Now that the cold weather season is approaching, edible gardening is typically put on hold. Indoor gardening is the best alternative to keep your cooking fresh with homegrown herbs. There are a wide variety of plants you can grow year-round, indoors, right at your fingertips. Herbs such as basil, mint, and rosemary are only a few of the many options to choose from that can grow comfortably in indoor temperatures. Having fresh herbs can make a difference in your cooking and in your wallet! Get ready to garnish everything from soup to your Thanksgiving turkey because this garden gives a difference you can taste! Here are some tips on how to grow your favorite herbs on your very own countertop- you won't believe how easy it can be.
Pre-bought ceramic gardening pots, plastic pots, or cleaned and recycled soup cans in a variety of sizes may be used to house your herbs. Make sure the pot allows for a decent amount of drainage. Use terra cotta saucers to place under pots filled with river rocks and small pebbles to catch any drainage in order to avoid a countertop mess. Add a few pebbles to the bottom of your pot and then top it with soil, filling each pot two-thirds full. Place the pot on top of the pebble-filled saucer.
Using seeds or already grown, prebought herbs are both viable options for planting. Growing seedlings requires a bit more work but prebought plants are more likely to die when repotted into a new environment. In order to grow using seeds, place a few in their respective pots and then cover them completely but lightly with soil. Sprouts will rot rather than germinate if you use too heavy of soil to cover them. Next, place plastic wrap over the pot and use a rubber band to secure it tightly around the rim of the pot. Poke a few holes in the top and let sit in a warm spot in your home out of direct sunlight until sprouts appear. This may take up to three weeks or more depending on the type of herb you are growing. Once sprouts appear, remove the plastic wrap. Keep the sprout in the sun and water infrequently (once or twice a week). Now watch your herbs grow!
Whether using pregrown plants or seedlings, maintenance is essential to keep your plants happy and healthy. Keeping your plants in the sunniest spot on your counter is crucial to ensure they receive enough sunlight. If you are housing a lot of herbs, it would be beneficial to switch up their spots on the counter so that they can have equal amounts of sunlight. Also, different herbs require different watering schedules, some being more frequent than others. Here are some tips on maintaining certain herbs.
Time to Grow
An herb countertop garden is a fun way to achieve fresh and all natural cooking right down to the garnishes. Although this process takes time and patience, adding fresh homegrown basil to your tomato soup in the dead of winter makes the wait worth it. If you find you are having trouble maintaining or growing your herbs, there are some affordable and easy to use growing kits with temperature control and lighting in order to maintain an indoor garden- but this DIY alternative is cheaper and just as effective. Give it a try and add some life to your kitchen countertop this season.