Fresh Clips: Growing Herbs Indoors

Growing herbs indoors can be an uplifting hobby when it’s dreary outside.

| February/March 2012

Don’t let winter weather put a damper on your culinary herb garden. Just grow your favorites indoors. 

Growing Herbs Indoors: Let There Be Light

• Most herbs need five hours or more of bright light from a sunroom, overhead skylights, or a large sunny window.
• Supplement with overhead fluorescent lights if natural light is insufficient or if plants become leggy.

Indoor Herb Gardens: Start Them Off Right

• For faster harvests, use established plants rather than seeds.
• Choose a 6-inch or larger container with drainage holes in the bottom. Larger pots produce bigger plants and therefore more foliage to harvest.
• Use a commercial potting mix that includes perlite, vermiculite or pumice for better drainage.

Best Indoor Plants: Keep Them Growing Strong

• Allow potting mix to dry slightly between waterings for most herbs; keep the soil slightly moist for basil, chives, mint and parsley.
• Starting in spring, feed plants with an organic liquid fertilizer every three to four weeks; feed every month or two if using organic fertilizer granules.
• Use a mild soapy water spray (about 1 tablespoon of dishwashing liquid to 1 gallon of water) or an organic insecticidal soap spray to control any pests.

Kris Wetherbee is a contributing editor who tends her herbs in western Oregon. 

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