How to Grow Herbs in Your Kitchen in the Winter

| January 12, 2016 | 1 Comment

herbs on windowAs this article details, the main purpose of the kitchen is changing. No longer is the kitchen built solely for cooking and dining. Now, it is a gathering place for the family, a place to do work, a place to socialize, and so much more.

Now, people are even transforming their kitchens into makeshift gardening spaces so that they can enjoy the luxury of cooking with fresh herbs and vegetables each and every day—even during the winter months.

You need not have a large kitchen to practice indoor gardening. While there are some larger plants that are good for planting at the beginning of winter (as this article will tell you) a great, easy place to start with your indoor planting is herbs. Simply choose some of your favorite herbs to eat and cook with, and you’re well on your way to practicing your green thumb in the kitchen. Here is a brief guide to creating your very own “herb garden” in the kitchen.

Know the limits of your kitchen.

Lighting is key when you’re growing cooking herbs in your kitchen. First, ask yourself which direction the windows in your kitchen face. If they face the east, then they are going to see morning sun and afternoon shade. West?

Ideal for time-poor gardeners to grow herbs in small spaces

CITY dwellers, tenants with small kitchens and green thumbs now will have no excuses for creating fresher, tastier meals. An innovative new gardening system has arrived in Australia which allows homeowners to grow plants and herbs even in the smallest

Just the opposite. South? If you’re in the northern hemisphere, south-facing windows tend to see a great deal of sun. North? If you’re in the northern hemisphere, then as you can imagine these windows see less sunlight during the day. East- and south-facing windows are typically the most ideal for growing herbs because they offer levels of sunlight that these herbs crave.

If you find that the lighting in your kitchen isn’t sufficient, you might consider installing a skylight, or perhaps even a grow light positioned over your herbs.

Step out of the kitchen if you need to.

Fresh herb in flower pot on the table

Fresh herb in flower pot on the table

Is there a different room in your home that happens to see a lot more light than your kitchen? If so, then by all means feel free to take your herbs out of the kitchen!

While of course it’s convenient to have fresh herbs within just an arm’s reach in your kitchen, sometimes you simply can’t have that luxury—kitchen windows get blocked by brick walls, windows are northward-facing, kitchens are virtually windowless, etc.

Find a place in your home where light streams in without limits, and set up your little herb garden there. Five to six hours of sunlight is ideal for most herbs.

Choose your favorite herbs.

Now is the fun part: choosing which herbs you are going to have in your kitchen at all times. Think about what some of your favorite herbs to cook with are and what would be convenient to have on hand on a daily basis. You will, however, have to keep in mind what your kitchen may or may not allow you to grow. Here are some popular herbs to consider including in your herb garden.

  • This herb prefers full sun, or morning sun and afternoon shade in hotter climates.
  • This herb prefers full sun or light shade.
  • This herb prefers ample sun and part shade.
  • This herb prefers full sun, or morning sun and afternoon shade in hotter climates.
  • This herb prefers ample sun and part shade.
  • This herb prefers full sun.
  • This herb prefers ample sun and part shade.
  • This herb prefers ample sun and part shade.

Be sure when selecting your herbs to get hardy varieties and heirloom varieties if possible.

Create a setup.

There are multiple ways to organize your herb garden. Some simply place multiple plant pots along the windowsill. If you do this, be sure to use pots with saucers that have good drainage. Others install a tension rod within the window from and hang pots for their herbs from the rod.

So if you are using sealed pots, be sure to place rocks at the base of each pot and add some vermiculite to the soil to help with drainage.

Water and fertilize diligently.

You don’t want to go over-the-top with watering your plants, but you will need to stick to a rigid schedule for watering your herbs—and it will likely be a difficult habit to acquire at first.

Winter herbs

With these facts in mind, I would like to give you some hints on how to grow herbs indoors. This allows the cook to take just a few short steps and harvest fresh herbs for the dish he or she is preparing for dinner. First, determine where you are going

Determine how much water each of your herbs will need, create a calendar, and stick to it. Keep in mind that your herbs will grow more slowly when sunlight levels are typically lower, and therefore they will require less water.

As for fertilizing, once your herbs are actively growing, you’ll want to fertilize the soil about once every four weeks with a liquid fertilizer, or once every other month with fertilizer granules.

Harvest properly.

Don’t be over-anxious in terms of harvesting your herbs—you’ll want to wait for your plants to mature fully before you harvest them for the first time. In addition, be sure not to harvest more than one-third of your plant at a time, and to let that third grow back before harvesting again. Beyond these simple guidelines, you’ll need to determine the precise pruning needs for each of your herbs.

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Category: Home Hints, In the Garden

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  1. Bill says:

    Basil is my favorite herb. In an Italian family it’s crucial.

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