martedì 5 febbraio 2008

Growing an Indoor Herb Garden, Part I

Growing an herb garden indoors is a smart move because you can use the fresh herbs all year round instead of only during the summer months when you are able to garden outside. Growing your own fresh herbs is also considerably cheaper than buying fresh herbs at the grocery store. Plus, you will have fresh herbs at your fingertips continuously, instead of having to run out to the store because you forgot to pick up parsley or you suddenly find that the sage you bought last week is no longer usable. An added benefit is that an herb garden can be a very attractive decorative addition to your home, and a conversation piece when you have guests.

You should try to locate your herb garden at a south or south-west facing window, because this is the direction that will provide the most sunlight. In the winter months, you will need a sun lamp, also called a fluorescent lamp or grow lamp, to make up for the lack of natural light. If you choose not to locate your herb garden at a window (some people prefer to keep theirs on a center kitchen island, for example), you will always need to use an artificial source of light. Your herbs will require ten to twelve hours of sunlight per day, so plan accordingly for the ideal combination of artificial and natural light.

Terra cotta pots or heavy clay pots with a six inch top diameter are ideal. Terra cotta or clay allows air flow and a six inch diameter at the top will not be too large to be overwhelming, but will provide enough room for your little herbs to grow well. Plant only one type of herb in each pot, so that you don’t get confused about which herb is which. Try to label them, either with the tags that come with your seedlings or seeds or with some other label that you create, just so you know which herb is which.

Check back later this week for the rest of the details on starting your very own indoor herb garden!


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