Looking to add a little spring green to your winter blues? Try planting an indoor herb garden. Not only is this a a great way to bring the outdoors in, but an herb garden is functional providing you with great herbs to spice up your favorite winter stews, soups, and fresh breads. Planting an indoor herb garden is also a fun and education project to do with children.
-Herbs (Seeds or plants)
-Planter, can be a seed tray, strawberry planter, or even an old tea pot (you can have fun here using a planter that works with your home and décor)
-A sunny spot or grow light
-Compost or good potting soil
Step 1 – Potting
You can use one large planter (at least 7 gallons) or you can use several smaller planters. Depending on which type of herbs you decide to go with you may opt for the multiple planter route. Mint is notorious for being invasive and could easily choke out other plants. Also different herbs require varying amount of water and sunlight and its best to group these together. No matter what type of planter you go with make sure there is a drainage hole in the bottom.
Fill your pot(s) with potting soil or compost mix, stopping a couple inches from the top. Wet the soil thoroughly and stir it up a bit to make sure it’s evenly moist. Dig a small hole in the soil, and place your first plant (remember to loosen the soil around the roots). Pack about 1 inch of soil over the top of the root ball. Repeat for the rest of the plants. Just make sure if placing more than 1 plant per pot to leave several inches of room around each plant. Water again once finished.
Place the pots on pebbles in a tray or saucer; this will elevate the herbs above the drainage area, improving air flow and humidity. If your house tends to be dry during the winter months try misting the foliage with a spray bottle to help with humidity or just add water as needed to the tray or saucer (this water will evaporate into the air around the plant creating a more humid environment).
Step 2 – Placement and Care
Place your herbs in a sunny spot, the best is in front or near a south facing window. You can also suspend a grow light above the plants to supplement light. Grow lights provide a light spectrum similar to the sun, promoting plant growth.
Water regularly, but pay attention not to over water. Watering once a week should be sufficient, allowing time for the soil to dry out before watering again. Herbs don’t require a lot of extra help but feeding the plants liquid fish concentrate or another fertilizer, which doesn’t promote blooms, is a good a idea. You can also try filling a gallon jug with water and adding 1 tablespoon of liquid fish concentrate and water your plants with that, makes worrying about when to feed your plants obsolete.