10 of the Easiest Herbs to Grow Indoors

Herbs Potted Up

Herbs Potted Up

Nothing beats cooking with fresh herbs. The flavour cannot be compared to dry herbs, unless of course you dried them yourself! With a little effort and a few simple supplies, no matter where you live, whether it is an apartment or house, you can have an indoor herb garden year round! Place them in a sunny window of you kitchen and enjoy fresh herbs every day!
Here is a list of the 10 most popular herbs, their characteristics and some uses; follow the easy potting directions for a hassle-free indoor herb garden. 
Get your planting party started!
Things you need:
Several clay pots and a premium potting soil, preferably one that will feed your plants for several months and won’t dry out quickly


Basil
Characteristics and Uses:  Sunny flavour, sweet. Use on beans, potatoes, peas, tomato sauces, chicken dishes, salads. Add on prepared dish or at end of cooking time  
How to start: Basil is best started from seed. Sow seeds generously in pots-don’t plant too deep- 1/4-1/2”
Best Location: Basil needs lots of humidity and sun – cut the bottom off a litre bottle of pop and put over basil to create a “terrarium” effect- keep moist but not wet

Bay Leaf
Characteristics and Uses:  Mint like, pungent -Used in gumbos, sauces, stews
How to start: Bay Laurel is a tree and will grow best if purchased as a seedling. Plant in a pot that will allow for a tap root-transfer when roots come out the bottom
Best Location: Water deeply; allow soil to dry out slightly in between. Bring indoors before the hard frost and put outside after the frost period. Mine does best in my cold kitchen next to a window.


Chives
Characteristics and Uses:  Mild onion flavour. Use as final flavour or at end of cooking or garnish. Chop, snip - Great with potatoes dishes, eggs, poultry, salads, sauces 
How to start: Dig up clumps at end of season – let all leaves die back
Best Location: Bring indoors in early winter-place in coolest part of house for a few days, and then move to sunny spot

Dill
Characteristics and Uses:  Dominating- tangy & pungent Seeds have strong flavour. Salmon, cucumber yogurt sauces, peas, salads, pickling eggplant, cabbage
How to start: Start from seed or clumps -best time to plant dill inside is between October and early spring. Fern leaf dill is ideal or indoors
Best Location: Fertilize every 6 weeks with a ½ strength liquid fertilizer or fish fertilizer. Dill is drought resistant; it will grow better if watered

Mint
Characteristics and Uses:  Sweet and strong -Peppermint and spearmint-Teas, lamb, fish, desserts, salads. 
How to start: Start from seed or buy a small plant from organic grocer
Best Location: Needs full sun plenty of water – watch them grow!

Oregano
Characteristics and Uses:  Adds an earthy flavour to lamb, tomato sauces, seafood, chicken, pork, eggplant
How to start: Start from seed or buy a small plant from organic grocer
Best Location: Oregano likes bright light 6-8 hrs, medium watering

Parsley/Cilantro (Italian Parsley)
Characteristics and Uses:  Bright, clean flavour to chicken, seafood, beef, sauces, potatoes, soups, salads
How to start: Start from seed; plant 1/4 to ½ deep; water deeply
Best Location: Full sun-Keep soil moist as the seeds germinate.  Establish a watering schedule, allowing  to dry some between watering


Rosemary
Characteristics and Uses:  Pungent , piney can overpower other flavours- Chop finely; Add to poultry, lamb,, fruit salads potatoes, white beans, breads
How to start: Propagate from a healthy mother plant: Snip several 2 1/2” (6 1/3cm) stems. Remove bottom set of leaves from your cuttings. Dip the bottom of each cutting in water, and then dip the bottom of each cutting into a rooting compound. Fix each cutting into its own container. Mist your plant. In 2-4 weeks, once rooted, transfer to a larger pot
Best Location: Pinch the top bud to increase the likelihood of your rosemary branching - Use neem oil to treat any pests. If powdery mildew develops, clean leaves with mild soapy water and place in front of a fan to circulate the air – sunny location


Sage
Characteristics and Uses:  Slightly bitter- mint-like. Overpowers easily. Add whole stems to stews and soups-discard when done. Great for pork, sausages, veal, stuffing, poultry, sauces. Note: Dried sage has a different flavour
How to start: Start from seed or buy a small plant from organic grocer
Best Location: Sage needs six to eight hours of full sun daily. If your sunny window does not provide this much daily sun, use fluorescent lighting when growing sage indoors.


Tarragon
Characteristics and Uses:  Liquorice flavour; strong. Use alone or combine with parsley -tomato dishes, vinaigrettes veal, chicken, potatoes, mushrooms
How to start: Best started from root stock that has been separated
Best Location: Tarragon seems to perform best in a lower or diffused light situation- does not perform well when exposed to winter chill
With these herbs in your cooking collection you are off to a GREAT start and some wonderful seasoning.

Do you have some tips you would like to share with us on these or other herbs?  Let us know your thoughts!

 Here's a little infographic  on the easiest herbs to grow indoors.

 
Infographic on the easiest herbs to grow indoors.

Infographic on the easiest herbs to grow indoors.

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