Have you ever scoured Pinterest and daydreamed about whipping up some of those culinary delights? Oh, if you only had some homegrown herbs to season those meals. But you don’t. You live in an apartment with no access to the outdoors.
Don’t let that stop you, says Rebecca Bull Reed, a garden editor with Southern Living magazine. Here are five easy steps to get your own indoor herb garden started now.
1. “Start with a couple things that you like to eat,” Reed suggests. If you like Mexican food, go with cilantro. For Italian, rosemary, basil and oregano are good choices. Reed says that parsley tastes great on everything and dresses up a lot of dishes. Thyme, used a lot in French cooking, is another good herb to grow inside. Others to consider: tarragon, chives, dill, sage and mint.
2. Find the sunniest spot in your home and place your herbs there. You’ll want to give your herbs full sun — at least four full hours of sun is OK, but six is best, Reed says. Test out the spot with already grown herbs, such as Bonnie Plants; and if they do well, then you can decide if you want to try growing them from seeds. But don’t bother growing rosemary from seeds, Reed says, as the woody, hearty plant will take too long to become established.
3. If space in your apartment or condo is tight, you can plant all your herbs in one larger pot together. Or you can put them in separate, smaller pots. The most important thing is the pot(s) must have a drainage hole. Reed suggests placing any pot on top of a saucer or drip tray of some kind to keep your countertop, windowsill or carpet dry.
4. The best type of potting soil to use, Reed says, is organic soil since you do plan to eat the plant. Although it probably won’t be necessary to fertilize the herbs, use an organic fertilizer if you choose to do so.
5. Watering is always the tricky part for someone without a natural green thumb. It’s important to keep the herbs moist, but you can let the soil become dry to the touch between waterings, Reed says. Never let the plants sit in a pool of standing water. If the water doesn’t soak into the soil immediately, drain the excess water out of the pot to avoid overwatering.
Here’s an extra tip: If you go away for several days or longer and return to find your plants are totally dried out, with the soil pulling away from the sides of the pot, submerge them — the plant and the entire pot — in water, then pull it out and let it completely drain. They’ll be as good as new!
Now that you know the secrets to growing an indoor herb garden, you have no excuse not to whip up those culinary delights you’ve been pinning. Bon appétit!