Whether you are an expert chef looking to produce more farm to table cuisine for your restaurant, or you are an individual who is looking to zest up your home cooking, growing culinary herbs indoors is not only easy, it is beneficial to your wallet and your health. Any chef will tell you that growing your own herbs provides you a satisfaction when you harvest and use, that you cannot get anywhere else. If you have ever considered growing your own herbs indoors, here are some starter points that will get you headed in the right direction.
Growing Culinary Herbs Indoors
Most individuals think that you need to grow herbs outside, and that you need to live in a warm climate to do so. With modern technology, you can grow just about anything indoors, provided that you have the right lighting, irrigation and soil to produce a healthy crop. Growing plants is like a relationship- you need to know exactly what that variety needs in order to help it grow. Once you have done the research, you can begin a small garden on your window ledge, or even start a sustainable herb garden in a mini greenhouse in your living room. It doesn’t matter if you live in a big country home, or a small urban apartment, culinary herbs can be cultivated just about anywhere.
Benefits of Growing Your Own Herbs
Herbs are extremely expensive when you purchase them in a store. Many times, you don’t know where the source is, what growing conditions they were cultivated in, and if any pesticides or other chemicals were used. Sometimes, herbs are cut prematurely, and left to sit on a cooler shelf, losing some of the intensity that it had when it was harvested. Growing your own herbs will not only save you money, it will save you time. Knowing exactly what kind of herbs you will be using will help you discern what is appropriate for you to grow. You will know exactly what goes into the plant, and you are able to harvest and dry as you are ready to use them.
Best Herbs to Grow Indoors
Although there are many herbs to choose from, there are some common
herbs that at-home chefs will try their green thumb at. Many individuals love to grow more aromatic herbs in their home, such as rosemary and mint. It adds a fragrance to the home that you can’t mimic with an air freshener. Others choose to grow the more expensive herbs at home, such as thyme, helping them to save a lot of money. However, the most common herbs that individuals tend to grow indoors include basil, oregano, cilantro, and chives. They grow well indoors and have a plethora of uses in cooking, making them a great choice for starters.
How to Grow Herbs Indoors
It is important to know the needs of each herb that you are trying to grow, so that way you are not providing it with the wrong type of environment. Paying attention to whether a specific herb needs a fast draining soil, versus a denser or compost/organic mixture is important for water retention and to prevent rot. Most herbs need several hours of natural sunlight a day. However, if you live in an area, which that isn’t possible, purchasing a full-spectrum, LED light will help to sustain the light your herbs will need. Some herbs require more watering than others, and you also need to make sure that your herbs have enough space to branch out their roots. It seems like a lot to learn, so it is best to start with three types of herbs. Once you master growing them, you can expand your garden to include more.
Other Types of Culinary Cultivation
Herbs are not the only thing that you can grow indoors. You can purchase a microgreens starter kit and add to your culinary choices. You can also get a microgreens starter kit for herbs also. also. They are more nutritious and tasteful than some full-grown plants and have become a major trend over the past few years. There are many varietals of vegetable and herb microgreens that you can begin cultivating, and they are very simple and delicious additions to any cuisine.
Growing your own culinary herbs inside is simple, but one should start off small and work their way up to a larger garden. Choosing the herbs that you use most frequently, and really learning about their requirements for cultivation is important. Finding herbs that require the same amount of sunlight, irrigation, and soil drainage can help simplify the process as well. When it comes time to harvest, you will know exactly where these herbs came from, and the heart and soul that was put into each leaf.