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Gardening

How To Keep Your Indoor Herb Garden Growing All Winter

How To Keep Your Indoor Herb Garden Growing All Winter

Keep the tastes of summer alive inside your home this winter with fragrant, fresh herbs. If you love cooking with your own fresh herbs, it’s easy and fun to do all winter long. Simply bring your herbs in from the garden, give them the right amount of light and water, and you can enjoy them in your favourite recipes all year.

If you didn’t grow herbs in your garden this summer, you can still get some potted herbs at your local gardencentre or grocery store.

Choose Your Favourite Herbs

To get started, choose a few of your favourite herbs from hardy perennials such as basil, chives, ginger, lemongrass, lemon verbena, marjoram, mint, oregano, parsley, sage, rosemary, tarragon and thyme, all of which do well indoors.

If you’re concerned about light levels in your home, there are some herbs that don’t need as much light to grow well indoors – bay, chervil, chives, parsley and thyme.

Sage and rosemary are ideal to grow in containers that you can easily bring in and take out again to your herb garden in the spring.

Keep in mind that annual herbs such as dill, cilantro, chervil, basil and summer savory will usually go to seed and die off in the fall, but if you spot any new shoots sprouting before the frost, you can transplant them to pots and bring them inside.

Smart Indoor Herb-Growing Systems

Another option to explore is a Smart low-maintenance indoor herb-growing system, ideal for novice gardeners. All you do is add the seed pods, refill the automated watering reservoir, and watch your herbs flourish under energy-efficient LED grow lights.

Tips for Growing Your Indoor Herb Garden

1. Bring your herbs inside before the first frost

  • Check for insects, and spray the herbs with water or insecticidal soap before bringing them inside.
  • When transplanting to a pot, make sure it is large enough for the herb’s root ball.
  • Provide good drainage by adding some sand or vermiculite to the potting soil.

2. Help your herbs adjust to being indoors

  • Be patient as your herbs adjust to the lower light levels indoors.
  • They may lose a few leaves, but in time this will stop.
  • In the first few days, avoid placing your herbs in direct sunlight.
  • Herbs will do best at temperatures between 18°C to 21°C.
  • After about seven days, move the herbs to a sunnier window so they get at least four hours of direct sunshine a day.

3. Monitor the amount of sunlight and water

  • Turn your herb pots slightly each day to give all sides of your plant equal exposure to sunlight.
  • Fluorescent bulbs or a grow light in any fixture will help your herbs to grow if there is not enough sunshine.
  • Give your herbs enough water but don’t let them get excessively wet.

4. Nurture your herbs

  • Continue turning the pots to give your herbs an equal amount of sunlight on every side.
  • Water carefully. A good rule of thumb is to water only if the soil is dry 1-inch deep.
  • To lower the risk of your herbs drying out, mist them every day with a spray water bottle, or place a bowl of water beside them to create humidity.
  • Keep inspecting your herbs for pests. Rinse them with water in the sink if you suspect they have any unwanted visitors on them, or use insecticidal soap.
  • Fertilize very sparingly so that your herbs don’t lose their scent and flavour.
  • Trim your herb plants regularly to make sure that enough light reaches the entire plant. This will encourage new shoots and a steady crop of herbs all winter.

Growing herbs indoors during the cold winter months is a fun activity for the whole family. Your herbs will reward you with fragrant smells, green foliage and warm memories of summer, not to mention delicious meals. Enjoy!


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