Indoor Herb Gardening 101

herb garden with thyme

Growing a herb garden can be tricky at first, but well worth the efforts once achieved. There is something so fulfilling about growing your own herbs for cooking. The flavor is so much better when fresh herbs are used. The difference is undeniable. And growing them indoors is very easy.

It is best to start off with the easier herbs in the beginning then move up to the ones that are little more difficult to grow after you get a feel for it. Learning to read the plants and letting them tell you what they need is the best way to learn the skill.

herb garden with thyme
Some thyme growing in an herb garden

Always start with herbs that have been started for inside. Buying herbs that were started outside and moving them inside can throw them into shock. Lemongrass, mint, parsley, Vietnamese coriander and baytree are a few good ones that are a little easier to grow for a beginner.

Lighting and soil drainage are very important to these plants. You might lose a few in the beginning. Eventually, you will become good at understanding what they are telling you. 6 to 8 hours of southwest facing natural light is ideal for most herbs, but not always possible.

In that case, you can use clamp-on reflector lights with compact fluorescent grow bulbs. They should be placed 4 to 6 inches away from the plants. Keep lighting mobile so that it can be repositioned . Herbs will grow toward the light so lighting will need to be adjusted as plants grow. There are also lights that can be mounted under the cabinets for herbs grown on top of the counter. No plants will do well without good lighting.

Tarra cotta is excellent for your herbs home. A pot should be no smaller than 6 inches in diameter for individual plants and no smaller than 10 inches in diameter and 8 inches deep for multiple plants.

Drainage is also very important. Using just any soil is a mistake. Use high-quality organic soil that is rich in loam. You can add 1 part perlite to 25 parts soil to help with drainage. Soil should not be compacted and should be grainy. Grinding up some eggshell with a little water added to it can be a great way to add some extra lime to your potting soil. Your plants will love you for it.

Watering herbs should be done about once a week with soil draining well and drying out in between waterings. Check with fingers to see if soil is dry. If it is dry, water plants at the base of root and soil thoroughly. Drain good and let dry again.

If plants start to get brown spots this could be a sign of too much light. Raise lights slightly off herbs. If they become long and leggy with few leaves this could mean too little light. Move them to where they can get more.

Herbs don’t need a lot of water. Over watering is a common mistake most people make.

Growing herbs is a fun hobby and after some practice and a little reading you can become quite skilled at it. You will be adding extra flavor to your cooking in no time.

Using Plant Grow Lights During the Winter Months

plant soaking up some light for growing

Plants cannot thrive without light. However, not all plants can survive outdoors in harsh winters. If you want to grow juicy tomatoes and violets in the dead of winter or produce fresh garden herbs and salad throughout the year, grow lights will make it possible for indoor plants to flourish any time of the year in all weather conditions.

There are different types of grow light systems, depending upon the type of plant you wish to grow. For the beginner, choosing the right indoor grow lights may be a bit daunting. Fortunately, using plant grow lights is a simple and great way to kick start your year-round gardening season. Just go through our guidelines below on using grow lights during the winter months to grow a wealth of stock, green seedlings. This video may also help:

Type of Plant to Grow

Since vegetable plants need more light than many exotic plants, you need to decide what type of plant you wish to grow indoors, based on the amount of electricity you can use and the space available.

The Right Color

Sunlight consists of a spectrum of light, including all colors of the rainbow; from red through yellow and blue through violet. Although plants require the full spectrum to carry out photosynthesis, red and blue light are the most important, though.

plant soaking up some light for growing

Red light lies in the 610-720 nm spectrum range which stimulates flowering most of all. Violet-blue light lies in the 400-520 nanometer range and promotes chlorophyll absorption that is especially important for rapid and strong plant growth.

There are several types of grow light types available on the market, each with their strengths and features. Incandescent grow bulbs are low cost but are also the least efficient, while fluorescent grow lights have low heat output and offer a decent spectrum of light for growth.

However, LED grows lights are the latest technology hogging the limelight for their great characteristics. Not only do they have minimal energy usage and an ultra-low heat output, they also provide an ideal light spectrum range. This makes LEDs the most efficient, effective and eco-friendly method to grow indoor plants.

The most efficient LED grow lights are those called 600 watt grow lights. Technically, LED fixtures actually use less than that, but the are equivalent to a 600 watt traditional grow light in terms of out put, hence the name. For a rundown of the best 600w LED grow lights, head here.

The Right Intensity

The intensity of light received by a plant is determined by the wattage of the bulb and the distance of the plant from the light source. Flowering houseplants like African violets will grow healthy at a distance of 10 to 12 inches from a light source, while foliage plants like ivy will be happy even if placed 36 inches away. Other flowering plants like citrus, orchids, and gardenias and most vegetable plants need higher light intensity to flower and produce fruit.

The Right Duration

Regardless of types of plants being cultivated indoors during winter, all of them need some rest. Plants ‘breathe’ in the dark which is vital for their healthy growth and the setting of buds and fruit.

Most vegetables and flowering plants should be kept in light for 12 to 16 hours per day. At least 8 hours of darkness per day is ideal for plants. By making use of artificial grow lights in your garden, you can have absolute control over the environment you give your vegetation and make sure it remains healthy by offering the best possible environment for growth. LED lights are the way to ensure that your vegetables obtain exactly what they require.

The Benefits of Gardening in a Greenhouse

greenhouse used for gardening indoors

The benefits of a greenhouse can not be overlooked. They are many and wide. A greenhouse has many benefits besides only promoting plant growth. While providing a nurturing environment for plants to prosper, it also offers many other functions.

