Herb gardens were an essential feature in ancient homes. They were kept in a sunny corner near the house so as to be easily available for the homemaker. Herb gardens, during early days, were the only major source for seasoning in food. But, with advent of modern stores, the requirement for home grown herbs declined during recent past. However, off-late, many gardeners are re-discovering the pleasure of growing their own herbs.
Herbs can be planted indoors for all round the year enjoyment. Growing Indoor herb gardens is as easy as growing them in the garden. Conditions for growing indoor herbs is the same as outdoor gardening, with well-drained soil mix (not too rich) and sunlight being the most essential requirements.
Method “ Choose a west or south facing window. The light requirements vary from one herb to another, though, a sunny location would be ideal. Fluorescent lamps or grow lamps are ideal as supplementary light, during winter.
Mix two parts potting soil, one part coarse perlite or sand, for planting. To maintain the sweetness of soil, add a slice of ground limestone for each bushel of soil, or add one teaspoon of lime for every five inch pot. At least, an inch of gravel should be present at the bottom of every pot for good drainage. Grouping the herbs in a tray filled with moistened pebbles, and misting the herbs, will help in maintaining the herb in humid condition. However, care should be taken so that their roots do not get soggy.
While annual herbs are ideal for indoor gardens, as they can survive their complete life indoors, Perennial herbs will grow better when placed outdoors during summer. The pot can be plunged into the soil up to its brim, or can be placed in patio or porch, in a protected location.
Herb plants very much require sunlight during summer, and should be placed accordingly. They can be brought indoors during winter to avoid frost and prevent plant damage and loss of foliage. An indoor herb garden can be maintained for an indefinite period if yearly re-potting, periodic light feeding, outdoor moves for perennials seasonally, renewal of annuals, and an occasional pruning is taken care of. Several planters or a divided one can be used to meet the moisture requirements of the herbs.