How to Create an Indoor Herb Garden

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You can create your own indoor herb garden once you understand which herbs do well inside the home and how to give them the sunlight, growing room and nutrients they need. Become an herb garden expert with the help of this free video on winter garden care.

Part of the Video Series: Winter Garden Care
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Video Transcript

Hi, I'm Marci Degman, The Aspiring Gardener, and today we're going to talk about creating an indoor herb garden. Now, the first thing you have to remember is that all herbs do not do well inside. You have to pick the ones that are known to be good indoors because it's going to be a little bit different environment than what they're used to. Most of your Mediterranean herbs are used to really hot dry weather. So, the first thing you want to do is have a really good sunny window. If you don't have a good sunny spot, don't even try; unless you have a good light, maybe a grow light will work. The next thing you want to do is you want to have good terracotta because that's perfect. Herbs need to dry out in between and they need a lot of breathability. So, you want to have that. Now, what I've done is I've picked these little pots because they're attractive and because they would fit in my window sill. Maybe you don't have a regular window sill to put them on; so, you can find a table that's near a window, whatever works for you. If a big pot is better, that's fine too. You can put different types of herbs in one pot and have a big pot of herbs. What I like about this idea is that I tend to grow annual herbs inside; they tend to do better, they germinate quickly and you can keep adding seed. So, what you do is you take things like cilantro which is what I'm going to do with this one. I have basil which is a fast germinator and so nice in the middle of the winter and I've got chives. Now, chives will get large and eventually they need to go out into the garden; but, they grow really well. So, they'll give you that greenery that you need; you can pinch off that little bit of flavor for your food. Now, what I've done down here, it may not always be considered an herb, but what I have here is wheat grass seed. Now, not only is that something that people like to use nutritionally, but, I found that the cats really like it. So, if you have a cat that likes to get into your plants, if you grow them wheat grass, they'll eat the wheat grass and leave your other plants alone. The other reason I like to grow wheat grass is because it's just really nice in the middle of the winter to have this nice green grass. So, you can grow this for Easter, Easter decoration and it germinates in just a few days. I did put some in here, hoping that we'd have a little bit of green grass to look at and you can see it's already plumping. The seeds are already plumping up just in a few days. So then, maybe two days, I'm going to have grass. Now, it doesn't lasts very long; in about the time it gets this high, it's going to die back down and you just have to replant. So, it's something you just kind of keep adding. The same with, with the cilantro, it will grow a certain height and then it bolts and then it dies back. So, what you do is you just, you pinch off and the minute you have something dead, you add a few more seeds so you have an ongoing annual herb. Same with basil. The chive is more of a perennial herb, so what you want to do is just use that through the winter and then, if you choose to you could take and plant it out in your perennial garden. Now, something to remember about most perennial herbs like oregano, rosemary, lavender, they can be started from seed; but, they're very very hard to germinate and they take about a year to turn into a nice plant. So, if you're looking for an indoor herb garden, they're not a good choice. You're better off at the end of summer, bringing in a rosemary or lavender plant and putting those in your window sill. They'll get a little bit spindly; they'll need to be pinched back and they may not look quite as good as they do outside, but they've been know to do pretty well inside the house. So, if you want an indoor herb garden, sunny window, annual herbs that will grow quickly, add them as you want for ongoing green and if you get a chance, try some wheat grass for some winter greenery. And that's how you create an indoor herb garden.

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