Written by Paige Vandiver
Growing your own lush and fragrant green herbs in your indoor garden can help your home become your oasis during a cold, snowy winter, and add fresh flavor to your seasonal dishes, wintertime cocktails, and hot teas. It takes a little planning and extra care, but these 5 steps will help guide you in cultivating a successful winter herb harvest.
1. Pick hardy herbs to grow indoors.
Although you may enjoy using a generous portion of dill in your chicken soup, dill won’t be happy growing indoors. You’ll want to choose herbs that give you the best chance for a f(l)avorable outcome. Some hardy perennial herbs such as mint, oregano, rosemary, sage, or thyme are solid options, as well as chives or bay laurel.
And if you can’t find a sunny spot, be sure to choose low light herbs such as chives, mint, and parsley.
2. Choose a prime spot with plenty of light.
Getting enough light is the most important part of growing your indoor herb garden sanctuary. Pick the perfect spot in your pad that gets at least 5-6 hours of sun daily. Although it’s convenient and aesthetically pleasing to grow your herbs in the kitchen windowsill, if that window is not south-facing and doesn’t get enough light, you are better choosing another spot. If you are set on a certain location, you can purchase glow lights (regular light bulbs won’t work) that you can place close to the plants that will mimic the sunlight.
3. Select the right pot and soil.
Although terra cotta pots are lovely and help with drainage, they tend to dry out quickly, so you might want to try a plastic pot if your furnace heat make your space arid. The bigger the pot, the less they will dry out, but you can since you may have limited space, you can choose any size container as long as you keep it watered.
On the other side of the coin, you don’t want your plant roots to rot from sitting in water. Make sure to pick a container with a drainage hole and if you want to save your tabletop from damage, ensure there is a saucer underneath to catch the draining water.
You want to also choose soil that will help with drainage. Garden soil is too compact. Choose a loamy, premium potting soil and make sure that it’s less clumpy and more grainy after watering.
4. Water your herbs with care.
Indoor herbs will require less water in the winter, but don’t wait until they are super dry before you water them to avoid shocking the plant. The roots will rot if you let them sit in too much water, so read step 3 above to ensure you have good drainage and don’t let them sit in soggy soil (ew!). Basically, you don’t want to let them dry out, but you don’t want to overwater them either.
5. Give your herbs extra attention.
Give your plants a little extra love by keeping a close eye on them.
- If you see them grow long stems, they aren’t getting enough light and you may need to move them.
- Fertilize them at least monthly to give them extra nourishment to get through the winter.
- Rotate your pots every few weeks so each side gets a fair share of sun.
- Keep your home at 65-70 degrees to be comfortable for both you and your plants.
You and your herb garden will get to know each other in no time! You’ll have a bountiful harvest of fresh herbs to add to all your favorite comfort food recipes and a constant reminder of the warmer days ahead.
And remember — here at Stockslagers, we carry healthy, delicious herbs all winter long. Stop on by to choose your favorites and start your indoor herb garden today!