Herbs

herbsIf you like to cook, then you may really enjoy growing some of your own ingredients. An easy way to get started gardening is with an herb garden. Growing your own herbs will give you very fresh produce and save you money. Plus, there’s just a certain satisfaction watching something you plant grow up into a mature and useful plant. Having your own herb garden can really take your cooking to a whole new level. If you’re a novice gardener or don’t have much of a green thumb, growing an indoor culinary herb garden is an easy place to start. Most herbs are sun worshipers, so all you need to get started is a nice, sunny place in your house for them to call home.


Here are some tips to get you started:

Potting

Choose a container large enough to accommodate growth and make sure it has ample drainage holes. Also make sure to buy a tray for underneath your pot, to collect and drain off excess water.
1. Start with a high quality organic potting soil (we recommend Espoma Organic Potting Mix) and a
2. few of your favorite herbs.
3. Fill the pot with soil about three quarters of the way up.
4. Moisten the soil lightly with water until moist but not wet.
5. Remove the herbs from their containers, loosening the soil at the root base, taking care not to damage the roots
6. Place herbs in the pot and fill with enough potting soil to cover to the top of the roots.
7. Pat the soil down lightly and water well when finished.

Tip: Mint grows like a weed and can easily overtake and crowd out other herbs, so it’s best planted in its own container


Light

Light is the most important element in growing indoor herbs. Find a spot in your house that gets at least 6 to 8 hours of light per day. If you find your herbs are growing long stems but few leaves, then they are probably not getting enough light and are stretching to find it.

Tip: Regularly rotate the orientation of your pots with respect to the source of sunlight so that they don’t lean in one direction


Water

Water each herb according to its individual needs. To test whether your herbs need watering, insert one finger up to the knuckle into the soil to test for dryness. If the soil is dry, water the herbs. Make a habit of testing the soil before you water your herbs to prevent overwatering.
Good drainage is also important; don’t let water accumulate at the bottom of the pot. Water thoroughly, then let drain completely to avoid water logging the roots. Leaves turning yellow are one of the first signs of overwatering.

Tip: Plant herbs with similar watering requirements together. Rosemary, for example, prefer to remain on the dry side while basil needs to be watered frequently.


General Tips

Regular clipping will promote further growth. Even young plants need to be clipped regularly to encourage them to branch out and become fuller, but don’t cut more than a third off.
If your herbs start flowering, they are not being clipped regularly enough. Cut off the blooms and clip back down to one third.