Indoor Herb Garden = Windowsill Plus Potted Herb Plants

 Growing an indoor herb garden in your kitchen is the perfect way for you to have fresh herbs to enhance your meals year-round.

All you need is a windowsill with good light ( a sunny south or west-facing window that gets a minimum of six hours of sun a day) and some potted herb plants. 

You can also grow the aromatic herbs in hanging baskets  and let the air in you home be infused with the the wonderful fragrance.

Herbs are classified as either annuals, which have to be planted anew every year, or perennials which produce year after year.

The quickest way to get started is to purchase young plants at the garden center, or you can buy the herb kits that come with everything you need to start your indoor herb garden.

You must use a well-drained soil mixture that contains equal parts soil, sand, and peat moss. Water and let soil dry out between watering.

Fertilize monthly with an all-purpose liquid fertilizer or fish emulsion.

keep at a temperature around 65 to 68 degrees Fahrenheit during the day and a little cooler at night and isolate herbs from other plants to avoid being exposed to insects. Clip them constantly to promote compact growth.

Types of Containers

Herbs will grow in any containers that have good drainage. Terra-cotta pots are the favorite choice for the indoor herb garden because they are porous which allow plants to breathe through the sides of the pot. This protects the plant from over-watering so they dry out a lot faster. Be sure to soak the pot in water before the first use. They are best for growing herbs that like dry light soil.

For herbs that like to have moist soil, plastic pots are ideal because they hold moisture longer.

Harvesting Herbs

Pick leaves, flowers, seeds, stems only from plants of optimum quality. Remove top leaves and stems with a sharp knife. For annual leafy herbs, leave four to six inches of shoots on the plant for better re-growth. Harvest perennial herbs by removing only the top third of the plant.

Culinary herbs are good for you. They not only enhance and accent the flavor of stews, soups, meat dishes, dressings, and teas, but they make foods healthier by providing delicious, savory flavors for reducing salt and fats. Herbs are low in calories and teas have beneficial antioxidants.

11 Easy-to-Grow Culinary Herbs

1. Basil, commonly known as "sweet basil" is an easy-to-grow annual that develops into an attractive bushy plant. The aromatic leaves are used in tomato dishes, soups, stews, spaghetti, fish, poultry, and salads.

2. Chives is a hardy perennial with hollow grass-like leaves that has an onion flavor. It is eaten with sour cream on baked potatoes and it adds zest to salads, soups and stews.

3. Dill is an easy-to-grow annual with aromatic seeds and branches that are used to flavor salads, pickles, vinegars, sauces, stews, chicken, lamb and fish dishes.

4. Spearmint is a perennial which comes in several varieties. It is known for the classic "mint julep". It also flavors salads, sauces, grilled lamb, fruit compotes, and iced tea.

5. Greek Oregano is a hardy perennial with leaves that give off scents ranging from sweet to peppery. It is used to flavor pizzas, cheese dishes, soups, vegetables, and salads.

6. Parsley is an easy-to-grow biennial herb with tasty, attractive leaves. It is used for garnishing and flavoring and gives a gourmet touch to your food.

7. Rosemary is an evergreen perennial shrub. Rosemary has a strong resinous scent and is wonderful with grilled fish, meats, poultry, and vegetables.

8. Savory is a hardy, easy-to-grow annual with light colored flowers and sweet-scented leaves. It is used to flavor salads, salad dressings, soups, sauces, egg dishes, meats and vinegars.

9. Sweet Marjoram is a tender perennial plant with leaves that have a sweet and spicy smell and flavor. It is excellent in fish, roast meats, salads, soups, vinegars.

10. Thyme is a hardy perennial with a distinctive aroma. Use the leaves to flavor soups, stews, poultry, and grilled dishes. It is one of the easiest herbs to grow indoors.

11. Sage is a popular, hardy perennial that is member of the mint family. it is delightful for seasoning stuffings, pork, lamb, veal, poultry, stews, vegetables, soups, and cheese dishes.

Once you have an established indoor herb garden you will be able to create wonderful taste-tempting meals that are healthy and satisfying.   They are categorized according to their uses as culinary, medicinal , and ornamental. The use of medicinal herbs to treat sickness is as old as mankind; brewed in teas or blended into poultices to treat many of our ills and aches.

Plus, you will have a home filled with attractive, aromatic plants that can be used to make potpourri, herbal wreaths, and cosmetics to benefit your skin and hair.