How to Plant and have Success with a Kitchen Herb Garden
What I love about gardening is the creativity it brings allowing you to be bold and daring as your imagination shifts into gear with amazing ideas that are fresh, original, and unique. The field of gardening is also beautiful because you can connect with nature not only outdoors but by providing a living space indoors with garden plants that offer so many benefits. In this article, however, we will be looking at such plants we can grow from our kitchens to help in bringing mouth-watering flavors to some of our most favorite dishes.
All garden plants require some sort of lighting condition no matter the species, because you’re growing herbs indoors or from your kitchen place the containers near a window that gets at least 3-4 hours of sunlight. If one side of your herbs is getting more sunlight than the other side then it’s best to turn the container every 2-3 days so that your herbs can grow full and healthy giving a good yield. If your kitchen window is not providing sufficient light or if a window is not present then consider purchasing grow lights. These lights will provide your herbs with the illumination to thrive. Grow lights can be purchased from your local nursery or garden center, these lights are easy to install and will give you a good return on your investment.
Soils that have good drainage but will absorb the right amount of moisture is ideal, the use of good potting soil works wonders. You can even go ahead and add organics or compost as an extra bonus.
Choice of Containers
I have seen so many containers used that are of different shapes, designs, and sizes. It’s alright to use stylish containers as long as they are wide enough so that your herbs can grow comfortably along with having drain holes for water drainage.
How to Plant
Fill the container/containers with the soil, leaving about 1-2 inches from the top or brim free of soil this will prevent the soil and seeds from washing out when applying water. You can either take each container and place them under the kitchen faucet allowing the water to run slowly not to disturb the soil until the water comes out of the bottom of the container.
The use of a water jug that has a showerhead attachment will work also. The soil should be moist allowing it to dry out a bit between watering. Each container should have a saucer to collect water that drains.
Your herbs can either be planted from seeds or seedlings, seeds will have to germinate before they are mature whereas seedlings are seeds that have already germinated and ready to transplant into larger containers. If you prefer to go with seeds read the instructions on the package for best results but if you love the idea of getting a jumpstart with the use of seedlings then do so by all means for a 6-inch container plant only 1 seedling because at maturity seedlings will need space to grow.
The kitchen temperature
The temperature is another factor to consider and that is sometimes overlooked when planning this type of garden. The ideal temperature for your herbs can be anywhere between 60-75 degrees or thereabout.
The Humidity level
If the humidity level is too low then what you can do is to fill a tray with pebbles along with adding sufficient water just enough to cover the pebbles. Place the Herbs on the tray, as the water evaporates it will help in giving your herbs the extra moisture they need. Another way to provide humidity is to mist the leaves.
The use of an all-purpose fertilizer at half strength that’s water-soluble or mixing organic fertilizer into the soil will help your herbs to thrive maintaining their rich color. If using water-soluble fertilizers apply once every two weeks or twice a month.
General maintenance of your herbs
1. Don’t allow the leaves of your herbs to touch the window which will cause the leaves to burn.
2. Synthetic or man-made fertilizers are salts and because fertilizers are grown in containers the only way to wash these salts away is to place your container under the tap and allow the water from the tap to run slowly flushing the salts. If salts are allowed to remain and build up in the container will do more harm than good. A build-up of salts that gathers around the root zone will pull water away from the plant causing wilting and browning of the leaves and then death.
3. Make good use of your herbs by harvesting them because by harvesting you will not only benefit from this procedure but your herbs also. Harvesting the leaves will increase the growth of your herbs causing them to be fuller or fluffy.
4. Don’t cram your herbs but give them adequate spacing for proper airflow or circulation. If herbs don’t have any breathing space will encourage disease.
5. Allow soil to dry out somewhat between watering because too much water will lead to root rot.
6. If you discover that your herbs are infected by mildew then what you need to do is place a fan in your kitchen to help circulate the air.
The Advantages of a kitchen garden
- Your plants will be protected from the elements such as the cold, heavy rain downpour, and other adverse conditions
- No need to weed which can be so consuming
- Growing your food crop in a healthy manner meaning foods has no harmful pesticides
- No garden insect pests issues
- Always having fresh herbs at your fingertips
- Herbs will fill your kitchen with their beautiful aromas
- You can always have an abundance of edible crops
- This way you can extend the season
- This is a great way to get a jump start on the season
- Less water and fertilizer usage
Names of herbs that are best to grow indoors
- Sweet Marjoram
- Common thyme
The presence of herbs in decorative containers will spice up the appearance of your kitchen by giving it a makeover. This kitchen enhancement will make this area of the house so much more inviting as being a place where home-cooked meals are prepared in an environment that warms the heart saying home sweet home.
The final word on kitchen garden herbs
Growing indoor herbs is a great way to get a jump start on the season or extend it. This method of growing herbs is not new but has been around for some time and has proven to be very beneficial. With herbs at our fingertips will always cause our foods to retain their freshness with amazing flavors that will excite our taste buds. Another advantage of growing and harvesting our homegrown herbs allow us saving (save on that grocery bill). What we have shared today will get you started as you turn your kitchen countertop into a herb garden which I think is so cool.