How to Grow Fresh Herbs Indoors

Overview

Nothing tastes better in a recipe than fresh herbs. Fresh herbs have more flavor than old, dried-up herbs sitting in jars for months and months. You can grow your favorite herbs indoors, and with the proper care they will provide you with the freshest flavor all year round. Consider an herb kit the first time you try to grow a kitchen garden. Or you might already be adept at picking and choosing seeds and pots and tools for a successful indoor fresh herb garden.

Step 1

Purchase an indoor herb garden kit. This is the best option if you are new to gardening. Check the expiration date on the kit and only purchase one that is not old. A kit will have everything needed to successfully grow fresh herbs. Follow the detailed instructions that any good kit will provide, and after a season of learning from experience you may wish to set up an indoor herb garden from scratch.

Step 2

Choose a warm, sunny window in your home. While the kitchen may seem the most appropriate room for an indoor herb garden, herbs will want to be kept at 60 to 70 degrees F, and the kitchen may get too hot. It is important that the herbs have enough sun, warmth, space and protection from pets and children that an herb garden needs. Set up a table or shelves so that they get lots of sun if you don't have a wide windowsill. Ideally, choose a south-facing window to get the most sun.

Step 3

Try to purchase seeds that are locally produced; they tend to do better in the same zone and climate. Look on the package for that information. Also look at the expiration date on the seed package; do not buy old, expired seeds. Think about what seeds you want to grow. What herbs do you like to cook with? It may sound simple, but you are most likely to use what you already like. Herbs that grow well indoors include basil, oregano, parsley, thyme and rosemary.

Step 4

Use potting soil, not topsoil or any other bag of dirt. If you prefer staying organic, then use an organic potting soil such as Miracle Gro brand organic potting soil. Potting soil will already have the texture and drainage capacity needed for potted plants. Choose sizable pots that have drainage holes, and put dishes or trays under the pots to catch the water. Starting with pots that hold 2 to 4 cups of soil will prevent you having to transplant young shoots. Fill the pots with soil about 3/4 of the way full and sprinkle seeds on top. Sprinkle a little more soil on top of the seeds. Pat down gently, and add water. Check the pots every day for water; do not let them dry out.

Step 5

Read the bag of potting soil to see how long before you need to start adding fertilizer to your fresh herbs; for example, some potting soils have enough plant food for the first couple of months, after which you will need to add a little fertilizer every two weeks in the warm months and once per month in the cold months. Add fertilizer during watering. Eventually, fresh herbs will grow, and as they get bigger you will have fresh herbs to pick and use to flavor food.

Things You'll Need

  • Herb kit (optional)
  • Fresh herb seeds
  • Potting soil
  • Plant pots and trays
  • Water
  • Fertilizer

References

  • Allfreecrafts.com: Growing an Indoor Herb Garden
  • Oldfashionedliving.com: List of Indoor Herbs

Who Can Help

  • Herbkits.com: Indoor Herb Growing Kits
Keywords: grow herbs indoors, grow kitchen herbs, indoor gardening advice

About this Author

Samantha Hanly earned her education in both the United States and the United Kingdom. After earning her bachelor's degree she embarked on a career teaching dramatic arts, arts and crafts, and languages. She became a professional writer in the year 2000 writing curricula for other teachers to use with gifted students.