Bring Your Garden Indoors

An indoor kitchen herb garden will add interest to your meals and color to your window sills…and help satisfy that urge to garden during the cold, wintry months ahead. Most culinary herbs require at least five hours of sun per day. You can use a sunny window, provided the reflected heat is not too intense. If you don’t have a window with direct sunlight, put your pots of herbs in a spot with plenty of light, then move them into the sun for a few hours whenever possible.

Let’s Get Started! Keep in mind that in order to grow a kitchen garden you will have to provide everything that you need outdoors: light, water, soil, and nutrients.

Step One: Determine how much light your kitchen received throughout the day and choose your plants accordingly. Look at the windows orientation. South facing windows receive the most light, north facing windows receive the least. East and West are somewhat in the middle. Is the light obscured by a tree, or overhang? That will make a difference too.

Step Two: Take a look at the herbs listed below and choose ones that you think might work well with your specific lighting. Choose 2-4 that have the same light requirements. You can choose one container for all of them or pot them separately.

Step Three: Choose your pot. This is a personal decision. No matter what type of pot you choose, make sure that it has proper drainage holes.

Tip: Setting your containers onto trays or saucers filled with gravel or stones allows excess water to drain away from the base.

Tip: In the winter the indoor air can be very dry, especially in the kitchen. You may want to keep ½ inch of water in a pebble tray in order to raise the humidity.

Step Four: Let’s pot! Fill your container with a good quality potting soil. Choosing organic is best. It will be lighter and will drain well.

Step Five: Choose your herbs.

Southern to Full Sun

Choose from: Aloe, Chives, Dill, Lavender, Sweet Marjoram, Oregano, Rosemary, Sage, Savory, Scented Geramiums, Tarragon and Thyme.

Shade tolerant herbs that can be placed away from the window or on the counter include: Chervil, Lemon and Mint.

Eastern or Full/Partial Sun

Choose from: Basil, Bay, Parsley, Rosemary, Scented Geraniums, Tarragon & Thyme.

Western or Full/Partial Sun

Same as Eastern choices

Northern or Low Light

This type of lighting can be more difficult, but not impossible.

Choose from: Bay, Chervil, Lemon Balm, Mint, Lovage  and Parsley

Here are some general rules for all the herbs in you kitchen garden.

•    Water only when the soil begins to feel dry to the touch. Too much water can be worse than too little.
•    Feed your herbs about once a month with an organic fertilizer.
•    If you discover pests such as aphids, remove the plant to another area and spray the foliage with soap and water ( 1 cup water, ¼ teaspoon dish soap) Spray every five days until there are no signs of pests.

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