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In a world of an unlimited supply of practically all a person can imagine – from furniture to clothes, to groceries, many people wonder why putting the effort to do some of the things themselves instead of buying them from the store is a good idea.
Such is the case with herbs as well.
With supermarkets supplying their buyers with different types of greens all year round, it might not make much sense to grow your own herbs.
But, you should consider planting your very own herb garden for several reasons.
Reasons to Grow Your Own Herbs
The first reason is the most apparent one: money. Growing your own herbs will help you save some money. Sure, it might not be that much, but all those funds that you do not notice going out of your pocket add up over time.
Next, it is the actual quality of the herbs. Also, what supermarkets claim to be “fresh” herbs, are not actually that “fresh.” Instead, you are buying a product that has been packaged some time ago, and most probably lost many of its natural benefits due to exposure to different contaminants. So by growing a herb garden yourself, you will be making sure that the herbs you use are always fresh and healthy.
Finally, let’s not forget the visual appeal of greens: herbs can serve as a decoration to your space, as long as you know how to plant them right. Which takes us to the next point:
How to Make the Most of Your Small Indoor Herb Garden
Regardless of where you live, whether it is a cold or a warm climate, or the size of your home, you can create a small indoor herb garden if you are creative enough. But, how exactly can you make it happen?
First things first:
Not all plants are the same, and they need different conditions to grow. That is why it is vital that you know which plants are the easiest to grow indoors.
Take for example lemongrass, chives, mint, or parsley – they all require no special conditions, and no extra care. Basil, on the other hand, is one of the hardest herbs to grow. That does not mean that you should not include herbs that grow more difficult in your indoor garden, but you have to know what you are in for.
After you have done some “digging” and decided which herbs you want your small indoor garden to be made of, another thing you need to consider is
The Type of Plants You Buy
For example, although you may want to have the opportunity to grow your plants from seeds, know that it requires much more effort, and the chances of the plant growing are slimmer. Furthermore, when you do buy already grown plants, there is yet another caveat: it is best you choose plants that have been already growing indoor since you will avoid traumatizing the plants if they are used to more natural, external conditions.
Once these two preparatory steps are done, the actual creation of the garden starts planting. When it comes to planting, you should avoid trying to save space or effort and instead
Plant the Herbs in Different Containers
Since there are different types of herbs, it’s logical that all of them grow at different paces. Hence, if you plant all herbs in one container some of the herbs might invade the space and not allow the others to develop normally. So, make sure that you have a different pot for the various plants in your indoor garden. Also, do not forget to take proper containers which allow the plants to breathe – look for ones with drainage holes in the bottom.
While we are on the subject of drainage and growth, the soil you use plays its part as well, so
Know the Kind of Soil You Are Using
When it comes to soil, going “organic” is the key, although you should be careful that it is not merely collected from some outside environment, since it might be contaminated by organisms that are not suitable for indoor plants. In other words, just like you should be picking the herbs that you are going to plant, you also need to select the right soil to ensure maximum growth.
So, okay, you found the plants, prepared the containers and the soil, and planted the herbs. What now?
Well, it all starts with
Finding the Right Place for the Garden
The place where you put the herbs is of great importance because of one of the primary things plants require: light. If you have space near natural light, then great. But if your home doesn’t have enough windows, do not despair – you can make up for the lack of natural light by placing supplemental lights above the plants.
When it comes to artificial lighting of plants, fluorescent bulbs are the top choice. If you are using artificial lighting, check the plants regularly – if you notice any brownish spots (burns) on their leaves, then you need to either place the lights further away or replace them.
And finally, there is one last thing to talk about, and that is
Food and Water
Even if you create the best conditions for your plants while you are building your indoor garden, it will not count for much if you do not provide them with continuous care. And by the care, we mean hydration and nutrition.
When you are watering your plants, do it at the base, and not on the leaves. You should use only water when you notice that the soil has been completely drained, in order to avoid overwatering. Overwatering symptoms are brown or yellow wilted leaves, rotting roots or edema (blisters on the leaves). Yes, when it comes to water, there is such a thing as “too much!”. Just try to mimic the way the plants would be watered if they would grow in a natural environment.
Here we need to repeat the previously mentioned point about educating yourself: as no plant is the same, some of them will need more water than others, so it is important that you know if the plants you have populated your indoor garden prefer a moister or drier soil.
Also, using high-quality soil will not “feed” your plants forever, so make sure to enrich the soil with fertilizer from time to time. In other words, even if you do start with a top-notch soil, the herbs will absorb the nutrients as they grow, and they will need more nutrients to support their further development.
When it comes to fertilizers, you can choose between organic and inorganic, with the difference that the organic ones create a healthier soil, but take far longer to be released in the ground. In any case, any fertilizer is better than no fertilizer, so whichever you choose for your garden, you will not be wrong.
There you have it: a few simple, yet practical tips on how to grow your own indoor herb garden. As we already said, it is possible to grow herbs in any kind of space, no matter the external conditions, if you put in enough dedication and effort.
A good rule of thumb is to think of plants as humans; they need a couple of things to survive: sun, space, food, and water. If you satisfy these needs, you will surely benefit from having a thriving garden all year round.