(Melissa is a guest blogger from The Happier Homemaker.)
Many cooks like the convenience of having fresh herbs on hand in the kitchen but buying them can be a pain! Growing your own kitchen herbs is an easy way to enhance your cooking and requires very little space or time. Even the most challenged gardener can be be successful growing and using kitchen herbs with a few easy tips.
The first task when beginning to grow your own herbs is finding a location that has plenty of sunlight. To grow herbs indoors, look for a sunny window that allows the plants to receive at least 4 hours of sun per day. South facing windows are best but east and west facing windows work well too. North facing windows generally do not allow enough light for plants to thrive.
After you find the right light for your herbs you need to prepare your planters. Good drainage is essential to growing herbs. Look for a plastic planter with drainage holes and a built in saucer to catch draining water and avoid damaging the area under your plant. Clay pots dry out quickly and clay saucers will wick water to the surface they sit on so they are best avoided indoors.
Fill your planters with a high quality potting soil specifically designed for containers and plant your herbs. If you are green thumb challenged I suggest creating a routine to help you remember to care for and water your plants. For a kitchen garden something as simple as checking your plants daily while you are brewing your morning coffee will help you remember to monitor the soil dryness and water as needed! If your home’s air is dry consider giving plants a weekly shower in your sink to give them a refresh as well!
So which plants are best for an indoor kitchen garden? Cooking staples such as mint, oregano, basil, parsley and rosemary all thrive indoors. Keep basil away from cool windows as it will droop quickly when exposed to a draft!
To use your kitchen herbs simply snip clippings as needed. If you are snipping regularly, a weekly feeding with high quality plant food can help plants grow more robustly and yield more leaves.