Indoor Herb Gardening
Indoor Herb Gardening is really quite easy and so rewarding. Imagine being able to pick a few fresh leaves as you need them, secure in knowing exactly where they came from. You'll enjoy the pleasant aromas from your herb garden throughout the day and will be improving your indoor environment.
Your indoor herb garden will help clean and improve your indoor air, and you will be able to enjoy the therapeutic benefits of gardening regardless of the weather outdoors - and even if you live in an apartment!
What Herbs To Grow
That’s easy. The best herbs to use in Indoor Herb Gardening are the ones you like to use! Most herbs are easy to grow, so simply select the ones you like best.
Basil is one of the most popular herbs, and is well suited for Indoor Herb Gardening. Sweet Basil is the all time favorite and is used in a wide variety of sauces, Italian cooking, and you can even use a pinch to liven up a sandwich. Boxwood Basil has small attractive leaves that look like a boxwood hedge, and provides the same great flavor. Siam Queen has a hint of licorice flavor and is excellent in Curry recipes.
Chives have an attractive grass like foliage and can be used in all types of cooking. Sprinkle a few fresh cut chives on your eggs in the morning, on your sandwich at lunch and in all your dinner recipes. There are 2 types, Garlic Chives and Onion Chives - and as their name implies give you the flavor of either garlic or onion.
Cilantro is a must-have herb for Mexican cooking. Its attractive lacy leaves are best used fresh...which makes it a great choice for Indoor Herb gardening - just reach over and pick a few leaves as you are preparing your favorite salsa.
Peppermint is a favorite for indoor growing. It can be used dried or fresh, and is used in many recipes. Add some finely chopped Peppermint leaves to your ice tea for a delicious twist on a favorite beverage...and it will help sweeten your breath! Widely used in Aromatherapy, Peppermint is reported to increase alertness and improve memory. Peppermint is incredibly easy to grow.
Rosemary has many uses in the kitchen - Rosemary chicken is one of my favorites! In addition to its culinary uses, rosemary will add a delightful fragrance to your home.
Thyme is another herb that has many uses in the kitchen. Its small leaves and compact growth make it quite attractive as well. Use it with your barbeque recipes as well as in the kitchen.
How To Grow Herbs Indoors
Indoor Herb Gardening is no more difficult than growing a house plant - and in many ways easier. They need a location that has plenty of light, so near a window is best. A South facing window is great as long as it doesn't get too hot. If you run your central air conditioning or central heat quite a bit, you may need to mist your herbs to increase the humidity.
A 5 inch or 6 inch pot will work fine, clay pots are more environmentally friendly than plastic and will make water management easier. Make sure the pot has a drainage hole at the bottom. Fill the pot with a good all purpose potting soil (garden soil does not work as well), plant your plant so the soil is at the same level as when you transplant it, firm the soil and water thoroughly.
The best way to tell if your herbs need water is check the soil. You want them to be moist but not soggy. When you water, water thoroughly, until the water runs out of the hole in the bottom of the pot.
Your herbs will need an occasional fertilizing. Any good all purpose liquid fertilizer is fine, a light feeding is best. If you want to use an organic fertilizer, use seaweed based type. Avoid fish emulsion...the odor is not pleasant at all!
Occasionally you will get aphids or other pests on your plants. Control is easy! Just fill your sink with slightly warm water with a few drops of dishwashing soap. Hold your hand over the soil to keep it in place and turn the plant upside down, swish it around in the water for a couple minutes...and the pest problem should be solved.
Indoor Herb Gardening is a great way to promote Green Living. You will save lots of money (fresh herbs at the market aren't cheap), enjoy healthier more flavorful food, and reduce the environmental impact that results from the production and transportation of commercially grown herbs. And you'll enjoy the therapeutic benefits of gardening right in your own home.
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