While herbs can be grown in any outdoor garden setting during the summer months, they are an ideal option for growing indoors and on balconies or porches all year long, since they enjoy the same temperatures we do—typically between 65 and 70 degrees during the day. You can even grow herbs like catnip inside to keep your kitty happy throughout the year! It doesn’t take much effort or time investment to manage a thriving indoor or patio herb garden. Here are a few tips and tricks Modernize has put together to make the project easy:
Choose the Right Growing Location
Your herbs will do best in lots of light, but they’ll need some protection from weather elements such as high winds and rains if they’re not completely indoors. Interior windowsills, kitchen counters, and under covered patios that get direct sunlight during part of the day are all excellent options.
You can also hang your herbs in garden baskets along the fronts of your windows or in the corners of your rooms. Windows facing the south and southwest tend to offer the best lighting for indoor herb gardens. It’s tough to grow herbs in north facing windows as they’ll get little light, but it isn’t impossible. You should be able to find success with options such as lovage, parsley, lemon balm, and mint. Try to find homes for your herbs that will get at least four hours of sunlight on any given day.
Provide Drainage for Maximum Growth
It’s important that your herbs have plenty of drainage or their roots are likely to rot, leaving you with wilted stems and leaves on your plants. However, planting your herbs in pots with holes in the bottoms is just the first step to efficiently getting the job done. It’s a good idea to mix your potting soil with a little gravel or cinder to create optimal drainage conditions. A half cup of gravel for every one gallon sized pot of soil should be enough to do the trick. You should also make sure that a saucer, small bowl, or drain pan is under each herb pot so your windowsills and tabletops don’t get water stained.
Use Your Herbs Often for Optimal Growth
To ensure the optimal growth of your herbs, it’s important to make use of them on a regular basis so that they continually grow new leaves. This will create big bushy herb plants that are sure to provide you with fresh seasonings for your meals every day of the week. Once your plants reach maturity, they should be bushy enough to provide you with herbs for your freezer and to dry for long term storage.
Get started on your new herb garden today, and you’ll be enjoying your own fresh basil, parsley, oregano, and tarragon among others within just a few short weeks. If you’ve got more gardening questions reach out to Seattle Tilth’s free Garden Hotline.