It's a Good "Thyme" to Plant an Indoor Herb Garden
The Western Montana spring is teasing us with some really beautiful days of sunshine. For some, it's a bit tortuous, since we LOVE to get out in the dirt and start planting, to take full advantage of our short summers. But, the nights are still cold, the snow still flies and a killing frost could settle on any clear night. Plus, soil temperatures aren't that warm yet. What's a gardener to do?
Plant an indoor herb garden of course!!
5 Reasons We Love Indoor Herb Gardens:
- Fresh herbs for cooking year round.
- Fresh herbs for herbal remedies--even in the dark of winter.
- They keep a gardener's head in the game and satisfy the urge to grow.
- They make a bright addition to any windowsill or counter top.
- Indoor gardens are a great excuse to use the planters we make!
Why would one start an indoor garden on the brink of spring?
Aside from satisfying the planting itch, you can give your garden a good long growing season to get established and you can practice caring for it, so that it will be growing strong and steady when winter roles around.
Tips for growing a healthy indoor herb garden:
- Make sure you choose a location with enough bright sunlight. You need 6-8 hours a day OR you should supplement with a grow light.
- Use light soil that isn't heavily amended.
- Study the particular needs of each herb you want to grow. Some don't tolerate too much water, while some get too dry in a heated house and need more humidity.
- Tend to them regularly and keep an eye out for insects (without a cold cycle to kill off eggs, certain insects can thrive in your indoor garden).
- Turn the plants every few days to keep them growing straight.
- Prune them regularly, to encourage healthy growth.
Choosing Herbs to Grow:
It's easy to get excited about your new garden, but the key to success is to start with what you know and love. Choose four or five herbs that you use either for cooking or medicinally. Here are our top three:
- Rosemary: it's not only great with grilled potatoes, but it's a natural anti-bacterial. With kids and dogs, there are bound to be cuts and scrapes. A warm rosemary compress will help speed the healing. Rosemary likes well-drained soil and moisture, but don't keep it too wet.
- Basil: so you can taste summer all year long. We love fresh basil for it's fresh punch of flavor, but also because it can be a little more forgiving if you forget to water it for a couple of days. Choose a shorter, bushier variety for your container garden.
- Lemon Balm: a little lemon goes a long way. We love lemon tea, or lemon water--it just feels good to drink and gives you a little cleansing refreshment. Planting it in a container is ideal, because it likes to spread and can easily take over a garden.
Want to read more about indoor herb gardens? Check out this article on About Home.
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