heat lamp would be beneficial, if you only have north facing windows. The light that comes through your window can be bright, perhaps brighter on a winter day. but, it’s impotent, less strong and will affect your plants growth period. Special lights like a grow light, can work on ensuring that your plant will be protected and healthy.
Plants have two leave types that can be detectors, as to how much sunlight they are getting. For instance, leaves that receive strong light will be thick and strong. Other leaves that are receiving low light will be thin, delicate and wider than healthier leaves. The stronger leaves are actually less able to photosythesize, because of their density. The low light leaves are thinner and are able to convert light energy into food, much easier. The high light leaves are used to having a large amount of light. Thus, they do not need to produce as much food from sunlight. The leaves are accustomed to light, so they are thicker. The plant that has a lot of light, has leaves that turn brown, wither and drop off. They cannot produce enough food to maintain their lifespan. The plant attempt to make food from sunlight, and so it sheds extra leaves. The leaves that the plant does not need drop off. When herbs are brought inside, the plants can then reproduce easier with artifical sunlight.
Rosemary, is a slow growing plant, it is also a evergreen that does not have the chance to adjust easily to light changes. The plants in January, February, and/or March, will die and starve because of the changes in seasonal light. The leave dry up in the winter months and the plants die. The death is the most common occurence with gardeners who grow this herb. The best thing to do, is to plant the herb in a lower light. This is done in increments and gradually so the plant has time to adjust to the changes. Then, after two or three weeks, the plant should be well adjusted.
The myth about herbs is that they grow in poorly nutrient filled soil. This is a myth, the plants that are grown in good soil, produce more efficiently. There are many products on the market that allow the herbs to be grown at a healthy rate. Consider, investing in fish emulsion, horse manure, and liquid fertilizers. These should be fed to the plant once a week, and only when the plants are growing, not during a dormant period.
Water and herbs, go hand in hand, so make sure to water them. Water for herbs should only be administerd when the soil is dry. Also, it should be given in a quantity so as to adequately satiate the herb, but not drown it. When soil is dry you will be able to tell by touching it. The water should be added to the plant until it pops out of the drainage holes. If the water does not come out, make sure that there are no blockages. The plant may have outgrown the container, or the soil may not be good quality. These are two reasons that could cause blockage.
“How to Grow Herbs Indoors” Conrad Richter. http://www.garden.org/foodguide
Herb Garden Indoors: http://www.naturalnews.com