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To bring herbs you have growing outside indoors, they’ll need to be slowly acclimated to cooler temperatures. Typically you can let this happen naturally as the seasons change by bringing potted herbs indoors at the time when the temperatures outside are similar to the temperatures you have indoors.  If you’re going to do this in warmer weather, it’s best to start out by moving them to a shadier spot outdoors for a few weeks before moving them inside.


Good Herbs for
Growing Indoors:
Basil
Chives
Marjoram
Mint
Oregano
Parsley
Rosemary
Sage
Thyme

With the increased availability of fresh herbs in the supermarket, we’re seeing more and more recipes calling for fresh instead of dried herbs.  Growing herbs at home during warm weather is a rewarding and cost-saving practice- and one that can be continued indoors during the colder months.

Indoors gardening takes into consideration the same principles that are used when positioning plants in outdoor beds: light, temperature, soil, maintenance and harvesting.

Light
Most of the herbs we use in cooking come from the warm climates of the Mediterranean and that means they’ll need lots of light. When growing indoors, a south-facing window is ideal, as it will provide the most light.  Your plants will need at least four hours of solid light each morning to thrive.  In colder parts of the country or in homes that don’t have windows that can provide suitable light, using a fluorescent light works wonderfully – even as a supplement to four hour in a southern window.  Place the light six-inches above the plants and leave on for 4-5 hours per day.  You’ll be rewarded with fresh herbs even in the coldest of winters.

Temperature
Keeping the potted herbs warm is also important.  During the day, try to have temps as close to 70 degrees as possible and at night keep temps around 60 degrees.

Soil
When growing herbs outdoors, they are relatively maintenance free because most don’t have special soil requirements.  For indoor growing, use a typical potting soil enriched with a little compost and one-part sand for better drainage. Also don’t forget to line the bottom of your pot with either chards from other clay pots, or one our favorites, volcanic rock which will also aid in drainage.

Maintenance and Harvesting
Even moisture is key to healthy indoor herbs.  Kitchens are often a great place to set-up your plants as it is naturally more humid than the rest of the home. As a rule, it is better to err on the side of being dry than too wet.  Clay pots let roots naturally breathe, but they can also dry out faster.  Plus, don’t forget that indoor plants need to be kept pinched or trimmed back by keeping yellowing leaves removed and they also need to be dusted – simply mist the leaves with water every few weeks.  Harvesting the herbs for immediate use or for drying or freezing is the best way to keep them pinched back and thriving.


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