Want to grow your own veggies in the splendor of the great indoors? Don’t settle for the garden variety. Creating an indoor garden is not only a delicious way to have fresh herbs at your fingertips, it’s a fun project for the family.
So give yourself a green thumbs-up with these essential indoor gardening tips:
Location, location, location
Herbs crave lots of light and need at least four hours of nourishing sunshine every day. Natural light is your best bet, so you’ll want to choose a sunny spot near a window that preferably faces south.
After doing some domestic location scouting, you may find that your best growing spots are actually facing different directions. Don’t worry, nature always finds her way.
If you’re feeling a little ambitious, you can supplement your sunshine with a compact grow light setup, depending on how many pots you have. The key is to find the space that gets the most light and then plan your plants accordingly!
Choosing the right herbs
You’ll probably want to grow the go-to herbs that typically are featured in recipes – we’re thinking flavor favorites like oregano, rosemary, and basil. If you have lots of light, you have lots of options.
Short on sunlight? These shade-tolerant herbs are ready to do more with less: mint, cilantro, chives, parsley, tarragon, thyme, and bay laurel
Pro tip: Most types of oregano require lots of sun, but golden oregano actually does better with a little bit of shade.
Setting the right temperature
Most herbs thrive between 65 to 70 degrees, which is roughly the temperature you already keep in your home. (In other words: You’re a natural!) Some herbs are extra generous under those conditions. When mint, basil, and other plants get a little too tall for your mini farm, dial down the heat to somewhere between 60 and 65 degrees.
Don’t waste water
It’s important to water your plants and equally important not to overwater your plants. Check your herbal hydration by touching the soil with your finger. If the soil is dry about two inches below the top, then it’s time to water. If the soil is saturated, it’s time to give it a rest.
Gotta keep ‘em separated
For an outdoor garden, it’s okay to mix and match your herbs and grow them in the same container. Inside, it’s another story – different herbs call for different conditions, so you’ll want to keep it simple by growing them in separate planters.
Label your herbs
Labeling your herbs isn’t just a smart way to keep track of your ever-growing garden – it’s fun, too! With some popsicle sticks, paper, and crayons, the little ones can get in touch with their inner artist and farmer all at once!
Just be sure to supervise and don’t let them catch you Googling when they ask you how to spell marjoram.
Make it last
Good news: these freshly-grown herbs can stay fresh in the freezer!
Freeze hardy herbs like dill, thyme, and sage on a plate, then move them to an airtight container once they’re frozen. For cilantro, mint, and parsley, simply pack them into an ice cube tray, cover with water, and voila! Your essential herbs will enjoy Shakira status – ready whenever, wherever.
Keep it growing
These basic tips should get you started. Once you’re able to add your own homegrown fresh basil to a caprese salad, we have a feeling you’ll want to keep going and growing!