Don’t let winter’s dreadful temperatures and constant snowfall keep you down. To add a bit of greenery and pizazz to your life, try growing an indoor herb garden!
Fortunately, growing herbs year-round for fresh use is easy and enjoyable, ando help you get growing, Birds & Blooms—America’s # 1 Bird & Garden Magazine—has put together a list of easy steps on how to grow herbs in the winter.
Start your indoor garden with these seven basic steps:
· Choose the right location: Although many think that herbs need direct sunlight, indirect sunlight will also work fine. Look around your house and make sure to choose the best location—don’t limit yourself to the kitchen. East, South and West-facing windows should all give your herbs more than enough light.
· Buy the right pot and soil: One of the most important steps in growing herbs is choosing a high-quality potting soil. Buy soil that feels nice and moist when you take a handful. The type of pot you use is also extremely important. Clay pottery or unglazed ceramic pots seem to be the best for growing plants.
· Plant with loose soil: It is very important to loosely fill the pot with soil and not to press down too hard. Once the soil is in place, remove the starter herb plant from its pot and gently loosen the soil around the bottom inch of the roots. Scoop out a hole in the planting pot and settle the plant in its new home. Carefully fill soil back around the roots and water the plant moderately.
· Learn how to water: Learning to water herb containers is what takes the most practice. Until you get used to how fast your plants dry out, check them every couple of days. To keep plants and soil from drying out too fast, avoid placing them near furnace vents or hot, sunny windows. Plan to water plants every three to five days or so.
· Add organic fertilizer: Fertilize herbs once a month with organic fertilizer. Since you’ll probably be using the plants for cooking or tea, you don’t want to be eating chemical fertilizer residues.
· Prevent insect pests: Whenever you grow plants indoors, insects can come calling. You can prevent most problems by making sure your soil doesn’t get soggy. If you notice a few pests on your herbs, take action right away by spraying with a soap- or neem oil-based plant product.
· Harvest for good health: Be sure to pinch back or harvest your plants regularly. Pinching back the top couple of inches of growth helps plants stay bushy and healthy, and the harvest is perfect for cooking, making tea or adding to your bath.
Thanks Birds and Blooms for the great idea!