How to Grow Herbs at Home:


How to grow your herbs at home

Always provide fresh herbal flavors in reach when you grow these aromatic plants in your kitchen. Indoor herb gardens also fill your home with fragrance and greenery. Like any group of plants, herbs have varying needs, but most aren't too demanding about their basic care. Learn how to grow herbs indoors, including what herbs to grow indoors, tips on care and lighting, indoor herb garden ideas and a flavorful recipe you can make by using your own herb garden. Growing herbs indoors allows you to enjoy homegrown produce whether you're short on garden space or just want to add a dash of green to your interior. For newbies, it can also serve as a low-stakes entry into more substantial edible gardening–all you need is a sunny window. It also makes cooking at home easy–whenever you need some herbs, just clip a few sprigs to use in a recipe or as a pretty garnish.

Tips for Growing Herbs Indoor:

Once you've decided which herbs to grow indoors, you'll need to provide the right amounts of light, water, and care to help your plants thrive. Before you pot up your first plant, there are a few tips for growing herbs indoors to ensure your success:


1. Pick the Right Plants

Most herbs can be grown indoors, but those that really thrive inside include no-fuss picks like basil, chives, mint, oregano, parsley, rosemary and thyme. You can start herbs from seed or cuttings, which is a branch of an existing plant cut at the node and soaked in water until new roots sprout. However, you may find it much easier and faster to start your indoor garden with seedlings from a garden shop.

2. Select a Container With Drainage

You can plant herbs in just about any container so long as it has some type of drainage. The pots also need something to protect the surface underneath them like a saucer or round plastic protector which you can find at garden shop centers.

3. Choose the Sunniest Spot

Most herbs prefer a lot of sunlight. That means you'll want to give your indoor herb garden at least six hours of sun per day to thrive. To maximize their exposure, place plants as close as possible to your brightest window. Avoid setting them in the center of a room. Growth may be slow in the winter when there isn't much natural light. During those months, consider investing in a grow light or led light.

4. Moderate watering

Water is both a friend and an enemy of herbs. Plants obviously need water to grow, but too much water rots the roots. You'll be surprised by how little water it takes to sustain a small herb. To make sure your plant grows, keep the soil consistently moist, but not waterlogged. If the soil feels dry, it's time to water. If it feels moist, hold off for another day or so and check again. A small watering can or a drizzle under the sink will suffice. If the leaves begin to wilt or turn yellow, scale back the water.

5. Harvest a Little at a Time

Harvest a few sprigs with kitchen shears or by pinching leaves off with your fingers. Regular cutbacks encourage new growth. Avoid removing more than a quarter of the plant at a time, which will cause distress and could even kill the plant.

6. Transplant When Ready

Indoor herb plants are not forever. The good news/bad news is that if you do it right, your herbs will eventually outgrow their containers and need more space. If you see roots coming out of the drainage holes, growth seems to have stalled or the plant starts to flop over, it's time to transplant. Both annuals and perennials can be moved into larger pots within your home at any time; just keep them close to a light source.

7. Fertilizer

Because indoor herbs can't get nutrients from garden soil and rain, they need a little bit of a boost from fertilizer. Choose a balanced, all purpose plant food . Apply the plant food at half the recommended rate every other week only when herbs are actively growing. It's better to give your plants too little fertilizer than too much.

Recipe: Mixed herb salad


Mix herb salad recipe


INGREDIENTS:

  • 1 green oakleaf lettuce, leaves separated

  • 1/2 cup fresh basil leaves

  • 1/2 bunch fresh chives

  • 1/2 cup fresh continental parsley leaves

  • 1 1/2 tbsp fresh lemon juice

  • 1 tbsp olive oil

  • Pinch of sugar

  • Salt & freshly ground black pepper


METHOD:

  • Step 1 Wash and dry the lettuce , basil , chives and parsley gently and thoroughly. Tear the lettuce leaves into large pieces.

  • Step 2 Shred the basil leaves roughly and cut the chives into 1cm lengths. Place the lettuce and herbs in a medium salad bowl and toss to combine.

  • Step 3 Combine the lemon juice and oil in a small screw-top jar. Add the sugar , season with salt and pepper , and shake to combine. Pour the dressing over the salad and toss to combine. Serve immediately.

Note: Prepare the salad at the end of step 1 up to 4 hours ahead. Keep the lettuce and the herbs in separate sealed plastic bags in the fridge (do not expel air from the bags). Continue from step 2 just before serving.


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