8 Crazy Easy Tips and Tricks for Herb Gardening Indoors for Beginners
Looking to start an herb garden in your kitchen?
You’ve come to the right place. Doing your research up front will save you tons of time and eliminate the headache of having to start over because of growing mistakes.
Gardening is truly a fun hobby, but it can also be a wonderful way to save time and money on obtaining the most flavorful ingredients in your weeknight meals.
Here are the best indoor gardening hacks around:
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8 Tips and Tricks for Herb Gardening Indoors for Beginners:
- Proper Sunlight
Many herbs need approximately six to eight hours of sunlight each day. You will definitely want to find the sunniest location in your home (likely near your kitchen windows) that can provide your indoor herb garden with this amount of sunlight.
If you are having trouble finding a sunny enough spot in your home, you may want to invest in an indoor herb garden light for your herbs. You may not have known this, but proper sun exposure can have a big impact on the flavor of your herbs- the more, the better!
- Ideal Temperature
Herbs ideally need a temperature of anywhere between 65 to 75 degrees Fahrenheit to flourish, so you will have to be mindful of your thermostat. Herbs basically like the house at the same temperatures we find comfortable- just a good rule of thumb to help you remember.
Most herbs need to be watered daily, as they need their soil to remain damp. When gardening indoors, we have to remind ourselves that our plants do not receive the benefit of rain like outdoor plants; however, please be sure that your containers have proper drainage or you will end up with the opposite problem of watering too much. You definitely do not want to end up dealing with fungus on your herbs.
Just keep some form of schedule (preferably even written) to be sure you are maintaining the appropriate water levels for each herb you’re growing.
- Plant Herbs in Individual Containers
In order to ensure that your herbs will thrive, it is always best to plant them separately. Some herbs tend to “hog” all of the water and nutrients and basically take over (we’re looking at you, mint), so keeping your herbs separate will ensure that each herb is receiving the proper care and hydration it needs.
The single most important factor in choosing the right containers for your indoor kitchen herb garden is drainage. Sure, you want them to be cute and mesh well with your existing decor, but keep in mind that without proper drainage, your herb garden will never grow.
If you happen to fall in love with specific pots or containers that do not have any holes on the bottom, feel free to use a drill to create your own. Sometimes, even adding a small layer of pebbles on the bottom of your containers (underneath the potting mix) can make a huge difference in allowing the water to seep and drain through. Whatever you do, just be sure that the water has a way to drain.
One way to fight against mold and promote healthy growth is to reposition and rotate your herbs regularly (move them slightly every few days or even once a week). This way each plant will receive proper sun exposure. My herbs always do best when I rotate them slightly almost every day.
Also air circulation can be a factor- whether this means you moving your plants regularly, keeping a fan nearby, or even keeping small pebbles between the pot and the saucer it rests on to get a little more air. Just be sure that there is proper air circulation wherever you keep your herbs.
- Proper Soil
This may come as news to you, as it did to me when I first started growing herbs indoors, but you will need to use a potting mix that is specifically designed for indoor gardening. Herbs grown indoors have specific water needs (see above), so it is important to use soil that allows for proper drainage, as well as nutrition. Check the label on the potting mix before you buy!
- Feed with Fertilizer
While fertilization is not necessary with herbs, it can be helpful in promoting healthy and quick growth. Be certain to use an organic fertilizer for your indoor herb gardening.
Good Housekeeping has a quick and helpful guide to a few common herbs that are perfect for a year-round indoor kitchen herb garden.
Get excited! You are well on your way to having a thriving kitchen herb garden! You (and your family) will soon realize just how much you love having fresh, fragrant herbs on hand for all of your delicious meals.
This video from Garden Answer is a little longer, but if you are truly considering starting an indoor herb garden it is a must-watch:
Any helpful indoor gardening hacks that I’m missing? Leave them in the comments!
***If you’re looking for ways to start an herb garden outdoors or to get your kids involved in gardening with you, these are great resources. You can also find information on the health benefits of gardening in this post.