Growing Your Favorite Herbs Indoors
As winter sets in, you usually start getting worried about the plants that you have in your garden because they might not be able to fight the frost or resist the chilly winds. This holds true especially for herbs because they are delicate. Indoor herb gardening is the answer to all your worries regarding your garden. And you don't even have to renovate your home to start growing herbs indoors. A window that faces the South or West direction and allows sunlight for 5 hours in a day will suffice your need for indoor herb gardening. If you are staying in a high-rise apartment and the only greenery that you get to see is the distant park, then indoor herb gardening is good for you and your apartment too.
Thyme, rosemary and mint are good options as starters for your indoor herb garden. You can grow them from cuttings or buy them from a florist. You can get these plants from a supermarket as well. If you want to start your indoor herb garden this way then you need to initially grow the herbs in a soil-less mix of perlite, peat and vermiculite. You get the directions for use on the package or the greenhouse from where you bought the mix.
If you prefer staying away from all that shopping, then you can start your indoor herb gardening with the seeds. To start, you need to get some pots in which you can grow your herbs. A pot with good drainage, especially terracotta or a clay pot is preferable. Small pots of 6" diameter are perfect for indoor gardening as they are small enough to grow compact plants and allow enough growth as well.
You should have pots of same material, shape and size to bring symmetry in your indoor herb garden. The contrast that you desire can come from the colors and shapes of herbs. Also you should plant different herbs in different pots, rather than 2/3 in the same one so that mint and basil do not taste the same. Herbs that can be directly grown from seeds are basil and Greek Oregano. You need to be careful while choosing the seeds. Buy the ones that are specified as 'compact' as the regular ones are difficult to grow indoors because of their size.
To grow your herbs indoors from seeds you need to fill the pots with potting soil that you can get from any florist or greenhouse. Then tuck the seeds in soil to a certain depth as specified on the packet and spray them with water. These pots should be kept on the window shelf facing the southern or western direction to soak up enough sunlight. You should also keep the soil damp, especially if you live in a dry or overheated apartment. You should not over-water your herbs once you see the sprouts, as the roots may rot.
If you have started your indoor herb gardening with cuttings or via transplant, you should allow the soil to dry out slightly. Your indoor herb garden should get plenty of light but should not be exposed to extreme heat.
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