Growing herbs shouldn’t only be limited to the spring and summer season. If you are looking for a project for your young gardener to do all year round, look no further than creating an indoor herb garden. It doesn’t have to be anything grand, simply some pots or a planter on the kitchen window sill. Although if space permits, having a larger area will only broaden their experience. You can even bring in the herbs that you have been growing outside to the kitchen to continue growing them over the cooler months.
Not only will this keep children enthused about gardening all year round, it will also ensure that you have fresh herbs for all of your cuisine throughout the winter months. Having a good selection of herbs is also a lovely feature in the kitchen.
However, it’s not just parents that benefit from growing herbs indoors. It will also help children understand that herbs are used in cooking and they will develop an appreciation for their different smells, uses and preparation.
How to look after herbs
Herbs are relatively easy to look after both in the outdoor and indoor environment. In the indoor environment you will want to make sure that you are able to offer the following conditions:
- Good drainage – Drainage is key when it comes to growing any type of herb. You will want to ensure that any pots you are growing them in has suitable drainage and where necessary sitting on a drip tray to protect your surfaces.
- Sunlight – Because herbs thrive in the sunlight, they will need to be in a sunny position. If you are fortunate enough to have a south facing kitchen window, this will be the best place to put them.
- Watering – Ensure that your herbs are kept well watered. They won’t have the natural soil and environment to depend on so will need topping up regularly. And also fed where necessary.
Here are some of our top herbs that you can grow indoors all year round.
Rosemary is a wonderful herb to have in the kitchen, especially over the winter time when roast dinners are in their plenty. As well as being useful, it is also an extremely easy plant to look after and it is incredibly drought resistant. It is best to either buy rosemary from a nursery or to take cuttings from a plant in the garden. It takes an extremely long time to grow from seed.
The best part is, if you’ve not managed to use it all up in the winter, you can simply plant it out in the garden in the spring time and take cuttings again to enjoy over the winter. A great activity for young gardeners.
Interested in growing rosemary? Have a read of how to grow rosemary here on KDG.
Parsley is incredibly easy to grow indoors. Similar to other herbs, it will enjoy well drained soil and a position in a light and bright space. There is something about parsley in a kitchen, it always deserves its space on the kitchen windowsill, it just belongs there.
If you are considering growing parsley indoors, the best way to grow it is from seed. Typically, it will take around three weeks to germinate. A great activity for young gardeners to do and will help encourage them to understand the use of herbs in the kitchen environment.
Interested in growing parsley? Have a read of how to grow parsley
Basil is a wonderful herb to grow indoors and is extremely versatile in the kitchen. It is easy to grow from seed and will require a nice warm sunny spot in the home. It is also quite a thirsty plant so you will need to make sure that it is kept watered.
A great activity with basil is to make some delicious home made pesto that can be enjoyed with a large number of dishes.
It’s also a very good herb to have growing if tomatoes are a family favourite. A favourite recipe of our is this delicious simple spaghetti.
Interested in growing basil? Have a read of how to grow basil
For those that know how quickly mint grows, having it contained in a pot may seem like a good idea. And it certainly is. It is also really easy to grow. You can either grow your mint from a cutting and placing it into water or simply find a ‘runner’ in the garden and carefully transplant it into a pot. Mint will need to be well watered as well as regularly rotated in the light so that it grows evenly on all sides.
Mint has many uses around the kitchen but our favourite use has to be drinks. A cold drink flavoured with mint on a summers day or a delicious fresh mint tea in the winter. You may also want to try making some mint sauce or just using it to flavour some freshly harvested new potatoes.
Interested in growing mint? Have a read of how to grow mint
Thyme is a very useful herb to grow indoors and can be used in so many dishes in the kitchen. There’s also a wide variety of thyme to choose from to fit your taste. Thyme can either be grown from cuttings or from seed, either are easy. You will need to ensure that it is placed in an area where there is plenty of natural light.
It can have a habit of becoming weak with constant use so you might want to have a couple of them on the go. You can allow the soil to dry between waterings as thyme is fairly drought resistant. Don’t allow the soil to be water logged.
Interested in growing thyme? Have a read of how to grow thyme
For families that enjoy cooking and like to season their dishes, chives will be just perfect. What’s more, they can be grown from seed which gives children something to do an nurture. If in a kitchen environment, you can also make a nice feature out of them.
Chives, like many other herbs will require a good amount of sunlight. The soil should be allowed to dry in between watering and topped up when it is dry to the touch on the top.
Interested in growing chives? Have a read of how to grow chives here on KDG