By Mindy McIntosh-Shetter
As the fall winds blow, many of my lovely garden plants begin to slow down and die.
The delightful taste of summer begins to slip away and be replaced by hearty meals filled with numerous root crops.
What I miss the most when summer drifts away is the taste of fresh herbs.
In the past, I bought so called fresh herbs from the grocery store.
These never really tasted as good as those I grew in the garden. So a few years ago, I decided to grow my own fresh herbs indoors.
Most herbs will do fine indoors. The key to their growth is providing the correct amount of sunlight and not overwatering.
Annual herbs are very easy to grow and can be started anew by reseeding in a container. Several herbal seeds are very small and their size can make it hard to evenly broadcast them over an area. To solve this problem, simply place the seeds in a clean saltshaker or spice bottle with holes in the top. To aid in the dispersion, add powdered milk to the seeds. This will not only spread out the seeds but will also provide a burst of calcium to the seedlings.
Perennials, on the other hand, take a little extra work but can be just as easy to grow. If you have healthy perennial herbs growing in your garden, simply divide the herb. Allow some to remain in the garden for next year and bring some indoors. Before bringing in the divided part, make sure that the herb is disease and pest free.
Do not be tempted to just harvest what is outdoors year round. Harvesting herbs that remain outdoors can cause damage to the plant. This damage is caused when vegetation is removed from a plant that has gone dominant.
Once you have decided what herbs you want for your indoor herbal garden, the next step is deciding on a container. Simple pots that will fit on the kitchen windowsill work well but there are other choices. Strawberry pots or urns, wire wreathes, hanging baskets, and even a flower pouch will work as an indoor herb garden container. If you want more creative types of containers consider using old teacups, teapots, saucepans, and even wire baskets used to hold produce.
The next element needed for this process is soil. Most herbs do well in an all-purpose type of soil but avoid commercial varieties with slow release fertilizer. Plants grown indoors typically grow slower and only need fertilization about once a month. This can easily be done by the gardener when needed.
So until we blog again, herbs taste great indoors and out. Learn how to plant them, in a strawberry urn, wire basket and flower pouch. Follow the blog, “Extending the growing season by bringing in ones herbs part II”, to get the clues, that will extend your herbal growing season.