Parsley, sage, rosemary, and thyme… The Simon and Garfunkel lyrics would make a lovely indoor herb garden.
Indoor herb gardens provide a colorful array of benefits and offer endless opportunities to incorporate fresh, healthy ingredients into your cooking. From improving air quality to boosting your mental and physical health, indoor herb gardens are a must-have for any home.
Here are a few reasons why you should start an indoor herb garden today:
Fresher, Tastier Ingredients for Cooking
Herbs add a unique flavor to your dishes, and using fresh herbs can elevate your cooking game to the next level. Store-bought herbs are a fine option if they’re the only one you have, but with an indoor herb garden, you have a constant supply of fresh herbs at your fingertips. From basil to rosemary, you can experiment with different herbs to find your favorites and use them in your cooking.
Store-bought dried herbs, especially delicate herbs like dill and parsley, lose their flavor in the drying process. And though you can buy fresh herbs at the store, they often come encased in plastic with too-small or too-large portions. With herbs growing on your windowsill, you can snip off just as much as you need every time – without single-use plastic packaging.
Improving Air Quality
Indoor herb gardens not only provide you with fresh ingredients, but they can also improve the air quality in your home. Certain herbs are known for their air-purifying abilities, effectively removing harmful pollutants from the air. Rosemary and lavender are great options known for their refreshing, calming scents and their air-purifying properties.
Boosting Mental and Physical Health
Incorporating herbs into your daily routine can provide numerous health benefits. For example, basil is known for its calming effects and can help reduce stress levels, while mint can aid with digestion and alleviate headaches. Growing herbs indoors can also provide a sense of accomplishment and boost your mood.
A few herbs well-known for their first-aid effects include aloe vera, chamomile, calendula, lemon balm, and turmeric:
- Aloe vera has been used for centuries as a natural remedy for skin injuries, sunburns, and cuts due to its anti-inflammatory and moisturizing properties.
- Chamomile is commonly used as a tea to promote relaxation and sleep, as well as to soothe digestive issues, skin irritation, and minor cuts.
- Calendula is well known for its anti-inflammatory and wound-healing properties and is commonly used in skincare products for its ability to soothe skin irritation, cuts and burns.
- Lemon balm is used as a remedy for anxiety, stress, and insomnia, and is also known for its ability to help soothe digestive issues, cold sores, and skin irritation.
- Turmeric is a powerful anti-inflammatory and antioxidant spice, commonly used in cooking and traditional medicine for its numerous health benefits, including improved brain function, reduced inflammation, and decreased risk of heart disease and certain cancers.
There are so many more herbs with medicinal benefits – learn more from Cornell Botanical Gardens.
Starting an indoor herb garden is much more cost-effective than purchasing herbs from the store every time you need them. With an indoor herb garden, you only need to purchase the initial supplies and seeds, after which you can simply harvest your herbs as needed.
Now that we have discussed the benefits of indoor herb gardens, let’s go over the steps to start one in your home:
Step 1: Choose the Right Location
When starting an indoor herb garden, it’s important to choose the right location. A sunny window or a grow light will provide the necessary light for your herbs to thrive. Ensure that the temperature in the room stays between 60-70°F and that the humidity level is around 50%.
Step 2: Choose Your Herbs
There are numerous herbs to choose from, but it’s important to pick herbs that are suitable for indoor growing. Some popular herbs for indoor gardens include basil, thyme, mint, cilantro, and parsley.
Step 3: Purchase the Right Supplies
You will need pots, potting soil, and seeds or seedlings for your indoor herb garden. It’s important to choose the right size pot for each herb, as different herbs have different requirements. For example, mint likes to spread out and needs a larger pot, while thyme can be grown in a smaller pot.
Step 4: Plant Your Herbs
Fill the pots with potting soil and plant your seeds or seedlings. Ensure that you water your herbs properly, keeping the soil moist but not waterlogged.
Step 5: Provide Adequate Light and Care
Herbs need plenty of light to grow, so make sure that your indoor herb garden is in a sunny location or is supplemented with grow lights. Additionally, be sure to prune your herbs regularly and fertilize them every few weeks to keep them healthy and thriving.
Indoor herb gardens provide numerous benefits, from fresher ingredients for cooking to improving air quality and boosting mental and physical health. With just a few supplies and a sunny location, you can start an indoor herb garden today and reap the rewards of fresh herbs all year round.