An indoor herb garden with lights provides a great deal of versatility and choices. Herbs, like other plants, need lights to flourish and grow well. Freshly grown herbs provide additional seasoning and flavor to virtually any dish. Gardeners can use herbs for home remedies, aroma therapy or even dried flower arrangements. With the proper lighting, growers obtain success with an indoor herb garden.
The size of an indoor herb garden with lights depends on the grower’s space and budget. Herbs need 10 to 14 hours of natural sunlight or light from artificial grow lights to prosper. Select an area where there is plenty of space to place pots a minimum of 6 inches from one another for air circulation. You can also use several areas instead of one massive herb garden.
The best herb garden plant types are annuals, advises West Virginia University Extension Service. Experienced gardeners can grow virtually any type of herb indoors with the proper size containers and plenty of grow lights. Plant oregano, chives, basil, dill or mints to begin an herb garden with lights.
The beauty of an indoor herb garden with lights is the ability to grow plants year-round. Herbs grow in a climate-controlled environment. Gardeners can select herbs to grow for different seasons to spice their favorite dishes. For example, grow ginger prior to the winter holidays to use in drinks, soups and desserts.
Regardless of the planting zone, herb lovers can grow virtually any herb indoors. Whether it is hot, cold, dry or rainy outside does not affect the growing atmosphere for indoor gardens. Use lower light intensity and shorter lighting periods for herbs that prefer partial-sun or shady locations. Add pebble trays and small fans for air circulation for herbs that prefer high humidity to prevent lights from drying out the soil and burning foliage.
Provide indoor gardening soil that drains well. Add one part sand to four parts organic potting soil to modify for better drainage. Check that containers have drainage holes.
Indoor herb gardens with light require additional watering due to the heat from the lights and accelerated plant growth. Check plants daily for soil moisture. Fast-growing plants and high-intensity light herbs require frequent watering.
Applying organic liquid plant food, specifically for herbs, biweekly provides ample soil nutrients for indoor herbs. An alternative is to mix time-released granules into the potting soil prior to planting or germinating herbs to make certain soil quality meets the plants' growing needs.