Enjoy Fresh Herbs, Even In Winter
Is it possible to grow herbs indoors in the dead of winter? Yes, if you choose the right herbs and create the right conditions for them. You can transplant herbs from your garden, buy seedlings from your garden center, or start with seeds. Here are some tips to make growing herbs in the home easy.
Keep on the Sunny Side
Herbs need sun -- lots of it. Most herbs require at least 6 hours of sun per day outdoors. Indoors, much less light gets in, especially in the winter. So be sure to place your herb garden by a window that faces south. You will also need a grow lamp shining on your garden for at least 12 hours a day. There are many different kinds available, including compact fluorescent bulbs that save energy.
Use Good Potting Mix
Your herbs will need nutrients, oxygen, and moisture at the root level. Try to use a quality potting mix, such as Miracle-Gro® Moisture Control® Potting Mix, which contains wetting agents that hold and release moisture as the plant needs it.
Remember to Feed and Water Your Herbs
Watering is always a challenge with indoor plants. Let the plant's container mix dry out, then water until you see pooling near the container holes. Avoid over-watering. Help your plant grow by feeding it every week or two with Miracle Gro® Watering Can Singles All Purpose Water Soluble Plant Food. If your plants are not in the growing stage, cut back on the feeding to about once a month.
A Growing Tip
Since air and soil temperature can affect plant growth rates, keep your seedlings warm with a seedling heat mat, available at your garden center.
Good Plants for Your Herb Garden
If you're growing from seed, look for newer varieties that are dense and compact, since standard ones may not be satisfactory in the house. Popular herbs include basil, thyme, oregano, and rosemary. Ask at your garden center for recommendations.
A Note on Garden Plants
Plants taken straight from an outdoor sunny spot to an indoor pot can go into a sort of light-deprivation shock. You might want to help them adjust by moving them from full sun to partial shade for a few weeks, and then to deeper shade before moving them indoors.