Growing your own herbs can be a great way to have fresh herbs on hand whenever you need them. It is also perfect to introduce kids, or anyone, to the process of gardening and growing your own food. Using herbs in recipes can also add flavor without adding salt. There are many herbs that can be easily grown indoors, such as basil, mint, chives, and thyme. And you can buy seeds or starter plants for herbs using SNAP benefits! Below, we have provided all the information needed to start growing your own herbs.
Find the Best Spot
To grow well inside, herbs need as much natural light as possible. Find a sunny place near a window that receives at least six hours of sun daily. Keep a lookout for signs that your herbs are not getting enough light, such as poor growth, stems that grow long between leaves, leaves that are smaller than usual, and stems or leaves that are pale or begin turning yellow.
The Best Potting Mix
Indoor herbs require a potting mix that allows for extra drainage. When getting a potting mix make sure it says it is good for indoor plants. It is best not to use soil from the ground. It will not allow the herbs to breathe and has bugs that can eat your herbs and you probably do not want in your house.
Make sure you are using a pot that has good drainage to help keep the roots from sitting in the water and rotting. Using a plastic or metal liner or drain pan under the pot to catch water will help protect the herb’s roots.
The key to watering herbs that are indoors is to let them somewhat dry out in between watering. If the top of the soil is dry about two inches then it is time to water. Soil tends to dry from the top so the soil at the bottom of the pot is probably moist. The goal is to get the roots to grow down deep looking for water. Also, water your herbs slowly. Watering too quickly allows the water to run straight through the pot before the soil has a chance to absorb it.
Indoor herbs enjoy temperatures that most people feel comfortable in, around 65 to 70 °F. Most herbs enjoy being kept near a windowsill when temperatures drop to 55 to 60 °F but make sure none of the foliage is touching the glass to protect it from freezing. Basil is trickier. Basil should not be kept near a cool windowsill since it likes plenty of sun and warmth indoors. Basil prefers to have temperatures around 70 °F day and night.