Indoor herb gardening tips

Carly Boens (TheLorian)

In the dead of winter, the dismal landscape outside can become old quite fast. An herb garden is a simple way to bring greenery and life into your dorm room, apartment, or home. There are many benefits that come along with planting and growing your own herbs.

Overall, growing your own plants is more sustainable than purchasing prepackaged herbs every time you need them. Herbs from the store tend to be packaged in plastic casing, which is harmful for the environment. Additionally, when you grow your own plants, you can continue to use them over time, which eliminates the need to continue purchasing them. Herbs are also low maintenance plants that only require regular watering. They stay small, which is ideal for those who live in tiny spaces such as dorm rooms. They add aesthetic value to your home and provide fresh, clean scents. It is also shown that having plants in general can relieve stress. Gardening provides stress relief and many plants act as air purifiers, which can help create a calm environment to live in (Croteau 2019).

There are many kinds of herbs that thrive both indoors and outdoors, but some will grow better inside than others. Lemon balm, lemongrass, rosemary, oregano, parsley, chives, and different varieties of mint all do well in climate controlled environments. Additionally, they all smell wonderful and are easy to add to a variety of recipes. Most herbs require around six hours minimum of sunlight per day. A simple way to ensure that they are exposed to enough natural light is to grow them on a windowsill. However, it is important to make sure that the glass does not give off too much cold or heat during the various seasons. On especially cold days, it is essential to move the herbs further away from the window. To start an herb plant, begin with a four to six inch pot that has a drainage hole. It is key that your herb never sits directly in water. Clay pots tend to dry out if they are near air conditioners or radiators, so plastic or ceramic pots are the safest options.

Once your herbs have started to grow in their new environment, they should be watered around two to three times per week. The soil should partially dry between watering, but it is important that they do not remain constantly soaked. To check the moisture level of the soil, simply stick your finger in the pot. If the soil feels spongy and damp, let it dry more before watering it again. If there is an excess of water in the pot, simply pour it out. To keep the leaves fresh, misting the plant two to three times per week is another watering method. It is important to remember that all specific plants have different temperature and watering requirements, so while these are basic guidelines, it helps to do a little research before you dive in. With Valentine’s Day coming up, it’s clear that you and an herb garden are “mint” to be.

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