Seasoning your holiday roast is easy when you grow herbs in your kitchen. A rosemary topiary is festive on the counter and convenient to snip branches from to flavor meats like a beef rib roast.
Savor the flavor of your favorite herbs and add a bright bit of green to your kitchen when you bring your herb garden inside this winter. Many herbs, especially perennials such as rosemary, will grow indoors as long as they have plenty of light and water.
If you have a sunny windowsill, where your herb can get at least four hours of sunshine a day, preferably more, you can grow herbs and use the leaves in cold-weather soups and stews. The herbs featured in Thanksgiving and holiday menus, like rosemary, thyme, parsley and sage, can be kept in the kitchen and snipped as you need them. In addition to their culinary purposes, you can crush the leaves to bring out the fragrance.
TIPS FOR GROWING HERBS INDOORS
- Begin with good quality plants. You can start herbs from seed, but you will harvest sooner if you start with seedlings, either purchased from the Garden Center or from plants in your own garden. If you’re bringing herb containers from the outside in, let them experience a few cold, not freezing, nights to toughen them up for the transition indoors. It’s wise to quarantine plants for a few weeks and monitor for pests and diseases.
- Select the right location. Herbs like light and require a minimum of four hours of sunshine a day. A bright, south-facing window is ideal. Supplement natural light with grow lights, if needed.
- Choose the right container. Terra cotta containers tend to quickly dry out. Try a glazed container and saucer to keep water from damaging your windowsill or counter. Herbs need water, but too much will cause root rot and mildew problems. Place a few pebbles in the bottom of the saucer as a layer of protection for the roots.
- Add good quality potting mix. Choose a moisture retentive, well-draining potting mix for houseplants, never garden soil or garden dirt.
- Feed and water routinely. Indoor air can be dry. Water or mist herbs frequently. Feed every month with an all-purpose plant fertilizer.