Have you always dreamed of fresh herbs straight from your kitchen window garden? Lovely green edibles all ready to cut and cook with can be a culinary delight all year round. Spicy chives for your morning eggs? Homegrown basil to add to your pesto? Yes, the dream can be yours!
Growing your own herbs in your kitchen just takes a few of the correct ingredients and some tips to get you started. Keep reading and see what we mean...
First of all, we suggest buying ready grown plants rather than starting from seed. Although you can grow many herbs from seeds or cuttings, it takes a lot of patience and can end up being disappointing if they don't quite make the cut.
Also, make sure to grow the herb varieties that you actually like to eat! This may sound obvious, but don't reach for those cilantro plants if no one in your house enjoys that particular herb in their meals. You'll enjoy the process (and the rewards) a lot more if you choose to grow kitchen herbs that everyone loves.
The biggest issue with growing herbs in your home is giving them enough light. Herbs generally need about 6 hours or more of sunlight per day. Mediterranean herbs (thyme, rosemary) can take even more. A South facing window is a great start, but you still might need help from some artificial lighting to make sure your herbs thrive and grow tasty foliage. Try using a fluorescent or a special grow light positioned above your plants to give them that extra boost they need. Herbs are like your hair—they need regular trimming! In order to grow robust and lush, regularly trim your herb plants. ( If you don't plan on eating them that day, then store cut herbs in the refrigerator wrapped in plastic wrap with a piece of damp paper towel to keep them fresh)
Never trim more than 1/3 of the size of your herb plant. This means that when they are young and small they probably won't need much cutting at all. However, once they start to branch out and get lanky then start shaping them with regular snipping.
You can choose to plant your herbs in individual pots or create a container garden of delicious plants. Look at their watering needs and plant similar plants together. For example, Mediterranean herbs like rosemary and thyme have similar watering needs and grow well together. Mint, on the other hand, not only needs a lot of water but also will take over your herb garden if you aren't careful! Mint plants grow fast and can be invasive.
Whatever your choice in pots, make sure to use planters that have drainage (or keep track of your watering schedule) because no herb plant likes to sit in water or have soggy roots.
One final tip? Use plant tags or markers to keep track of which herb is which! This will make things easy when your recipe calls for rosemary and you can't quite remember what that looks like! Also, it can add a decorating flourish to your indoor herb garden!
If you aren't sure which herb plants to start with, take a look at our top list of herbs to grow indoors.
Watch our easy DIY video below on how to make a herb planter with all your favourites! Keep it indoors in the kitchen or outdoors on the patio during the summer (close to the barbecue!)