Fresh Herbs: Grow Indoors for Year-Round Flavour!
Mmmm, fresh herbs, who doesn’t love them? They’re delicious and oh-so fragrant, and make a great addition to your gardens and outdoor containers. You can even have fresh flavour when the weather’s not so nice by growing them indoors!
The Nose Knows – Fill your Home with Freshness!
It’s not just your dinner guests who will benefit from growing fresh herbs indoors; their fragrance alone can be a great comfort during the colder months. Rub your hands over your Spearmint plant as you pass by its window, or crush some fresh Rosemary in between your fingers to fill the room and your cooking pots with fresh, spring-like aromas. It’s a great reminder that no matter the weather outside, spring is coming!
Have you heard all the studies about fragrance and memory? Apparently our olfactory senses have a direct connection to our brain – the limbic system, to be precise. This explains why we feel like we’re back in grandma’s kitchen when we smell Basil cooking in the tomato sauce. Who would’ve guessed that such a little pot of Herbs could make us feel so warm and cozy?
Plus, Herbs are Pretty!
Herbs grown indoors help make everything look great! Pop them into decorative pot covers for some visual interest that goes beyond their incredible foliage; these will look great on a window sill or sunny side table. Or go for all the textures and group your herbs together into a gorgeous (and tasty) dish garden! Just make sure that your herbs all have very good drainage; those pot covers look great lined up on the window sill, but their lack of drainage holes makes watering very difficult.
Indoor Growing Basics: Light, Water, Harvest, More Light
When growing indoors, give your Herbs as much sunlight as possible. Place them in a bright window or room where they will get at least 4 hours of bright, direct sunlight. This is extra important during the shorter, lower energy days of fall and winter. Let your pots dry slightly before watering them; never let them sit in water! Fertilize every 4th watering with an all-purpose fertilizer to promote new, healthy growth. Tip: Herbs with thicker or woody stems (like Rosemary, Oregano, and Thyme) tend to perform better for indoor growing.
Caring for Your Herbs Indoors
Light: Bright and sunny – All varieties need at least 4 to 6 hours of direct sunshine per day.
Water: Let dry slightly, then water well.
Fertilizer: Feed monthly with an all-purpose fertilizer.
Re-potting: Only required when root-bound – when pots require more frequent watering/dries out quicker than usual, you see more soil than roots, etc. Choose a pot that is one size larger than its current pot, as too large a container will not dry out evenly and can cause root damage or even rot.
Some Interesting Herb Facts!
- Basil: ancient Greeks and Romans thought it would only grow if you screamed wild curses and shouted while sowing the seeds.
- Cilantro: is a member of the Carrot family, and was growing in the Hanging Gardens of Babylon more than 2,500 years ago.
- Thyme: an old English tradition is to plant large patches of it for fairies to use as playgrounds.
- Rosemary: the ancient Greeks saw it as the herb of remembrance, and students would braid it into their hair when writing exams.
- Peppermint: can help keep away certain pests – mice hate it and ants are confused by the smell of it!
- Oregano: thought to be first planted by Aphrodite, the goddess of love; was used by ancient Greeks to dream of their future spouses; has 4 times more antioxidants than blueberries!