Reported by, the online wholesale food marketplace-

Just as our last Sustainable Saturdays post suggested, growing your own food ingredients is not only healthy, it’s cost effective and a sustainable practice. Also, when you can go right in your backyard, on your balcony or window seal, talk about “going local.” It doesn’t get any more local than that.

Lately I’ve been thinking more and more about starting an indoor herb garden. For one, I cook often and I use lots of herbs for seasoning. The right herb is an invaluable, flavorful addition to any dish, at least in my opinion.  And for two, I’m sick of paying nearly $4 for small containers of dried herbs or having to run to the grocery store every time I run out. I figured I’d learn to grow my own and save time and money in the process.

From my research, it doesn’t seem extremely hard to start an herb garden. If you’re like me, a novice who is interested in herb gardening (indoors) but lacks a green thumb, follow the tips below to get started.

  • Planning is most important.

Start off slow and choose two to three herbs that you use most often. Then, as you hone your gardening skills add more herbs.

  • Seeds vs. Starter Plants

Decide if you want to start with seeds, which are cheaper, or starter plants, which will be full-grown much faster. Both have their advantages and disadvantages, but I recommend starting with seeds. Why not learn the process from scratch?

  • Choose Containers

Buying new containers is not necessary. You can use spare pots or containers around the house, but they must have drainage holes; herb plants left in standing water encourages pathogens, which cause roots to rot. Also, it helps if the pots/containers are at least one gallon or more. At minimum herbs must not be grown in pots or containers smaller than 6 inches in diameter.

  • Light and Soil Requirements

Light and soil are two of the most important aspects of growing strong, healthy herbs. Herbs should be grown in richly fertilized and well-draining soil, which can be purchased; be sure to look for light soil-less potting mix. One way to ensure proper drainage is to layer the bottom of the container/pot with gravel before adding the soil.

Light is an absolute must. For good measure, herb plants should get at least 6-8 hours of full sunlight per day to stay healthy. More often than not, south-facing windows are the best location for growing herbs indoors, as it provides the best source of light throughout the day. If you still find there is a lack of sunlight, additional fluorescent lights can be used. Also, it is strongly recommended that containers/pots be rotated to ensure the entire plant gets adequate sunlight exposure.

  • Herb Water Maintenance

Herbs hate soggy soil, so they must receive the right amount of water. Too much water will deprive the herb plants of oxygen, damage the roots and ruin the leaves. Please note, you cannot actually tell if the plant needs watering just by looking at the soil. The visible soil could be very dry, but the deeper layers of soil may still have plenty of water. One easy way to determine if your plants need watering is to use the finger test. Stick your finger into the soil near the plant up to the second knuckle. If the soil near your fingertip is dry it’s time to water. If you can’t really tell, pull your finger out. If there is soil stuck to the tip of your finger then it is still pretty moist down there.

In general, you should plan on watering your herbs about once every two weeks, which allows the container or pot to dry sufficiently. This forces the herb roots to fortify in search of water.

  • Harvesting

For harvesting purposes, when the plant reaches at least 6-8″ tall, simply cut off about 1/3 of the branches. By cutting close to a leaf intersection, your plants will re-grow very quickly. Trimming the tops or the leaves of your herb plants frequently will stimulate growth.

  • Use Your Herbs

Don’t be afraid to use your homegrown herbs. Throw them in soups and salads, make pesto and dressings, flavor meat dishes or wash and freeze them for up to six months.

This is just a basic outline of how to start an indoor herb garden. Check out the cited resources below for more information and be sure to share your experience with us. Let us know how your garden is doing by tweeting us photos @foodem or leaving us comments below.

(Photo Source: 1)

(Additional Resources: 1, 2, 3, 4)

Views: 13

Tags: Foodem, food,, foods, garden, herb, sustainability, sustainable


You need to be a member of FohBoh to add comments!

Join FohBoh




Social Wine Club for Craft Wineries


Read the latest

Read the latest food and beverage coverage by SmartBrief in SmartBrief Originals: -More

Don't let bad disability etiquette turn guests off

Many restaurants are unaware of how to make guests with vision, mobility or hearing impairments feel welcome much less make t -More

Juan Valdez aims to perk up U.S. sales with first franchises

Colombian coffee brand Juan Valdez will open its first franchise cafe in Miami, with plans to open four more this year in a p -More


Posting a job or finding a job starts here at FohBoh. Call us about special $50 posting packages to syndicate across all major jobs boards.

National News

Domino's Pizza Announces Second Quarter 2014 Financial Results

Domino's Pizza, Inc. (NYSE: DPZ) announced results for the second quarter of 2014, comprised of strong growth in both same store sales and global store counts, which resulted in 17.5% EPS growth, or 67 cents per share.

McDonald's Reports Second Quarter 2014 Global Comparable Sales Flat

Global comparable sales were relatively flat, reflecting higher average check and negative guest traffic in all major segments - Consolidated revenues increase of 1% (1% in constant currencies), benefiting from expansion

Huddle House Diner Franchise Expands Into New Jersey

Huddle House recently announced its 10-unit deal in Long Island and has now signed an agreement with an experienced multi-unit investor to build six restaurants across the bridge in Northern New Jersey. Huddle House previously extended only as far as West Virginia and Pennsylvania.

Chipotle Mexican Grill, Inc. Second Quarter 2014 Revenues Up 28.6%

Comparable restaurant sales increased 17.3% - Restaurant level operating margin was 27.3%, a decrease of 30 basis points

Tava Indian Kitchen Appoints Jeremy Morgan As New Chief Executive Officer, Announces Expansion Plans

Tava Indian Kitchen, the Bay Area's rapidly expanding fast casual Indian restaurant concept, announced that Jeremy Morgan, formerly SVP of Marketing and Consumer Insights for Smashburger, has been appointed to the position of Chief Executive Officer.


If you are looking for capital to start or grow your restaurant, create the next 501c3, develop and launch the next app for the restaurant industry,or want to help your peers in some meaningful way, we want to know about it.


TED: Ze Frank: Are you human? - Ze Frank (2014)

Have you ever wondered: Am I a human being? Ze Frank suggests a series of simple questions that will determine this. Please relax and follow the prompts. Let's begin …

TED: Heather Barnett: What humans can learn from semi-intelligent slime - Heather Barnett (2014)

Inspired by biological design and self-organizing systems, artist Heather Barnett co-creates with physarum polycephalum, a eukaryotic microorganism that lives in cool, moist areas. What can people learn from the semi-intelligent slime mold? Watch this talk to find out.

TED: Shih Chieh Huang: Sculptures that’d be at home in the deep sea - Shih Chieh Huang (2014)

When he was young, artist Shih Chieh Huang loved taking toys apart and perusing the aisles of night markets in Taiwan for unexpected objects. Today, this TED Fellow creates madcap sculptures that seem to have a life of their own—with eyes that blink, tentacles that unfurl and parts that light up like bioluminescent sea creatures.

TED: Nikolai Begg: A tool to fix one of the most dangerous moments in surgery - Nikolai Begg (2013)

Surgeons are required every day to puncture human skin before procedures — with the risk of damaging what's on the other side. In a fascinating talk, find out how mechanical engineer Nikolai Begg is using physics to update an important medical device, called the trocar, and improve one of the most dangerous moments in many common surgeries.

© 2014   Created by FohBoh.

Badges  |  Report an Issue  |  Terms of Service