Even if you don't use the fresh herbs in your cooking, the fragrance that permeates the air is enough to justify an indoor kitchen herb garden. Grow a small variety of Italian herbs or a few types for tea in various containers. There are no rules to gardening outdoors or inside, so make your indoor herb garden as fun and whimsical as your conventional garden site.
1. Windowsill Gardening
The best growing conditions for herbs include about 10 hours of bright or filtered sunlight, high humidity and daily care. You can set pots of herbs on the windowsill, but for a creative twist, put the potted herbs in empty tin cans. Paint the cans to match your decor, allow the paint to dry and add plant tags. Other containers that work well for windowsill gardening include old small saucepans or large coffee cups. Put a small amount of pea gravel in the bottom of the container, then set the potted herb on the gravel.
2. Hanging Baskets
For kitchens without windows or windowsills, use hanging baskets for growing herbs. The three-tier wire mesh baskets used for holding produce work well if you hang them in a window or under a bright fluorescent light. Line the baskets with plastic so the water and soil don't fall through the basket. The baskets are large enough to accommodate the roots of the plant and spaced far enough apart to not hinder growth.
3. Trellis or Peg Board Gardening
A lattice trellis or peg board fastened to a wall gives you space to grow an assortment of herbs in one area. Wire 6-inch planters directly to the trellis or peg board to create a living spice rack. Use containers with an offset rim, such as clay pots or mason jars, so the wire wraps under the lip of the rim and around the lattice or through the holes of the peg board. A fluorescent strip light provides ample lighting for the plants.
4. Types of Gardens
The list is endless when it comes to herbs. Grow the ones you will cook with close to the sink for easy access for washing leaves. Place those plants used for teas in another area of the kitchen. Create a planter or section for medicinal herbs, and another one for aromatic herbs. Grow the herbs where the air temperature is about 70 degrees Fahrenheit. The more you use the herbs, the better they grow. Simply pinch off the leaves you need. Once spring arrives, move the plants outdoors.
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