Growing Herbs Indoors

You don’t need to be the most experienced gardener for growing herbs indoors. If you don’t have a lot of space outside or weather conditions prevent outdoor growing why not grow your tasty herbs indoors! They require minimal maintenance, and will provide you with fragrant tasty herbs all year round.

A window sill with Northern exposure (southern hemisphere) is often all you need to grow herbs indoors. Most herbs require at least 6 hours of direct sunlight or you could use a grow light.

Herbs like mint, parsley and rosemary can handle a little less light. With this mind, place the sun lovers in the center of the window sill and those that need less light on the outside edges.

If you use a grow light, be sure the lights are about 3-5cm (6-9 inches) above the tops of the plants. Your herbs will prefer temperatures between 12-22 degrees (55-70 degrees F).

It’s important that your potted herbs have proper drainage. A good soil mix is 1 part good quality potting soil, 1 part sand and 1 part humus.

The soil can become compacted by the end of winter when growing in containers, so rake the surface with a fork to loosen it up or repot the herbs each spring.

During the winter, plant growth slows so they don't require as much water. In summer months you will have to watch the moisture content of the soil. The rule of thumb is to only water when the soil surface is dry.

Herbs such as bay, thyme, oregano and sage should dry out completely between watering while mint, rosemary and scented geranium prefer a little more moisture.

Unlike herbs that grow in the garden, potted herbs need regular feedings. Fertilize with a fish emulsion at half strength about once a month. Every 2-3 months apply a slow release granule fertilizer like Osmocote to your plants.

Pests are usually much easier to contain indoors. If you have a problem with pests, I recommend you use an insecticidal soap or a natural pyrthemium spray. Completely cover the tops and undersides of leaves. Insecticidal soap is effective and safe, this is something to keep in mind if you're planning on using these to spice up some of your favorite recipes.

So why not try growing herbs indoors, enabling you to add flavor and valuable vitamins to your meals all throughout the year. Learn More about growing herbs in the garden and how to plant from seeds or use division or layering as a means of propagation.

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