Tips for Creating an Herb Garden in Your Kitchen

There’s nothing better than seeing the lively addition of fresh herbs growing in your kitchen. Creating an indoor garden is a great way to bring the "outdoors inside" when the cold weather hits us in Pittsburgh. The winter temperatures are frigid, making it nearly impossible and not nearly as enjoyable to successfully grow herbs in your backyard garden.

Having fresh herbs in your kitchen will make dreary winter day cooking even tastier with the freshness at the tip of your fingers. Whether you have a green thumb or not, creating a garden in your kitchen doesn’t take a lot work, just a will to make everything come up green!

1. Choose the right placement

The key to having a successful indoor garden is to put it within sight of a window so that it receives between four to six hours of sunlight everyday. If you are doing a window box type of planting, you’ll want to put it near the window so it will get those necessary hours of sunlight. Not too close because the cold Pittsburgh winter might bring in dampness or a draft that won’t be good for your plants. It is also necessary to know that the indoor garden shouldn’t be placed near the stove or oven, because that will make the environment too warm for your plants and could allow them to wilt.

Building or purchasing a simple rack is an ideal situation because you can hang your garden on a wall near the window where it will still receive the necessary sunlight but, it also won’t be susceptible to any severe cold winter temperatures by the window. If you use a rack you will also have additional shelving to give even more room for additional varieties of herbs and spices.

2. Decide what herbs you want to grow

When choosing herbs to grow in your indoor kitchen garden, don’t try to overthink it, choose the basics or perhaps ones that you’d use often while cooking. A few popular herbs that are great for indoor gardening include: basil, parsley, sage, rosemary, chives, thyme, and mint. The smaller leaf plants grow better and live longer inside than other plants with bigger leaves.

3. The planting process

Whether you are purchasing an indoor window sill planter or are using a shelving technique, you will want to label your pots before planting. Not only does this make it easier to tell the difference between your herbs but it also makes it easier to care for each individual plant.

There are two ways that you can begin your indoor herb garden: starting with seeds or plants that are already grown. If you have the time and patience to wait for your plants to grow, starting seeds will be a great option. Seeds may take more time but it can help extend your gardening practice as you wait for the reward of fully bloomed herbs in your kitchen.

If you are not as patient and want to enjoy the fresh herbs instantaneously, starting with matured herbs will be the better option for you. Even though you are starting with matured plants, the process is still just as rewarding as you care for and cook fresh dished with them. Go to your local garden center or nursery to find the herbs of your choosing to place into your small pots. A few days after planting your herbs should be freshly adjusted to their new environment and ready for use.

Water your herb plants frequently but do avoid overwatering because that will damage the roots of the plants and can leak onto your sill. Since these herb plants are being used to cook, you will be pruning and trimming them often, no need to care about pruning since you’ll already be doing so.

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