Winter Indoor Herb Garden


| 12/5/2012 9:48:00 AM


Tags: herbs, indoor gardening, growing herbs, winter, houseplants, Susan Berry,

Just because Summer is gone doesn't mean you can't have the taste of Summer fresh herbs this time of year. Fresh herbs are very pricey in the supermarket so why not grow your own indoors this Winter? When Spring comes back, and it always does, simply harden your indoor herb plants off over a week or two and then plant in the garden outdoors for continued growth over the Summer. Here are some of my favorite herbs to grow indoors. Try one of these or a few and have herbs for soups, stews, salads, herb crusted breads, all Winter long.
 Indoor Herb Garden 

Lemongrass: Technically, you don’t even grow lemongrass, in that it’s not planted in soil, making this one incredibly easy herb to keep in the house. When buying a stalk at your local market, look for plenty of stem and make sure the base is intact. Trim the top and place the stalk in a couple inches of water. The stalk will produce roots and dozens of new shoots. Lemongrass is found in many Asian recipes. It is light and refreshing in flavor with a lemony appeal.

Chives: These are one of the easiest herbs to grow indoors, as they do not require much light and are prolific in their production. Chives are easiest to start from an already-established plant. Just pull up a bunch from the established plant (including the roots), place it in a small pot half-full of potting soil, then cover the roots up to the crowns with more potting soil. Cut about one-third of growth off the top to stimulate new growth. Who can resist some flavorful chives on their baked potato? Or make your own onion and chive veggie dip.

Mint: Both spearmint and peppermint literally grow like weeds. They’re both very hearty and very invasive, meaning that they can quickly choke out other herbs. Keep in mind that a lot of spearmint is required to produce the same minty effect as peppermint, so if you’re growing it indoors, where space is limited and harvesting is frequent, peppermint is the better option. Start your peppermint plant with seeds—not root or leaf cuttings—in a small pot full of potting soil. Peppermint will thrive in shade, but make sure it’s in a spot where it gets at least a little bit of light each day. After living in the South for 10 years I still like to drink ice tea year round and one of my favorite additions to tea, hot or iced, is mint.

Parsley: Parsley is one of the most commonly used herbs and is very easy to grow, though the seeds can be difficult to germinate and may take up to two weeks to see results. Parsley doesn’t require much light or maintenance once you get it started. Keep in mind, though, that this plant is a fairly slow grower, so initial clippings will not harvest a lot. Parsley is said to be good for an upset tummy and as a breath freshener. It is also lovely as a garnish and gives a fresh flavor to potato salad and sauces.

Oregano: The Greek variety of oregano is easiest to grow; however all oregano requires six to eight hours of sunlight per day, so a well-lit window—particularly one with southwestern sun exposure—is best. As an herb in sauces for pizza or any Italian dish, oregano is a staple.

SUSAN BERRY
12/8/2012 3:41:26 AM

Hi Dave, My favorites are basil and thyme and rosemary. I would suggest starting from seed or getting some small plants that have been inside already. Places like Lowe's or supermarkets usually have them in pots. I prefer starting seeds, then you know how they have been raised from the start. If I had to pick just one I would say basil.


NEBRASKA DAVE
12/7/2012 1:02:02 AM

Susan, I've never tried cooking with herbs. My seasoning is not much past onion, garlic, and Mrs. Dash. I know, I'm pretty boring when it comes to eating. I would like to test out the culinary herb world. Which one would you suggest I try first? Have a great Winter herb garden day.





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