Herbs are so useful around the house and kitchen that having to say good bye to them in the winter is hard, so don’t! Herbs grow well inside and I find that some do even better indoors than they do outside where it is a little harder to control the amount of moisture they get. It really is not hard to plant your very own miniature herb garden for the winter and once you are done it is even easier to maintain, If you want to plant the entire garden on your own I have put together the following to help you, if on the other hand you want to cut out all the searching I have listed some places you can find some really neat herb garden kits. I like being able to hunt for unique miniature pots to mix and hand picking my herbs knowing what I use the most in the kitchen and in tea.
The best pots for planting herbs are terra cotta or ceramic ones because they are very porous. I have found a huge selection of cute mini terra cotta pots in stores and online. Ceramic pots are also good to use but I have not had luck finding a wide variety of smaller ones that can be placed on windowsills.
Soil is a little harder to find inthe fall or winter when you are starting your indoor herb garden but if you go to a florist or local plant store they should have some on hand. You want to choose a potting soil that is not too rich and with a higher sand content so it drains well. To begin first put a layer of small rocks in the bottom of the pot to aid in drainage. Add potting compost, soil and sand to create a good herb potting soil.
Choosing Herbs to Grow
Unless you want to just plant a random herb garden based on favorites selecting the herbs that you are going to grow is very important. For a culinary herb garden favorites are: parsley, thyme, cilantro, chives, savory, garlic, mustard sage, basil, dill, and oregano. If you are looking to cultivate a medicinal herb garden then you want to plant german chamomile, lemon balm, St. Johnswort, Valerian, Echinacea, Cayenne, Sage and Yarrow. My favorite type of herb garden to grow though is a tea herb garden. The herbs you will need for this are rosemary, sage, german chamomile, anise, lemon grass, feverfew, lemon balm, angelica and orange gem marigold.
If you were not lucky enough to have a winter herb garden that you could just repot and transplant indoors or did not do so in time do not despair there are still places where yyou can find herb plants of seeds. The first place to try would be a local nursery or plant store they will sometimes have herbs stocked year round for purchase. A second option would be to take cuttings from woody herbs by cutting off a small part of the stem and placing in soil. To start your herb garden from scratch you can also purchase seeds and plant those in the potting soil you have mixed.
Caring For Your Herb Garden
Once you have potted all your herbs you need to make sure you follow growing instructions for each individual herb to ensure its longevity. In general though try to keep your plants clustered or close to each other as they will grow better that way. Also choose a sunny location near a window where they will receive direct sunlight for at least eight hours a day. Most herbs do not like to be kept really moist so do not over water and be sure to leave them in a place where they can drain sufficiently. To help in them drain try to water your potted herb garden early in the morning or at the end of the day.
Herb Garden Kits
If you prefer a quick and easy started garden there are plenty of online sites or nurseries that carry herb garden kits that are easy to use. I have found some really nice ones with great selections but I like to add to them when they are lacking my favorite herbs. You can try Herb Kits, an online store that sells herbariums to start growing your own herb garden. Mountain Valley Growers is also a good site to find kits that have several different selections of herbs available.