Why You Need To Have An Indoor Herb Garden This Year

herb gardening

“It’s an apple-scented geranium replied Marilla. Oh, I don’t mean that sort of a name. I mean just a name you gave it yourself. . . . I like things to have handles even if they are only geraniums. It makes them seem more like people. How do you know but that it hurts a geranium’s feelings just to be called a geranium and nothing else? You wouldn’t like to be called nothing but a woman all the time. Yes, I shall call it Bonny.”

Basil plantThis is a basil plant but in honor of a much beloved actor who played Gilbert Blythe I’m giving a nod to one of my favorite movies of all time. We shall call this floppy basil plant Bonny. I purchased Bonny at a home goods store for $1.19. As you can tell though Bonny doesn’t look the way a basil plant should.  She is leggy and really needs to look more like a bush than a tree! You can see some pictures of a beautiful basil plant here. So as part of the #SKCgardenchallenge we are going to attempt to get Bonny looking proper. Step 1 is to prune her!

Why You Should Have An Indoor Herb Garden!

Having an indoor herb garden is not difficult at all! In fact, even if you have a brown thumb you should have one each year. It really is as simple as buying a small terracotta pot, a small bag of potting soil, and some herbs. To make it super easy you can just purchase one of those living herb packages from the grocery store! 🙂 However, you will get more variety of you go to a nursery or even a home and garden center. (If you are feeling adventurous you could buy some seed packets and start them.)

Everyone Should Have An Indoor Herb Garden

Even if you plan on planting herbs outside you should have a few plants in your kitchen windowsill. (Or somewhere indoors.) Windowsill herb gardens are particularly useful because you don’t have to step out of your kitchen! When you are cooking all you need to do is grab your kitchen scissors and snip off a few sprigs of whatever you need.

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Some Of My Favorite Herbs To Use In Cooking

  1. parsley and oreganoRosemary
  2. Basil
  3. Thyme
  4. Oregano
  5. Parsley

At one time or another I will have a few of these herbs potted up and living on my kitchen windowsill. Sometimes these plants will grow faster than I can use them in my cooking. When this occurs I will just give them a good pruning and then place the herbs in a small bowl to dry. You can make a great Italian herb mix this way!

I’ve also found that when I have these fresh herbs easily available I am more creative in my cooking. This creativity saves me money in my food budget and helps me serve less processed foods to my family.

 Setting Up Your First Indoor Herb Garden

When you put together your windowsill herb garden you have a few options. Some gardeners like to put all their herbs in one container which is useful if your plants have similar growing habits. These can be very picturesque and I saw some delightful examples of this over the weekend at a local nursery. However, I like to use individual containers because: you can turn the containers around as needed and if one plant fails you can easily purchase another plant to take its place.

Your indoor herb garden 2-do list

  1. Choose 2-4 of the hebs you use the most in your cooking.
  2. Purchase small containers for your herbs.
  3. Purchase the herb plants or seeds depending on the method that you’ve chosen.
  4. Water as necessary. Do a little research on the growing habits of your herbs and care for them as directed. You can often find this information on the little tags that come with the plants or on the back of a seed packet.

Download the FREE garden journal to help you keep track of your plant information!

Things I’ve Learned About Herbs

  1. Don’t worry about “failing” just buy a plant, put it in soil, and see how it goes. For me Rosemary is my nemesis! I just cannot seem to get this plant to make it through the year so I just get a new one every year.
  2. Rosemary likes to be try–mostly–it is very easy to overwater it. In fact overcare is one of the common causes of failure when growing Rosemary.
  3. Be careful where you plant Oregano–it is VERY invasive!
  4. Basil must be pinched back regularly 3-5x a week to maintain a healthy plant. You don’t want leggy growth so harvest by pinching as opposed to stripping off the leaves.

Which brings us back to Bonny!

basil plant
This is what Bonny looked like after I trimmed her up.

Obviously her previous owners did not know how to start young basil plants well. First, we need to pinch back the growth to encourage leaf growth. I’m not sure if I took too much off her but we will see! Follow along with me as I care Bonny and see if I can turn her into a proper bushy basil plant.

Interaction Thyme

Yes, pun intended! What herbs do you use most in cooking? Have you ever grown herbs before and have you ever given a plant such a sever trimming? Do you have an advice for Bonny’s care?

Now go plant something,

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