How to Create an Indoor Herb Garden Using a Grow Light

Overview

An indoor herb garden is an ideal way to grow herbs year-round, protecting them from the extreme heat of summer and freezing winters. A grow light supplements or replaces sunshine, providing a constant supply of fresh home-grown herbs, inspiring creativity in the kitchen and enhancing the flavors of foods.

Step 1

Choose herbs that are suitable for the space available and match the pot size to the herb. Pots should have a drainage hole in the bottom. A saucer for catching excess water is desirable. Consider the eventual size of the plant and allow plenty of room for growing roots. Parsley needs a deep pot to accommodate a deep tap root.

Step 2

Place a layer of gravel in the bottom of the pot to encourage good drainage. Mix together two parts potting soil with one part perlite. Use this mix to fill the pots.

Step 3

Transplant the herb plant into the pot, or plant seeds according to package directions. Water the newly planted herbs well, until water drains out the bottom of the pot.

Step 4

Adjust the grow light so that the plants are about 6 to 12 inches below the light. Check that the light is not too hot, moving the plants farther away if necessary. Give herbs approximately 14 to 16 hours of light daily.

Step 5

Check herbs daily for soil moisture. Each plant has different needs, so water accordingly. Mint and rosemary prefer more moisture, allow the soil on other herbs to dry on top before watering.

Step 6

Move the light up as the plants grow. Try to maintain 6 to 12 inches between the plants and light. This becomes more difficult as herbs grow at different rates. Tall, leggy plants indicate a need for more light.

Step 7

Give herbs a water-soluble fertilizer, mixed at half the recommended strength, every two weeks. Full-strength fertilizer may affect the flavor of herbs.

Things You'll Need

  • Pots
  • Herb plants or seeds
  • Grow light
  • Vegetable fertilizer
  • Potting soil
  • Perlite

References

  • West Virginia University Extension: Growing Herbs in the Home Garden
  • University of Minnesota Extension: Herbs
  • University of Illinois: Growing Herbs in the Home Garden
Keywords: indoor herb garden, using grow lights, create indoor garden

About this Author

Diane Watkins has been writing since 1984, with experience in newspaper, newsletter and web content. She writes two electronic newsletters and content around the web. Watkins has a Bachelor of Science degree in chemistry from Clemson University. She has taken graduate courses in biochemistry and education.