How to start your own indoor herb garden

Posted by Anita Froneman on 4 June 2020

Being able to pick fresh herbs from your own garden is a wonderful and rewarding feeling, and it’s easier than you may think. With winter settling in across South Africa, indoor gardens are easy to manage (and preferable).

Herbs have a plethora of uses. They can be used to almost any food dish or brewed for tea. Most have medicinal uses fighting colds and infections, some repel insects, and others are good for your skin and hair.

Some of the easiest herbs to grow that require little to no maintenance are:

– Lemongrass:

Lemongrass is a delicious addition to Thai cooking, works well as a bug repellent and freshens the air with its citrus scent. Adding crushed lemongrass to a carrier base oil like coconut oil or unscented body lotion can boost the mood and revive the senses.

– Chives:

This herb is versatile for cooking, doing well in salads, soups, sauces and pastes. A mixture of chopped chive leaves and boiled water is a great counter for mildew to use in the house, as well as on other plants.

– Mint:

Loved in all kinds of cooking from smoothies to curries, and brewed in a tea, it can relieve pain and indigestion. Inhaling the steam from mint water in an air diffuser or steamer also helps clear congestion of the nose, throat and lungs.

– Parsley:

This plant is great to sprinkle over food as a dried herb, on the side as a garnish, in salad dressings and soups. Crushed leaves can treat insect bites and rashes as it has anti-inflammatory properties. Chewing raw parsley is also said to be a great breath freshener.

– Coriander:

Coriander (or cilantro) is a key ingredient in most Asian cooking. Brewing a tea is good to relieve indigestion, nausea and stomachaches.

– Sage:

This herb has a range of medicinal uses. Brewed in a tea, it can treat painful menstrual periods and reduce hot flushes during menopause. It can also be applied directly to the skin for cold sores and gum disease.

Remember to always consult a medical professional before self-treating any medical ailment at home.

How to get started:

1. Choose your containers. It does not have to be big, as herbs rarely grow very high and most do not have wide root networks. Each herb should ideally have its own container. They should have drainage access at the bottom.

2. Choose a place that has good direct sunlight, like a windowsill in a room that does not get too cold.

3. Water them slowly, and not too frequently. Most herbs are low water consumers. Research the water needs of each of your herbs.

4. Opt for a good potting mix composed of organic matter with good drainage, instead of plain potting soil.

5. Keep a close eye on them. It has been said that plants respond well to music. We can’t vouch for the science behind that, but one thing that is for sure, is plants that receive daily attention tend to flourish. According to Calcademy, plants can perceive light, scent, touch, wind and gravity, so audio and physical stimuli can help them grow happy and healthy.

For those interested in gardening technology, take a look at Click n Grow for ‘smart’ electronic indoor herb garden kits.

Also read:

5 indoor plants that are good for your health

Image credit: Pexels

 

 






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