Cooking is your passion and you spend a lot of time in your kitchen. Trying new things and coming up with new recipes is what makes you happy. And we all know that herbs and spices can make almost any dish more unique and delicious. And while cooking with store-bought items is okay, have you ever considered planting some veggies and herbs in your kitchen? Nothing can beat the taste and scent of freshly harvested herbs in a sauce. And even if gardening is not the strongest side of yours, with a few simple tricks you can rest assured you will always have fresh herbs on hand.
But before you start with the entire process of planting, you should decide which herbs you want to plant. Which ones do you use the most? If you decide to plant rosemary, for instance, you can plant this herb from a rootless cutting. For basil, you need to ensure there is plenty of warmth and sunlight, while parsley requires bright light and organic potting soil. Mint is one of the most widely used herbs from tea to desserts and can thrive in moderate light, while oregano can be cut from an outside plant and it can be easily planted into potting soil. Once you decide which herbs you want to grow, you can start planning the big things.
Choose the best window box planters
Everything starts with the planters. You need to ensure that you will provide your herbs with the perfect environment to develop and grow. Choosing the proper planter is an important factor that will determine your success when growing herbs indoors. Drainage is an essential part of the process as keeping your herbs in standing water will not help them at all. Also, keeping your planters indoors can easily damage the surface they’re placed on and make a mess. This is where self-watering window box planters come in helpful. Featuring a built-in water reservoir, they ensure that your plants and herbs receive the needed amount of water. Plus, you will no longer need to worry about their watering needs when you’re away on a vacay.
Before buying, decide on the type of plants you will plant so that you can choose the right size of a box container. For example, basil requires a deeper pot since it has long roots. Material is also a thing to keep in mind since the planter should be able to withstand the humidity level of your home. Clay pots dry out faster while ceramic ones held in the water. Your best bet is buying window box planters made of high-density polyethene. This material is corrosion and UV resistant, safe, recyclable and BPA-free. Moreover, you can use it indoors and outdoors without worrying that it will get damaged. You can breathe life into your kitchen with some colourful modern window sill planter box. Or, you can keep it simple and opt for a white and sleek modern planter design which can seamlessly blend with your interior design.
Choose the right potting mix or soil
Check out the label of the potting mix and see if it’s suitable for indoor plants. You will notice that some packages are named ‘potting mix’ while others ‘potting soil’. So, what’s the difference? The potting mix is lighter and usually contains an aerator like perlite (little white stones). This is what you actually need for growing herbs indoor. Even if you live in a house and have plenty of outdoor soil, please don’t use the same for your indoor plants. This soil is much more compact, which means it is not suitable for indoor gardening as it doesn’t allow the roots of the plants to breathe. The other option is to make your own potting mix with coarse sand, perlite, peat moss or coco peat. This is an economical solution and you can also modify the ingredients depending on the type of herbs you are going to grow. For example, herbs that require more moisture, such as mint, will appreciate a soil that has a little extra peat.
Provide your herbs with enough light
The more light your herbs get, the better they will grow and taste. Herbs require six to eight hours of direct sunlight, so your best bet is placing your window sill planter on a sunny spot. If the window sill is not large enough for your planters, consider installing a shelf right to your window. The easier and cleaner option is to install the planter itself right on the wall. If you are not sure how to secure a window box planter correctly, you can find a lot of articles and videos online that can help you in the process. Another way to provide your herbs with plenty of light is to use light setups which you can find in most online retailers and garden centres. No matter which way you choose to go, ensure your herbs get enough light as this is what encourages healthy growth.
Maintain the right room temperature
Apart from light, the temperature is another important factor. The ideal temperature for most herbs is between 18 to 21 degrees Celsius which is also the most common temperature in most home environments. Also, if you want to slow down the growing process, you can reduce the temperature. Be careful when placing the herbs right to the window because if the leaves are touching the glass they could easily burn. On the other hand, drafty windows can make herbs too cold. Basil is the most particular herb when it comes to temperature requirements. It loves warmth, so a 23 degree Celsius is the perfect temperature for it. In case it gets cold, the leaves will start to discolour and wilt in about 24 hours.
Last but not least, give your herbs some love. From time to time, gently brush their tops. These little movements stimulate the motion of wind helping your herbs to encourage the stems and grow strong.