Grow Fresh Herbs Indoors All Year Round

May 29, 2024

Tips & Tricks

Imagine having fresh herbs right at your fingertips whenever you cook. No more wilted supermarket options or trips to the store! An indoor herb garden is the answer. But can you grow herbs indoors all year round? YES! It's surprisingly easy to create, even for those without gardening experience.

Fresh herbs, anytime! Indoor gardens thrive year-round, even for beginners.

Benefits of an Indoor Herb Garden

  • Fresh herbs, always on hand: No more scrambling to the store for that last-minute sprig of basil or parsley. With an indoor herb garden, you can snip fresh herbs whenever a recipe calls for them, or add a touch of green goodness to finished dishes.
  • Year-round availability: Unlike outdoor gardens that are at the mercy of the seasons, indoor herb gardens thrive all year long. You'll have a constant supply of fresh herbs to elevate your cooking, no matter the weather outside.
  • Flavor boost: Fresh herbs add a burst of life to your food that dried herbs simply can't match. The flavor is more intense, more nuanced, and overall much more delicious.
  • Natural air freshener: Some herbs, like rosemary and mint, not only add a delightful touch to your cooking but also fill your kitchen with a pleasant aroma. It's a win-win for your taste buds and your nose!
  • Low-maintenance greenery: Indoor herb gardens are perfect for busy people. Herbs generally require minimal care, so you can enjoy the benefits of fresh herbs without a huge time commitment.

Choosing Herbs for Your Indoor Garden

Here are some varieties of herbs that tend to thrive indoors

Some herbs do better indoors than others so choose wisely. Here are some popular choices known for thriving indoors:

  • Basil: Look for compact varieties like 'Bush Basil' or 'Genovese Basil' that grow well in pots and are perfect for adding fresh flavor to tomato dishes, pasta sauces, and pesto.
  • Chives: Easy to grow in pots on a sunny windowsill. Snip the chive stems regularly to encourage new growth, and use them to add a mild oniony flavor to eggs, potatoes, dips, and salads.
  • Mint: Most mint varieties are pretty tough and can handle less-than-ideal conditions. Peppermint is a classic choice for adding a refreshing touch to teas, cocktails, and desserts. Spearmint is another popular option, with a milder flavor that works well in savory dishes like roasted vegetables or couscous.
  • Oregano: Start from cuttings or seeds, it's quite hardy. Oregano is a staple in Italian cooking, and it's also delicious in lamb dishes, tomato sauces, and stews.
  • Parsley: Bring established plants indoors in the fall, or buy new ones in spring (seeds take a long time to grow). Parsley is a versatile herb that can be used in a wide variety of dishes, from soups and salads to fish and chicken. Curly parsley is the most common variety, but there is also flat-leaf parsley, which has a stronger flavor.
  • Rosemary: Needs good drainage and a bright, cool spot. Rosemary is a woody herb with fragrant needle-like leaves. It's a perfect addition to roasted vegetables, meats, and stews.
  • Sage: Propagate from cuttings in summer or buy transplants. Sage is another woody herb with a strong, earthy flavor. It's commonly used in sausage stuffing, poultry dishes, and pumpkin recipes.
  • Thyme: Pot up plants from your garden or start from seeds. Thyme is a low-growing herb with small, green leaves. It's a key ingredient in many French and Italian dishes, and it also pairs well with roasted vegetables and cheeses.

What You'll Need to Get Started

  • Herb seeds or seedlings: You can choose to grow your herbs from scratch using seeds, or you can buy young plants, called seedlings, from a garden center or local nursery. Seedlings are a great option for beginners because they are already established and easier to care for. However, if you're looking for a more challenging and rewarding experience, starting your herbs from seeds can be very satisfying. Here are some things to consider when choosing between seeds and seedlings:
    • Seeds: They are generally less expensive than seedlings and offer a wider variety of herb options. However, they take longer to grow and require more care.
    • Seedlings: They are a quicker and easier way to get started, and they are less likely to fail than seeds. However, they may not be available in all herb varieties, and they can be more expensive than seeds.

Start from seeds for a challenge, or buy seedlings for quicker results

  • Containers with drainage holes: Select containers made from any material you prefer, but ensure they have drainage holes to prevent root rot. Plastic and fancy glazed pots hold onto water more, but terra-cotta pots breathe better. That's why herbs usually like terra-cotta pots more!
  • Potting mix: Use a well-draining potting mix, especially for herbs native to the Mediterranean climate, such as rosemary, thyme, and oregano. A mixture of equal parts cactus mix and regular potting soil is recommended for these herbs.
  • Watering can
  • Pruning shears (optional)
  • Grow light (optional): If you don't have a sunny windowsill, consider using a grow light to supplement natural light.

Planting and Caring for Your Indoor Herb Garden

Find a sunny spot and plant your herbs in pots with potting mix according to the variety.

  • Pick a Sunny Spot: Place your herbs near a south-facing window for at least 6 hours of daily sunlight.
  • Planting Time: Fill your pots with potting mix and plant your seeds or seedlings according to the specific herb variety.
  • Watering Wisely: Water regularly, but avoid overwatering. The soil should be moist, not soggy. Check the top inch of soil - if it's dry, it's watering time.

Grow lights are optional but keep within 12 inches for 12-16 hours daily.

  • Light Up Your Herbs (optional): If using a grow light, keep it within 12 inches of the plants and provide 12-16 hours of light daily. Adjust the light schedule as needed.
  • Harvesting Fresh Herbs: Regularly harvest leaves using pruning shears or your fingers. Avoid taking more than a quarter of the plant at a time.
  • Feeding Time (optional): During the growing season, fertilize your herbs once or twice a month with diluted liquid houseplant fertilizer.

Tips for Happy and Healthy Herbs

Rotate pots for even growth, and repot into larger containers with fresh mix as needed. Good air circulation helps prevent fungus.

  • Rotate Your Plants: Regularly turn your pots for even growth on all sides, especially if they're not getting sunlight from multiple directions.
  • Air it Out: Provide good air circulation around your plants to prevent fungal diseases.
  • Repotting Needs: As your herbs grow, they may need bigger pots. Repot them into larger containers with fresh potting mix when necessary.

Care for Your Kitchen Garden with Minimal Effort

With a little care and these simple steps, you can cultivate a thriving indoor herb garden that provides fresh, flavorful herbs for your culinary creations all year long. So why wait? Get started today and enjoy the taste of homegrown goodness!


Easy as one. two. Cook!

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