Whether you’re short on space, do not have access to a garden or wish to have more plants in your home, there something very satisfying about growing your own kitchen herb garden. Herbs are some of the easiest plants to grow and will transform your efforts in the kitchen.
Not only do you gain deliciously scented fresh herbs to add to you cooking all year round, plants are good of your health and happiness, purifying the air and creating a calming atmosphere.
Our founder Jennifer is a keen gardener, so we asked her for her top tips for growing herbs indoors.
Choose herbs you cook with the most frequently.
My favourite herbs to grow indoors are basil, parsley and rosemary but I also like to grow chillies. They are great to have to hand and aesthetically pleasing.
Choose a sunny location
Light is key to the health of your plants. A south or east facing window is best. Rotate your pots and move them around as light and seasons shift.
Use a container with good drainage.
Choose pots with drain holes and saucers or place small pebbles at the at the base of your pot to aid drainage. I like to recycle Balance Box pots into plant containers. I heat a kitchen utensil and burn little holes in the bottom for drainage and add a few pebbles to the bottom. Add soil and sprinkle seeds over the top. Scatter a little more earth on top and water.
Don’t over-water your herbs.
The idea is to keep the soil damp, not saturated. It is best to water your plants in the morning and late afternoon when it’s a little shadier. Wait until your herbs are mature before harvesting for the first time. Never harvest more than one third and wait for it to grow back before harvesting again.
Pick your herbs from the top.
This will ensure your plants stay bushy. If you pick from the side, they will grow tall and spindly. Take the large leaves first, giving the baby leaves chance to grow. Also, remove the flowers to prevent your herbs from going to seed.
In a hurry?
While growing from seed can be more rewarding, it takes a lot more time to get to the point where you’ll have herbs that are mature enough to eat. If you want your herb garden to be ready now there is nothing wrong with buying potted herb plants from the shops. Just pop then in you Balance Box pot or a larger container so they have more space to grow and keep then hydrated. Buy a few more plants than you need. They will look great on your windowsill, and you’ll be able to harvest and rotate your pots as cook with them.
Recipes to add your home-grown herbs to: