The golden foliage, the pumpkin patches, the cool evenings and autumn breeze. To F. Scott Fitzgerald’s point, it really does feel like life starts all over again when it gets crisp in the fall. But that also means, much to a gardener’s dismay, it’s time for the plants to start over again, too.
But just because the weather has cooled and you’ve prepped your garden for the winter months doesn’t mean you have to put your gardening hobby on hibernation mode. In fact, there are plenty of plants–herbs especially–that not only thrive indoors, but are also packed with flavor and health benefits to transform winter meals from basic to bountiful in minutes.
Keep reading as the House Hacks Tips team shares our favorite tips and tricks to maintaining a year-round, indoor herb garden.
Benefits of an Indoor Herb Garden
If you want fresh and flavorful food, you probably already know to source local, and stick with what’s in-season. However, depending on where you live, that can often mean restricted options in the wintertime, when most crops have either gone through their final harvest, or have become too expensive to outsource. By growing your own indoor herb garden, you can have ongoing (not to mention free!) access to fresh, flavorful additions to your meals.
How to Grow Your Own Indoor Herb Garden
Seek Out a Sunny Sill
The first step to ensuring success of your indoor herb garden is to find a spot that replicates the environment your herbs need to thrive. That means plenty of sunshine, preferably on a windowsill that lets in direct sunlight for the majority of the day.
If you don’t have a sunny spot, you can supplement sunlight for a grow light, leaving it on for about 12 hours per day.
Now that you’ve identified the perfect spot for your herbs to flourish, it’s time to plant! Either grab a grow kit (available from sites like Amazon!) or use your own seeds, 1 – 3 inch pots, and planter’s soil.
When you plant, a good rule of green thumb is to in-fact, use your thumb!
Once your soil is in the pot, insert your thumb knuckle-deep and make a hole. This is how far down you’ll want to plant your seeds. Don’t forget to cover them back up loosely. By packing seeds in their pots too tightly, you risk providing them with enough space to grow.
Water–But Not Too Much Water
The number one culprit of a dead houseplant is overwatering. While young seedlings certainly need water to grow, too much of it can have the opposite effect, essentially drowning them before they even have the chance to root.
While it’s always recommended to do your research on the watering schedule for the specific herbs you’re growing, a good rule of thumb is to water your herbs with filtered water once or twice a week. Give them enough water so it begins to drain out the bottom, and stop there. Any more and you can risk over watering.
Humidity Keeps Herbs Happy
Basil, dill, rosemary–the most common herbs love a bit of summer heat and humidity. Keep your herbs in a room that can replicate that environment, such as the kitchen sink or near the dishwasher, which expends plenty of humid air as you use them throughout the day. Alternatively, you can purchase a small humidifier to run nearby a few times a week to keep your herbs happy.
And it’s as simple as that! With a bit of patience and ongoing care, you’ll begin to see the first seedlings sprout within 4 – 6 weeks, and will be on track to reap the benefits of fresh, flavorful herbs to spice up your dishes all winter long!
Have you started an indoor herb garden? Share your experience with us in the comments!