Greenhouse gardening is certainly the next level of gardening. Whether you are gardening for commercial purposes or simply as a hobby, you may want to strongly consider investing in a greenhouse. Review these few benefits of greenhouse gardening and you may realize that a greenhouse is right for you!

greenhouse used for gardening indoors
A large greenhouse

Promotes a safe and optimum growing environment for plants

Greenhouses protect your plants from harmful pest infestations that arise with the passing seasons. You will not have to worry about those pesky beetles, locusts, and caterpillars doing any damage to your garden. It will be entirely protected within the confines of your greenhouse.

Greenhouses also protect your plants from adverse weather. It’s tough to predict the weather throughout the seasons, but with your plants safely nestled inside of a greenhouse, you won’t need to worry. Crops are fragile, but greenhouse gardening can ensure their protection and safety.

Want to make sure your plant growth is optimized?

If so, greenhouse gardening is an outstanding option. Plants will enjoy enhanced growth through the use of a greenhouse. Greenhouses provide the perfect environment for plant growth by securing enough heat and water vapors to preserve the warmth and humidity within the greenhouse. Thus, your plants will grow much quicker and better than they would have in an outdoor garden.

Removes the need for landscaping

Landscaping can prove to be a tough task, and as a result, many potential gardeners run away from even trying to start their flourishing garden. Greenhouse gardening makes landscaping unnecessary. In this respect, a greenhouse can make life much easier.

The seasons are irrelevant

Have you ever wanted to plant something only to realize it is not suited to growing in the current season? Instead of getting right to it, you have to wait for possibly months before you can even get started. The temperature just isn’t right.

With greenhouse gardening, the waiting game is over. Since you can control the temperature of your greenhouse, you can start planting seasonal plants no matter what season it is! The planning of your garden will no longer need to depend on the weather; it can be solely up to you!

beautiful greenhouse
A very elaborate greenhouse

They can be customized

You can get your greenhouse customized to fit your needs. You can customize everything from the number of doors to the size of your greenhouse, the placement of plants and more! If you have the perfect greenhouse in your head, you can make it a reality. Before you know it, you can have the garden of your dreams.

 

Greenhouse gardens require an initial investment, but if used the right way, the investment will certainly pay off down the road. If you want to make your garden great, versatile, protected, and weatherproof, greenhouse gardening very well may be the way to go. Take the next step with your garden and start greenhouse gardening today!

Get started

  1. If you would like to get a greenhouse, kits are a great way to go. Here are a few on Home Depot’s website.
  2. Another option is to make one yourself. Here are some great instruction.

The Best Vegetables to Grow in your Indoor Garden

Vegetables grown indoors

Growing your own vegetables is a great way to save money. Not only that, but you will also avoid getting pesticides and other nasty things in them. This process is also better for the environment. In this article, we will have a look at what the best vegetables to grow yourself indoors are. It is not as hard as you might think.

Vegetables grown indoorsThe good news is, you do not need much to grow your own vegetables. So what are the best vegetables to grow yourself indoors?

Growing Your Own Carrots

Carrots need a lot of sun to grow. They will need to have no less than eight hours of direct sunlight to grow properly. You can place them under partial sun, but they will take their time growing. Artificial grow lights are a good way to make up for a lack of sunlight.

Seventy to eighty degrees Fahrenheit is the temperature required for carrots. Simply place some light and sandy potting soil into a pot. Make sure it is loose. Be sure that it is approximately eight to twelve inches in depth, with three inches of headroom.

Carrots need to have good drainage. Once you have done this you can sow carrot seeds thickly into the surface of the soil. Once you see the leaves begin to grow at least two inches tall, you will see some thin seedlings. If you notice fungus on the carrots or in the soil you can water it off with chamomile tea. It may sound strange, but trust me: this really works.

Peppers Are Great For A Personal Garden

In order to grow peppers, all you need is a large container and a sunny spot. Simply give your peppers a huge supply of water. They need at least four gallons of water in order to grow successfully.

Radishes Are Great To Grow Indoors

The radish is a very simple vegetable. It only takes a couple of days for them to grow. All you need is a small trough. Make sure it has small holes at the bottom. This will allow the radishes to drain.

The trough should also not be too wide. Simply place the seeds into some soil. Make sure it is a thin layer of soil. The radishes will then need to be kept in an area with plenty of light. If you do not have enough natural light, use grow lights. The soil should always be kept moist.

Growing Green Onions Indoors

Green onions do not take much to grow or look after. Simply plant the bulb into some soil and before you know it, they will begin to grow. Simply use a small container and put it in a sunny spot. You don’t need to do anything until they are nearly six inches long, when it is time to harvest your delicious green onions.

Lettuce Grows Great Indoors

It is best to grow lettuce in cool seasons. It is a very simple vegetable to grow inside. It does not take much to look after them. All you need is an every day potting soil, and a small amount of water. Drain the soil well and give the lettuce plenty of sunlight. Supplement with a red-band LED grow light for best results. Lettuce is great because it contains vitamin A and has a rich taste.

Mushrooms Are Not A Vegetable, But Are Great For Any Garden

Mushrooms are an excellent addition to your vegetable garden. They contain lots of antioxidants, are rich in fiber and have plenty of vitamin C. All you need to grow mushrooms indoors is a bag. This bag should contain special compost that has mushroom spawn in it. In order for the mushroom to grow successfully, you will need to keep the soil damp.

These are just a few of the best vegetables (and fungi) to grow yourself. There are plenty of other great vegetables you can grow. Why not give it a try sometime? You might be pleasantly surprised at just how easy it is to do.