If you don’t have a garden or a backyard but would love to have a bit of green inside your house, a herb garden can be just the right thing for you. Not only do you get to garden to your heart’s content, you won’t have to rely on expensive store-bought herbs to flavor your meals. And if you couple your herb garden with a bit of artificial turf , you’ll have a green cover without having to bother too much about gardening!
While growing and maintaining a herb garden isn’t easy, with the right know-how, your herbs will certainly do fine. Here are some tips to help you go about setting and maintaining an indoor herb garden.
Consider Light Availability
Before you list down the herbs you’d like to plant in your indoor garden, consider how much natural sunlight your house receives. All herbs have different light requirements but in general, you should have a balcony or windowsill that receives at least 4 hours of sunlight each day.
Furthermore, east-facing windows will do your herbs a lot of good. Sunlight from the west and south-facing windows will work too, but herbs placed near north-facing windows won’t get enough light to stay healthy. Remember to rotate pots placed in balconies and on windowsills regularly so that the herbs receive proper sunshine.
If your house doesn’t receive adequate sunlight, you’ll have to invest in grow lights. They aren’t as expensive as they used to be and you get to choose from various options- standard or high output tubes, bulbs, and lamps.
Choose the Right Herbs
A lot of herbs grow well in an indoor environment- you just need to buy the right ones according to your needs and depending on how well you’ll be able to take care of them. A few herbs that you can pick from are:
Apart from picking the right herbs, you’ll also need to choose the plants carefully. A healthy plant that is free of diseases and pests is sure to grow better. Do take a look at the roots by knocking the plant out of the pot before buying it- if the roots are white and firm, you’ve got a good plant!
Avoid growing herbs from seeds as it can take up too much of your time and energy. Also, you’re more likely to succeed by growing established plants than seeds.
Pick the Perfect Pots and Soil
Herb roots can rot and cause the plant to die so always select pots or containers with drainage holes. A container that is 6 inches or larger will be great for herbs of all kinds.
Avoid using garden soil for herbs as it can compact when watered and smother the roots. A premium fast-draining potting mix with light-weight ingredients will help your herbs grow well.
When it comes to water, one size doesn’t fit all. As such, you’ll have to identify what water regime works best for all your herbs. Moreover, water needs will change through the seasons so be vigilant at all times.
If you find the leaves of your herbs turning yellow, chances are that you’re overwatering them. A good way to identify if your herbs need water is trying the finger test. Just stick your finger knuckle-deep in the soil near the rim of the plant pot and then pull it out. If your finger is dry, the herb needs to be watered, if your finger is moist, wait for a day or two to test again.
Maintain the Temperature
Herbs grow best within a temperature range of 50-75°F with a 10-degree drop at night. Extreme cold and heat can stress your herbs and make them susceptible to diseases. So be sure to keep your herbs comfortable through the day and night!
If you place herbs in the balcony or on windowsills, ensure that the area doesn’t get too hot during the day and too cold during the night. Place pots away from windows such that the leaves don’t touch the panes.
Plants need a little bit of humidity to grow well so place your herb pots in a dish filled with water. Grouping herbs together can also improve humidity.
Be wary of low humidity in winters- turning heaters on can reduce the humidity levels dramatically. Low humidity can also attract insect pests.
Remember to use restraint when harvesting herbs as plants need their leaves to sustain their own growth. While it may be tempting to snip away the larger leaves, doing so can make it difficult for the herb to grow.
Prune a mix of small and large leaves so that you’re not stressing out your herbs.
Growing an indoor herb garden might not be one of the easiest things to do, but now that you’ve read these tips, there’s no reason you shouldn’t have a bit of green inside your house!
So don’t wait anymore; get started with planning your indoor herb garden right away!