How to create an indoor herb garden
The use of fresh herbs for cooking is becoming more popular now than it has been for along time. Our forbears knew both the medicinal and culinary powers of herbs but it is only recently that fresh herbs have regained their popularity with home chefs. That combined with the fact that many of us are now apartment dwellers with no gardens mean that an indoor herb garden can be both decorative and useful.
Herbs will grow better in a pot rather than a box and glazed pots are better than clay as the soil will not dry out so quickly. For the same reason a plastic pot can be just as effective but whether glazed or plastic there is one point to be careful of when using non-porous pots. On no account should you over water your herbs because they could become waterlogged and subsequently rot.
One option is to have an attractive container, which will hold a number of 5 inch porous pots. I have even seen someone make a herb garden using pots placed in a large antique fish steamer.
If you go to your local garden center they should be able to advise you on the best soil mix for your herbs. These days it is easier to use a commercial preparation rather than earth as you can be sure that it will be disease free.
When it comes to potting your herbs drainage is important. If you are using non porous containers place a few pieces of broken china or brick to aid the drainage.
Partly fill you pot with your potting mixture, make a hole for the herbs root and gently place it in the pot. Then you can pack more of the mixture around the herb and top up to about 1/2inch from the top of the pot. Sprinkle some water on the pot and keep it in the shade until the herbs begin to appear.
So what type of herbs should you grow in your indoor herb garden? It really is down to personal taste but some of the ones I would consider growing are Chives, Lemon balm, Mint, Rosemary, Sage, Tarragon, Sweet Basil, Coriander and Thyme.
Once your herbs start appearing they only need light and water. Providing it is not in direct sun light a window shelf could be an ideal place for your herb garden or failing that anywhere that it is reasonably light. Herbs do not need a lot of watering and once a week should be adequate for most condition. If the soil feels dry then it is time to water. At other times you can use one of those water spray cans just to give the leaves a wetting if you wish.
An indoor herb garden can be both decorative and functional. They also have the added advantage that many herbs give off a delightful aroma so there will be no need for potpourri or air fresheners.
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