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Style Magazine

Indoor Herb Gardens

Mar 31, 2009 05:00PM ● By Super Admin

Parsley, sage, rosemary and thyme. These savories might call to mind that old song by Simon and Garfunkle, but have you ever considered growing these herbs yourself? This year, many of us are looking for ways to shave the dollars off our grocery bill. By growing your own herbs, you can do just that, without having to sacrifice freshness, quality or taste. An indoor herb garden is just the project for spring.

Getting Started
Very few things are needed once you decide to grow an indoor herb garden – just pots, seeds or plants, a little soil, and a sunny window. Don’t feel like you have to stay with the traditional terra cotta, either. If you plan to keep your garden in the kitchen, choosing fashionable planters to complement your décor can add to the fun. Home and garden stores like Wild Plum in Grass Valley offer an assortment of containers to suit your tastes.

Proper Conditions for Cultivation
Even though growing herbs inside is fairly simple, there are a few conditions that need to be in place to cultivate your harvest. According to Renee Towan, horticulture manager at Smith and Hawken in Roseville, “Most herbs need a lot of light – at least five to eight hours of sun, per day.” She recommends putting the pots in front of a south or southwest facing window, which allows the most light into the house. If your garden is not receiving enough light, you’ll find long stems and fading leaves on your plants, as well as leaves that fall off unexpectedly.

However, even if your home doesn’t receive enough natural light, Towan says, “You can supplement it with a grow light.” Grow lights differ from standard light bulbs in that they shine the full spectrum of light required for plants to grow. They are sometimes sold already attached to pots; or, buy them separately and set them up directly above the garden.

While the plants will need plenty of light, it is important to keep them away from places where they’ll experience temperature extremes, such as too close to the stove or directly beneath a heater vent. Also, be sure not to over water, which will rot the roots of the plants. It is advisable to let the soil dry out a bit between waterings. Towan also adds, “If you have the room, a six-inch pot would give the plant optimal room to grow.”
In no time you’ll be ready to harvest your herbs and season your favorite dishes to tantalize the taste buds of your guests.
For more about maintaining Indoor Herb Gardens, be sure to pick up this month's copy of FoothillStyle. Click on the "Get Your Copy" link on the bottom of this page for some of our newsstand locations. Or, to order a copy of this issue, please email  [email protected], or call 916-988-9888.