recently i rounded up some of the most beautiful, clever, and cretive indoor herb gardens from around the web in search of inspiration for starting my own kitchen herb garden. i wanted this to be a project that i could do with my kids so we kept it simple and headed to the store an picked out all of the materials together. my daughter picked out the pretty blue pots, and my son helped pick the seeds for the herbs we would grow!
i also scoured the web for the best FREE herb garden printables and found THESE – they are awesome! you can just cut them out or use a 2 inch circular punch, attach them to a skewer with some tape and – boom! you have a cute herb garden marker!
i was excited to get started on our project with my kids! once we had our materials i was trying to decide the best time to plant… it was a beautiful sunny day and they wanted to play in the sprinklers… i figured it was a great time since they were in bathing suits and i could hose them down afterward lol! we planted them from seeds and now our plants are growing strong!
compiling what i have learned from my mother, from my own growing experience, and from taking botany courses in college, i have some tips and tricks to maintaining an indoor herb garden. follow this advice and your herb garden will be a great culinary tool in your kitchen!
top 9 tips and tricks for an amazing herb garden
1. placemet is key – having your herb garden in a location such as your kitchen window will remind you to water, and also be easily in reach for use in the kitchen. you are more likely to use them and be inspired by the flavors and scents if they are handy – so place them where you will remember them!
2. mint and oregano – these herbs tend to spread and take over – so they will either need a larger container or shoots will need to be trimmed and maintained more. do not plant these with other herbs as they will take over the whole pot!
3. pinching – basil is one of my favorites but it is key to ‘pinch’ these plants. this is the removal of the bud at the end of the stems – we don’t want flowers. doing this will encourage the growth to the leaves and stem. avoid flowering buds with all your herbs, but you will notice it the most maintence with basil.
4. weeding – not the most fun task, but a necessary one. weeding will be minimal for an indoor garden, but removing dead debris, shoots that are not taking hold, dying leaves ect will reduce the competition in your microgarden for nutrients.
5. rotate your pots – plants will begin to allocate nutrients to the stems and grow tall shoots (and small leaves) as they are in search of the light. if your pots have directional light (for example in a window with the light coming from one direction) rotate the plant each day or so about a quarter so that all the sides are getting even light as they grow. you will even begin to see your plants ‘turn’ to face the light each day (its called heliotropism – its pretty amazing)
6. when to water – the easiest way to figure this out is by touch. pressing your finger to the soil will give you an indication if they plant needs watering. you will find that some herbs need more watered more (ie: rosemary requires a lot less than basil) most indoor herbs fail from over watering and rotting roots.
7. trimming – if you are not using your herbs frequently, trim them. regular clippings encourages growth so your herbs will always be fresh and full – but don’t cut more than 1/3 off of the stem.
8. soil and fertilizer – add soil to your potted plants as the level drops over time. fertilize monthly with Miracle-Gro to help boost your herbs – particularly if are using them a lot. i have had great experience with using this on my outdoor and indoor gardening! your herbs will grow full and tall!
9. temperature and air circulation – fresh, cool, moving air is ideal – for indoor plants that can be tricky. placing plants on a window will allow you to crack the window and get some air flow when possible.
the kids love checking on them each day and enjoying them in our meals. the best part about gardening is that you grow much more than just the herbs you are planting. my kids and i have already gone back to the store and added additional plants to this window – we are growing sunflowers, mint, and parsley now too! it has sparked something exciting in my kids – a wonderment about nature, an appreciation for its beauty, and an opportunity for me to teach them ( i am a bio major remember?! )
what do you love about gardeing? how has it brought you closer to your family? what was your first experience growing something of your own? share your stories in the comments below and over at Gro Something Greater! share your gardening photos and stories using #growsomethinggreader so we all see them!