|How do I grow my own herbs indoors?
(NaturalNews) Growing your own herbs can add a new dimension to your
cooking and give you the opportunity to save money by making your own
herbal teas, tinctures and salves. Some people think herb gardening is
an option only available to those who have access to a plot of land, but
this is not true. Even if you live in an apartment or condo with no
outdoor space, you can still grow your own herbs.
Choosing the right plantsFirst,
think about your apartment or condoís gardening potential. The ideal
situation for an indoor garden is to have windows which face south with
no obstructions so your plants can bask in several hours of sunlight. If
most of your windows face north or are hemmed in by other buildings,
you can choose plants which require little sunshine, or you can purchase
a grow light and timer. Consider the placement of heat sources in
relation to your plants -- indoors plants are unlikely to be effected by
overnight chills but too much heat can be bad for them.
take your own habits into account -- are you frequently away from home
or are you able to tend your plants on a daily basis? Indoor plants
obviously do not receive rainfall, so you may need to choose very low
maintenance plants if you travel regularly. If you have pets that would
interfere with plants, you may also want to think about where you can
place the plants so your animals cannot reach them.
are an experienced gardener, it is best to start your indoor herb garden
by selecting herbs which grow easily. Chives are a good option for
those living in cooler climates or people who do not have windows with
abundant sunshine. Parsley also has low sun requirements but grows more
slowly so you will not be able to harvest it as quickly as chives. Bay
trees are also relatively easy to grow, but like parsley, they require
more of a time investment. This plant is also susceptible to scales if
it becomes too dry so you will want to be sure to attend its water needs
Oregano, rosemary and thyme also grow relatively
easily and can be good starter plants for novice herb gardeners.
Consider, however, that these herbs are all used in Mediterranean
cooking which means they grow naturally in sunny climates. If you choose
to grow these plants, they will need abundant light.
Caring for your plantsOnce
you decide what herbs to grow purchase your seeds and other materials.
When buying seeds, always check the expiration date on the package.
Plant more seeds than you need, since it is likely only some of them
Although a few plants, such as lemongrass stalks, grow in water,
most require soil. You will most likely want to buy some potting soil
for your indoor herb garden and natural fertilizer for your plants. You
will also need containers -- these need not be expensive, but you will
want to take considerations such as drainage into account. Terra cotta
planters can absorb water and cause plants to become overly dry so you
will want to use these only with plants with low moisture requirements.
If you are re-potting a plant which grew outdoors rather than starting
from seed, select a container a few inches larger than the plantís root
Many plants require more humidity than indoor air naturally
provides. You may want to place several plant containers on a tray
which you cover with pebbles or marbles and water, being sure to keep
the water low enough to prevent root rot. As the water evaporates, it
provides moisture to the plantís leaves. Replenish the water regularly
to feed your plants needed humidity. To protect your indoor plants from
pests, fill a spray bottle with soapy water and spray the entire plant,
including the undersides of the leaves. When you are ready to harvest
your herb plant, take no more than half if you want it to continue to
grow and produce more for you.
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