As much as we’d all love the space and weather to continuously have an herb garden growing in our backyards, it doesn’t often happen. Fortunately, it’s not all that difficult to grow them inside, if you pick the right kinds. You just need a few basics for the actual growing, and maybe a little ingenuity to find space for them. The space aspect can be extremely important, especially in a house with pets or small children.
Photo by iStock.
Basil loves light and warmth, so if you have a nice window in your kitchen, you can grow basil there. You can get as fancy as you like, but the simplest version is to just get a shower rod and hang a pot or small bucket from it. Fill the bottom with small rocks and sand for drainage, fill the rest up with potting soil and stick a plant in. Basil smells amazing, so even if you don’t use it regularly, it’ll still scent your kitchen.
Another sun lover, chives are simple to care for. If you dig them up from outside, be sure to give them a few days to adjust to being indoors by leaving them in the coolest area of your house.
Self-watering planters are a neat way to upcycle old bottles. You can cut or break them neatly, then use the neck end as your planter. Drop a string down the neck and attach it to the bowl — tape works well. Fill the bowl with dirt, and place it upside down in a Mason jar partially filled with water. Then just add the plant. Chives work well because their roots are flexible and don’t have to go very deep to produce a decent plant, and the sting will draw water up to the dirt, doing the watering for you.
Let’s face it: Ladders are basically shelves. Bay grows well in well-lit areas, but it doesn’t need sunlight all day — about half the day is plenty. It does need a little more space than some other plants, which is why using a ladder can give you enough room.
Just grab an old ladder, paint it and do the same for some old plywood. Nail the plywood to the ladder rungs and you suddenly have a nice, vertical garden. The bottom shelf can hold toys, while plants can be kept a bit higher if you’re hoping to keep little hands out of the dirt. Just be sure to secure the ladder.
Oregano loves warmth and light, so a south-facing window is perfect. It’s also a bit like growing a tiny shrub, in that it won’t get too out of control and requires minimal maintenance as long as you provide plenty of drainage for it.
As for the wall-art bit, it’s a pretty free-range project. The main idea is to get a small planter and attach it to something you can then hang on the wall. Strangely enough, a sturdy picture frame is actually perfect for this, as long as you reinforce the backing.
By far, the lowest-maintenance garden you can do is just to put a bunch of herbs in one pot and take care of them that way. These three herbs all like about the same amounts of water and sunlight — which is lots of sun and slightly damp soil, so they do well together. They also tend to be pretty well-behaved and won’t crowd each other out.
So, while you don’t have to go shopping for any heavy duty tools, you can certainly use some tools around the house to get creative. These are only a few ideas — let your imagination and your hammer arm — go wild and you’re sure to come up with something new.
Ali Lawrence is a tea-sipping writer who focuses on healthy and sustainable living via her family blog Homey Improvements. She was born and raised in Alaska and dabbles in PR, Pilates, and is a princess for hire for kid’s parties. Find her on Twitter @DIYfolks.