Growing a Winter Herb Garden

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If you enjoy cooking with fresh herbs from the garden in summer, why not consider growing herbs indoors in the winter too? Most herbs are perennials and can be grown year round. Some however are biennials (dill and coriander or cilantro are two examples) that once harvested will not continue to grow. The easiest herbs to grow in pots or smaller containers are thyme, rosemary, lavender, mint, parsley, tarragon, basil, oregano, marjoram, sage, and chives.

Best Indoor Location

It's fairly easy to grow a winter herb garden as long as you have a sunny south (or north if you're in the southern hemisphere) facing window or two and a table, plant rack, or desktop to grow them on. You'll need to place your potted herbs in a window that receives at least 4 hours of sunlight each day. A large plate glass window, sliding glass door or sunroom with lots of windows is the perfect location. If your plants will receive less than that amount of sunlight it is necessary to install grow lights to provide enough light for your herbs to grow well.

Potting Your Herbs

Dig up your herb plants from the garden at the end of the summer and transplant into pots to give them time to acclimate. Leave them outside until the first frost, and then bring them indoors. The soils should contain ample amounts of course sand and compost-rich soil to ensure good drainage, which is especially important for indoor growing. Another alternative is to start your winter herb garden from seed and transplant the herb plants to the garden in the spring.
Tabletop Herb Garden

Care and Maintenance

Water your herb plants thoroughly when the soil is dry, saturating the soil completely. Be careful not to over water because it may cause the root system to rot. Mist your plants every day to increase humidity levels. Because most homes are heated in winter indoor air is much drier and humidity level s are lower. Check your herb plants for dead branches and leaves and remove them promptly. Similarly, to encourage air circulation, when you cut sprigs of fresh herbs to use for cooking look for places where some thinning or pruning might be in order.

Related articles:
Herbal Sorbets
Lavender & Rosemary Body Scrubs
Rose, Orange Blossom and Lavender Flower Waters

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