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How To Start Your DIY Indoor Herb Garden

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You’ve always dreamed of creating an herb garden to give your cooking that fresh and flavorsome kick it needs, but you don’t have the outdoor space. An indoor kitchen herb garden is the perfect way to produce that homemade taste you’ve been longing for.

It may sounding daunting, but creating an indoor herb garden requires minimal work after the initial set-up is complete. You can feel accomplished and eat healthier by following a few simple steps. Better yet, you won’t have to go to the store the next time you want to spice things up.

What You’ll Need

  • Herb of choice
  • Pots/planters that include drainage holes
  • Potting mix
  • A tray to capture excess water
  • Natural or artificial light

Picking the Right Pot

If you are a beginner, it is best to stick with an herb you use on a regular basis (i.e. oregano). In time, you can venture out past your comfort zone, but it will be hard to gauge your success without basic knowledge of the finished product. If you love having an ice-cold mojito on a hot summer day, think about starting with something classic like mint.

Don’t Drown Your Plant!

Water can make or break the future of your herb garden (and your countertop). Remember to:

  • Let your plant drain sufficiently
  • Use more potting mix than soil
  • Capture the excess water

It is crucial to adequately water your herb plant, especially in the summer time. However, you don’t want to suffocate your growing plant with too much water either. When you are choosing a pot or herb planter, make sure it has drainage holes at the bottom to release any unabsorbed water. Failing to do so could result in your roots rotting away and ruining all your hard work.

Potting mix will also protect your plant from overconsumption. Unlike soil, potting mix is less dense and will allow your plant to breathe. You will still need to layer the pot with about half an inch of regular soil, but the majority of the space should be reserved for its looser counterpart. Potting mix does not compact like soil does, and gives your plant’s roots all the room they need to mature under the right conditions. You can find potting mix at major retailers like Walmart or Target for under $10, and it makes all the difference.

Finally, you will need to place a tray underneath the pot to protect the surface it is on. Excess water will exit the drainage holes and need someplace to go. If you are not sure what to use, you can purchase an herb planter with a built-in tray that is all ready to go.

Give Your Herbs a Break

You’ve planted your herbs with all the right fixings for a perfect kitchen herb garden – good work! Now you just need to decide where and how to grow them.

The best place to grow your herbs is on a kitchen windowsill that is rich in natural light. Just because it is sunny outside does not mean the light is shining through and nourishing your plant. Make sure your plant gets maximum exposure when you choose a location: which direction is the sunlight entering in? If your kitchen does not have satisfactory natural light, you can purchase a growing light as its substitute.

It’s important to remember not to bake your plants in the sun all day. Whether you are using natural or artificial lighting, they only need about 4-6 hours of contact each day. You should also be conscious of their position every time you move them. If you expose one half of a plant to light each day and neglect the other, it will grow disproportionally. You need to actively rotate your herbs. Think about baking cookies in the oven: you are essentially leaving half the dough raw while the other cookies burn. Consider marking one side of the pot or planter to minimize uneven growth.

Even if you do not have the space for your full-blown dream garden, a kitchen herb garden is a great place to start. Anyone can produce these simple, healthy alternatives to store-bought products in the comfort of their own home. You don’t have to be a pro in the kitchen to master this fun DIY project.

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