Starting Herbs Indoors or Moving Herbs Inside
With some small pots, good soil, and seeds, you can start an herb garden indoors. With seed-starting kits like our Basil-O-Holic Growing Kit, it’s easy. You can also do it yourself with supplies available at any garden center.
Most outdoor herbs actually handle colder temperatures quite well. They may not grow vigorously, but they won’t die if the temperatures dip to 40, or even the high 30s. However, you may want to bring them indoors in case of a sudden frost. In that case, you do need to stage their entry into the house. You may want to place them up on the porch, where they’ll get indirect light for a while as the weather starts to cool. You can also move them to the garage, but remember, they still need light.
The Right Amount of Light for Indoor Herbs
The main consideration for your indoor herbs is light. Some people purchase grow lights for their herb garden, so they can over-winter their plants in the garage or spare room. However, if you have a south facing window, you’ll probably get enough indirect sunlight to keep your herbs healthy. Of course, to get vigorous growth throughout the winter, you’ll have to resort to grow lights. But, if you just want to keep them alive and have a few fresh herbs through the winter, a south window will be fine. You can also use a west or east window, but it won’t work as well.
Watering Indoor Herbs
Think about the outside climate, and the moisture that your herbs encounter when they’re outside. They get dew in the morning, right? It’s a good idea to mist your herbs several times a week. They’ll respond to this kind of moisture, and it will help to keep the dust off of them, too. That allows them to maximize the sunlight they are exposed to.
However, while herbs may like to have their hair wet, they want their feet dry. If you repot the herbs to bring them indoors, be sure to put them in a mixture of soil that includes perlite or sand, so that the roots are not constantly wet. Otherwise, the roots will rot. It the plant gets a lot of light, it will need to be watered more often.
Indoor Herbs and Pests
When you bring your herbs in from outside, you may be tempted to leave them in the soil they were planted in. This can be a big mistake, though, because that soil can be full of pests. Consider transplanting them into sterile potting mix with sand or perlite in it to aid draining. You won’t be able to remove all of the garden soil, but get as much as you can off of the roots.
The best way to avoid bugs on your herbs is to carefully regulate the light and temperature, and to spritz them regularly with water. This will create a healthy ecosystem for your herbs, and discourage bugs that are drawn to sickly plants.
With a little know-how and some space, you can successfully grow your herb garden indoors. Why not get started with a Herb Garden Basket? It’s a great treat for yourself a lovely gift for anyone who wants to enjoy herbs inside the house.