Dream of kicking it up a notch in the kitchen without added expenses? Looking for ways to cut back on chemical solutions to cleaning, skincare, and more? Researching new hobbies to tackle? A single herb can be used in several ways, from adding flavor to indulging in its natural aroma. Some even have medicinal properties! The possibilities are endless when you grow your own herb garden, no matter how big or small. Even in the smallest of apartments, there are effective methods for growing herbs with little to no natural light, and we’re here to help.
Where to Begin
Choose your first few herbs carefully.
Especially if you’re new to gardening and growing herbs, it’s best to begin with two to three herbs you enjoy the most. To start, consider choosing from the most popular herbs to cook with: rosemary, thyme, oregano, and parsley.
Use the right pots for your herbs.
Keep in mind that most herbs will thrive in pots about six inches in diameter, but you can keep them in bigger sizes if you have space. Make sure the pot has a drainage hole- the roots will rot if you let them sit in water for too long!
Pick the best space for your pots.
Lighting is the most critical factor for growing flavorful herbs. It helps herbs produce what’s necessary for their bold flavors! If you can, find somewhere in your home that gets a lot of natural light like a window that faces east, west, or south- these directions get the most sunlight in a day. Using artificial light also works if you’re short of the natural stuff.
Create and apply labels of your herbs’ names.
This one is kind of a no-brainer, but it’s still worth mentioning! You don’t want to accidentally use the wrong herb in your recipe or cleaning solution, so make sure to label your herbs as you go.
Understand how to water your herbs.
Some herbs have different watering requirements, so do your research on each one’s specific needs. As a general rule, avoid overwatering your herb garden or allowing sitting water. Tip: Water the soil, not the leaves.
Best Beginner Herbs to Grow Indoors
Best Indoor Variety: Blue Boy Rosemary
Lighting: Six to eight hours of sunlight.
Watering: Requires little watering. Allow it to dry out before watering.
Harvesting: Wait until it’s grown quite tall, then cut down to about four inches high to encourage growth. Clip stems to use in your favorite recipes.
Traditional Uses: Roasting with veggies and meats.
Best Indoor Variety: Greek Miniature Basil or Sweet Basil
Lighting: Six hours of sunlight.
Watering: Allow it to dry out between waterings.
Harvesting: Clip stems where it meets a pair of leaves to prompt growth. Cut flowers before they bloom. Once grown, pick leaves to cook with.
Traditional Uses: Pesto sauce and pizzas.
Best Indoor Variety: Flat Leaf Parsley (cooking) or Curly Parsley (garnish)
Lighting: Adaptable to shade and sunlight.
Watering: Maintain moist soil.
Harvesting: Trim from the outside to promote growth from its base.
Traditional Uses: Chimichurri sauce and as a garnish.