You definitely do not have to be an expert gardener or have a “green thumb” to start an indoor herb garden. Anyone can learn to grow indoors with the steps below or combined with picking from one of the many different kitchen herb garden kits on the markets it is very easy to get started in no time.
No matter why you choose to grow indoor – whether it be the weather outside, the fun of seeing and smelling the beautiful fresh herbs sitting on your window sill – its always a fun project that has many benefits.
Below are some great indoor gardening tips to go by when you start your own garden
The Big Decision
Picking the Herbs you want is the best place to start. There are many types of herbs that you can grow indoors. Some of the most common that get enjoyed in the kitchen and will grow inside are Basil, Cilantro Coriander, Parsley, Thyme, Oregano, Chives and Mint.
All these herbs are easy to grow inside and go with a lot of meals that most people cook.
Just think basil and pizza, cilantro in your salsa, basil, thyme, oregano in your pasta sauce, Chives on your sour cream and baked potato and Mint in your Mojito
After you have made your decision on which herb you will grow (all of these at once or pick 3) you are ready to move to the next topic which is
Soil or Soil-less that is the question?
Soil: This is a fancy way of saying what kind of soil or non soil will you grow the herbs in. The easiest option is to use a potting soil of choice. Miracle grow has a great potting soil – there are also other brand options at your local home and garden store. There are organic soil options. Soil is the quickest to get started with.
Non Soil Options: First for those not familiar with the term “soil-less” – this is what the name states – a growing medium that doesn’t include soil. Plants/Herbs are grown in organic and sometime inorganic materials. Some gardeners prefer to use a soil-less medium as the plants are less prone to soil borne diseases.
Some examples of soil-less medium are Coco coir (made of coconut husks), perlite, vermiculite, peat moss, Sand and there are more as well but this is a good example. Generally its best to make a mixture of them all as each ingredient is good for one thing but not the other.
Perlite is good for drainage but not retaining moisture and peat moss on the other hand is the opposite
What will you grow your indoor herbs in?
Next you have to decide on the Container:
You have many options to grow your indoor herb garden in.
You can purchase a window sill herb garden kit like the picture to the right. Where all the ingredients are included, Jars, Pine Holder, Seeds, Growstones and Soil. All you have to do is put the ingredients together and just add water. A benefit to a kit like this one is that you can use it over and over (just add new soil).
You may already have a planter you have in mind that you like that is the right size and will work for your herbs indoors. (Just make sure that if its indoors it has a plastic liner or its sealed in someway – you don’t want to put it all together and then go to water it and forget this step and get water all over the place 🙂 )
Or you can use a mason jar or another type of unique jar: No matter what jar or container you start with you will want to consider the drainage. Since its an inside garden you will want the overflow water to be contained one way or another. You can have a liner inside the planter (looks better) or underneath the planter if it is porous like wood.
If you are using a jar, can or plastic container that is not porous you will want to make sure that there is internal drainage (This sounds more difficult than it actually is. Just make sure there are rocks or pebbles underneath the dirt to provide a barrier between your soil and bottom of jar)
You don’t want to have the water just sit at the bottom of the jar – this will eventually grow mold and the roots will get down and can get a dry rot.
We recommend putting gravel, or small lava rocks at the bottom and then put the soil in on top. Water will seep down to the rocks- and then get absorbed up into the soil as it dries out.
Now that you have the Herbs, the container and the soil (or maybe no-soil) picked you will be ready to put the herb kit in the best location for it to flourish.
Without Water you Won’t Get very Far
Watering your herbs is one of the most important details to get them growing and to keep them growing.
You want to keep the soil moist but not soaked and not dry. Some good advice when watering is to water with a little at a time – let the water seep through the soil. If you are using a jar you will be able to see down the sides – for jars don’t let the water get above the bottom drainage rock area.
The best test after the initial watering is to test with your fingers – if it feels moist leave it. If it feels dry add some water.
Only add a little at a time and let it soak in.
Tip – If after the herbs are past the seedling stage and a little more mature in the growing phase and you see the leaves are kind of sagging or droopy – this usually means they need more water. Once you add some if they are not too far gone they should perk right back up.
Where to Put the Indoor Herb Garden
Last but not least – it is recommended for best growth that the indoor herb gardens be placed in a southwest facing window. This is where they will get the best sunlight.
If your kitchen window sill faces this direction you are in luck. If not – not to worry you can always move them to a southwest window during the sunny hours and move them back later.
Or if you don’t have a window that faces that direction, get it as close to that direction as possible.
I have tried in multiple locations around my house – facing north (where my kitchen window is) and East and found it’s not essential to have them southwest and you will still get good growing indoor herbs as long as it gets the light from a window.
For a quick recap aka the Cliffs notes version
You will want to pick your favorite herbs within the list of top indoor growers, find a good container to grow them in – make sure the container is sealed in one way or another. Pick a soil or an alternative growing material which ever you prefer (try both and compare if you want). Monitor their water and make sure they get some light from the window. And you will soon have some culinary herbs to impress your family and guest in your next meal!
Hopefully this gives you some great tips to getting started with your next indoor herb garden.
Some of the kits shown in the images are made and sold by the family owned business BackyardCedars.com all our kits are put together by hand with high quality in mind.