Sunday, October 25, 2015

Growing herbs indoors for winter

Sunday, October 25, 2015

Having something green growing just makes me feel good.  Now that winter is looming, it won’t be long before even the grass turns brown in our Zone 6/7 area.  An option to keep a bit of summer going is to grow herbs indoors over the winter.  It is easy to do.

An indoor herb project is actually how I started vegetable gardening in my flower beds.  I had decided I wanted to move away from artificial scents inside and read that aromatic herbs are a great way to freshen the indoors.  The herbs did well over the winter and I transplanted them outdoors in the spring.  I figured if I could grow herbs indoors, it shouldn't be that much more challenging to grow veggies!

You can either bring in your herbs from the garden or start from seeds like I originally did.  If you had an herb plant that did particularly well in the garden, it is a great idea to just dig it up, prune it back, and put in a pot indoors.  You will be able to replant it next spring.  Make sure you use potting soil and not garden soil in the pot and place it them in a sunny window.  Southern exposure is best.

For seed starting, I love using my Aerogarden.  I have close to 100% seed propagation rate with this hydroponic system.  You can also easily start seeds without one.  It is best to use seed starting mix and to follow the directions on the seed packet.  It is so much fun to see the seeds sprouting and watching the green stems and leaves begin to grow.  For more on seed starting, Indoor seed starting tips

Herbs that you can grow in a sunny window-basil, bay, chervil, chives, oregano, parsley, rosemary, sage, tarragon, thyme.

You can separate a few of your garden chives, oregano, tarragon, and thyme and put in a potting with sterile organic potting soil and bring indoors.

I even had a few basil volunteers that came up in the garden that are perfect for potting for the winter!

You can also take cuttings from any of your woody herbs (thyme, rosemary, sage, oregano), start in perlite covered with a plastic baggy, and when they grow roots, transplant to a pot.

Basil, chervil, and parsley all grow easily from seed.

Herbs like a good temperature swing (to mimic the outdoors) between day and night to thrive.  Keeping in a window definitely helps this.  Don’t overwater and in the driest months, some misting is appreciated.

I keep my bay and stevia in a pot so I can bring it in each winter as they don’t make it through our winters, at least not consistently.  I am going to keep them along with some peppers and eggplant in the garage this year as a test.  I have overwintered celery in the garage and replanted in the garden the next year successfully.  I am going to add some overhead fluorescent lighting this time.

You can have great fresh flavor to add to salads and other dishes all winter long by keeping herbs indoors.  For me, it is just good for the soul to have greenery indoors.

1 comment:

  1. Wonderfully inspiring for folks. Great & Healthy idea...Ah, BIG Gardens. Don't miss Hoeing a whole bunch, yet, I do.
    Thanks for your shares.