Thursday, April 2, 2009

INDOOR HERB GARDEN



Growing herbs indoors is not only cost effective, but also a fun way to get your thumb a little green! Some of the easiest herbs to grow indoors are thyme, basil, parsley, oregano, chives, mint and sage.

There are several ways to start an indoor herb garden: transplanting store-bought or starting new ones from cuttings or seed.

You can start with seed, but it’s the messiest and not the most successful way. Here are the easiest and most effective ways to start an herb garden for your kitchen!

Stem Cutting

Stem cuttings are an easy method to grow herbs indoors. Use cut herbs available from a grocery store. Cut about six inches of a stem at the base of the plant.

Once the branch is cut, strip the foliage off the bottom so it won’t rot. A root should develop everywhere that a leaf or stem has grown. Place the cutting in a small jar or glass of water, and in no time you will see roots. When that happens, pot the cutting and let it grow. Remember that these cuttings need a sunny location, and the water should be changed out every day. This is also a great way to share herbs you may already have with friends. Wouldn’t an herb garden be a spectacular Mothers day gift for your Mom! Or better yet you’re Mother in law; she’ll see how great of a homemaker you really are!

The Easiest Way

If you don’t want to wait to grow plants from cuttings, you can have an herb garden now by purchasing live, grown plants from your local garden center. Keep plants in a sunny location with sufficient water. Once a week, feed them, using a diluted, organic fertilizer. . Also give your plants a periodic trimming as it helps them to branch out and grow more vigorously.

Being able to just snip some fresh herbs make cooking and your food so much better. I love using fresh basil and parsley in everything. If your children are helping with your indoor garden, a nice idea is to take some plain plant pots, and let the kids decorate them with paint, paper etc. to produce their own unique pots.

You can also think outside the box, I grow my basil in tomato cans.

  • Simply take a can and wash it well.
  • Turn it over and poke some holes in the bottom. A screw driver and hammer works well for this!
  • place some pepples in the bottom to form a single layer.
  • Fill with potting soil to fill the can 2/3 full
  • Remove a potted plant from its container and transplant into the can
  • Fill the edges with remaining potting soil and gently pat down. Don't make it too tight.
  • Place the can on a pretty coordinating plate to catch drainage
  • Add water to your newly planted herb!
You can also decorate cans to coordinate with your decor. Simply paint the can with a some acrylic base paint. Let it dry, and then paint desired colors and designs on it. Stripes, polka dots, or whatever suits your fancy. This is a great project for kids!

Did I mention how fabulous your kitchen will smell?

Once your herbs are established, and your area is free from frost or even cooler weather you can move them to your deck or patio if you would like. If your more ambitious, go ahead and plant them for an outdoor herb garden!

Get planting and send in your pictures. I’ll post the best of the best!

housewifehints@yahoo.com

4 comments:

  1. I've been wanting to do this, thanks Dawn!

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  2. I hadn't thought of planting things in tomato cans (or coffee cans, for that matter)! What a great idea!

    Thanks for yet another great tip!

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  3. I forgot to mention - I'm giving you an award - on my blog tomorrow.

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  4. When trimming herbs do you cut the stem or just the herb. i also planted 2 mints plants in one container, how far apart should they be in the container.
    thanks for your help
    i love doing this but always afraid i will kill the plant
    thanks for your site

    ReplyDelete