Growing Herbs Indoors
Growing indoors makes it easy to snip fresh herbs to flavor meals whenever you need them. Fresh herbs invigorate every meal and make everything taste good.
Probably the most difficult thing is deciding which herbs to grow, so think about the meals you cook and the herbs you find yourself reaching for time and again. Also consider the herbs you would use more in cooking if you had them easily on hand.
STEP 1 - ENVIRONMENT
Most herbs need at least 6 hours of sunlight such as a south facing window. If you only have east or west windows, herbs can still thrive but will grow slower. Winter sun is not as strong or long so you could supplement their environment with a florescent light. Try to keep temperatures between 60-75°F.
Winter night temperatures can be cool and drafty so using plant stands could be a good option. Try growing your herbs in different areas. Summer sun may be too much for some varieties so if your herb plant isn't looking its best, move it to another area and see if it perks up.
STEP 2 - CONTAINERS
Grow your herbs in individual containers as each herb will have unique requirements for sun, temperature, harvesting and moisture. Drainage is important as herbs will not grow in soggy soil, so make sure the pots have holes to drain out the extra water.
Your containers should be at least 6-inches in diameter and 6-inches deep. When growing from seed, you can start out smaller and then increase your pot size as your plants grow. Some herbs such as basil and parsley have very deep roots, so a taller container will let them stretch out a bit. Try to aim for at least 12-inches deep.
STEP 3 - CARE
A good soilless potting mix for your windowsill herb garden is light, fluffy and drains well to promote healthy root growth. Liquid fertilizer is necessary because indoor herbs can't get nutrients from garden soil and rain, so they need a little bit of a boost.
Remember not to overcrowd the plants. It may be tempting to heavily line your windowsills with multiple pots of herbs, but your plants need full access to sunlight and good air circulation around the foliage to keep them healthy.
Herbs can be harvested as needed. Snipping the plants regularly help to encourage new growth and keep the herbs healthy. Limit these harvests to less than one-third of the plant so it keeps growing and producing more foliage.