I live in Montreal, Quebec and have been gardening for well over 20 years. Although we have 4 distinctive seasons in this part of the world, winter is the longest and harshest of the lot. This cold season usually starts in mid-November to early May. Canadian winters are not a very good season for growing herbs or pretty much of anything for that matter.
Indoor Herb Gardens Offers Freshness and Abundance All Year Long.
However, if you grow herbs, the end of the gardening season does not mean the end of fresh regular supplies. You can easily grow herbs inside of your home in containers and assure a fresh and flavorful supply at all time of the year.
Various Containers for Indoor Gardening
A large variety of herbs can be grown indoors and pots or/and containers can be obtain through various outlets. A popular choice are Terra cotta pots, plastic planters will retain water more effectively and are less costly. In both cases, you should have plates underneath the pots to retain drained water. Of course, a long and narrow box that can contain many plants can do very well on a sunny windowsill.
You can also choose to grow plants in hanging planters. It is especially helpful for growing training herbs such as mint or terragon. You can also recycle strawberry pots to grow herbs. If you choose to grow different plants in the same container, make sure you plant herbs than share similar needs for soil, watering and light.
Proper Lighting for Indoor Herbs
In all circumstances, light is a primordial ingredient to assure good strong healthy plants. Your interior garden will need at least 6 hours of sunlight a day from a south-west facing window. Remember to turn the pots around a quarter turn every week to give equal exposure to the entire plants.
Of course, as the seasons change, the quantity and the quality of sunlight varies. Indoors herb gardening can be maintained through the entire year with the use of artificial lights. For best results, use full-spectrum grow lights thought cool or white lights can also do the job. Lights should be place at least 5 inches directly over the growing plants.
Maintenance of a Container Herb Garden
Keeping a good eye on the moisture of your plants is essential. It the soil is dry from 1 inch down from the top, it is time to water the growing herbs. Take into consideration, especially during wintertime, that interior air can be very dry and the plants might need to be watered more often than they would in other circumstances. Brown leaf tips and the appearance of red spider mites are definitively not a good sign. To avoid these type of problems, you can mist around the plant weekly.
You don’t need to fertilize your plants, you will produce superior flavor if you do not. You should, however, start your plants in enriched fertile potting soil. Once the plants are growing well and are well potted, pinch the tips off once in a while to help them grow.
This is a list of herbs that do very well when growing indoors.
* Lemon Balm
* Lemon Verbena
* Scented Geranium
* Sweet Bay
In conclusion, you can enjoy fresh and very flavorful herbs for cooking, teas and medicinal use all year round if you choose to grow indoor herb gardens. Of course, when the warmer climates finally arrives, you can easily transfer them to your outdoor area.
Eustache Davenport is a gardening enthusiast and author. He lives in Montreal and enjoy teaching his gardening secrets to work groups on how to setup, optimize and maintain an amazing herb garden. For more great tips and information on how to succeed at growing indoor herb gardens, visit http://www.herbgardeningonlineguide.com