GROWING HERBS INDOORS IS EASY!

GROWING HERBS INDOORS IS EASY!

Growing herbs indoors can be a rewarding endeavor, giving you fresh flavors right at your fingertips. In addition, herbs sprouting up indoors can be a rewarding way to bring some greenery into your home and have fresh flavors on hand for cooking. Here are some useful tips to help you get started and keep your herbs thriving:

Choose the Right Herbs: Some herbs are more suited to indoor growing than others. Basil, chives, mint, oregano, parsley, rosemary, and thyme are all excellent choices for indoor gardens.

Provide Adequate Light: Herbs need about six to eight hours of sunlight per day. If you don’t have a sunny windowsill, consider using a grow light. Position the light about six inches above the plants and keep it on for the recommended amount of time.

Use Well-Draining Soil: Herbs don't like to sit in wet soil, so use a potting mix designed for indoor plants, which typically has good drainage. Adding a bit of perlite or sand can improve drainage further.

Water Properly: Water your herbs when the top inch of soil feels dry. Be careful not to overwater, as this can lead to root rot. Herbs like to be moist, but not soggy.

Choose the Right Containers: Make sure your pots have drainage holes to allow excess water to escape. You can use almost any container, but terracotta pots are particularly good for herbs because they allow the soil to breathe.

Fertilize Sparingly: Herbs generally require less fertilizer than other plants. Use a half-strength, balanced fertilizer every four to six weeks during the growing season.

Prune Regularly: Pruning encourages growth and prevents the plants from becoming leggy. Regularly harvesting the tops of your herbs will help keep them bushy and productive.

Control the Environment: Keep the temperature around your herbs comfortable (65 to 70 degrees Fahrenheit is ideal). Avoid placing your herbs near cold drafts or excessive heat sources.

Watch for Pests: Keep an eye out for common pests such as aphids and spider mites. If you spot pests, you can usually wash them off with a gentle spray of water or use insecticidal soap.

Acclimate Outdoor Herbs: If you're moving herbs indoors from the outside, gradually acclimate them to the lower light levels inside your home to prevent shock.  By following these tips, you can enjoy a variety of fresh herbs in your kitchen, adding a burst of flavor to your cooking all year round.

GROWING CRESS IN A BOWL

If you don’t want to play in potted soil, consider cress.  Growing cress indoors in a bowl is a simple and quick way to enjoy fresh greens. Cress, with its peppery flavor, is perfect for salads, sandwiches, and garnishes. Here’s a step-by-step guide to get you started:

Choose Your Bowl: Select a shallow bowl or dish. It doesn’t need to be very deep since cress roots are shallow.

Prepare the Growing Medium: You can use paper towels, cotton wool, or a thin layer of soil as a growing medium. Paper towels or cotton wool are cleaner and easier to manage, especially for beginners. If using paper towels, lay them flat to completely cover the bottom of the bowl. If using soil, fill the bowl with about an inch of potting mix.

Moisten the Medium: Thoroughly wet the paper towels or cotton wool with water until it’s evenly moist but not soaking. If using soil, water it until it’s damp all the way through.

Sow the Seeds: Sprinkle the cress seeds evenly over the surface of your chosen medium. You don't need to bury them; just make sure they are in contact with the moist surface. Use a generous amount of seeds, as cress is typically grown densely.

Cover the Bowl (Optional): You can cover the bowl with another bowl or a clear plastic wrap to create a mini-greenhouse effect. This helps maintain moisture and warmth. If you cover the seeds, be sure to remove the cover once the seeds start to germinate to prevent mold growth.

Place in a Bright Location: Place the bowl in a spot that receives indirect sunlight. Direct sunlight can be too intense and might dry out the seeds too quickly.

Keep the Medium Moist: Keep the paper towels or cotton wool moist at all times. If using soil, water lightly whenever the surface feels dry. Avoid overwatering as cress roots are quite delicate.

Watch Them Grow: Cress seeds germinate very quickly, often within just a couple of days. You can start harvesting as soon as the plants are about 2 inches tall, which usually takes about one to two weeks.

Harvest: To harvest, simply snip the cress just above the root line with scissors. You can harvest what you need and allow the rest to continue growing, although cress is best eaten young.

Growing cress in a bowl is an easy and satisfying project, especially for those new to indoor gardening or teaching children about plant growth. Enjoy your fresh cress in a variety of dishes!

 

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