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Top 5 Culinary Herbs That You Can Grow Indoors During Winter

If you love spending time outdoors cultivating plants and herbs in your garden, the approaching of winter season may sadden you each year. But the good news is that you can still enjoy a variety of your own home-grown fresh herbs at home.

With some effort and good will, you will be able to enrich your meals with a collection of aromatic and health-boosting herbal plants whenever you want during winter. Read on to find out how you can successfully grow 5 wonderful culinary herbs indoors.

Mint

This versatile herb can be grown indoors quite easily. You can enjoy its health benefits as well as its refreshing taste in salads, deserts, soups, and teas.

Mint prefers shady areas, with a small amount of light each day. So, after planting and watering the peppermint seeds, you can place the pot in a south or west-facing windowsill.

The room temperature should range from 65-70 degrees F, making certain that it does not drop below 55 degrees F during the nighttime. The soil should be kept moist, but never soggy.

You should rotate the position of the pot twice a week to prevent the leaves from growing unevenly, as they tend to bend towards the sunlight.

Rosemary

Not only is this precious fragrant herb a wonderful addition to different types of meat, but it is also bursting with essential vitamins, minerals and antioxidants, offering many health provisions. It will fill your indoor space with fresh scent reminiscent of the sea and forests.  

To grow rosemary indoors, you will need to provide it with around 6 sunny hours every day. If this is not possible, then a fluorescent lamp will successfully replace natural sunlight.

The roots of the plant will stay healthy if you plant the seeds in a pot with good drainage, preferably using a sandy potting mix. You can allow the surface of the soil to become slightly dry between watering periods.

There are two sorts of rosemary particularly suitable for indoor cultivation – they are called Blue Spire and Tuscan Blue. They are compact and grow in an upright direction rather than sideways.Rosemary tends to grow quite slowly, so do not collect more than 1/3 of the leaves at one harvesting.

Oregano

This health-boosting aromatic herb is an essential complement to Italian dishes and different sauces.

Just like rosemary, it requires around 6 hours of plentiful sunlight. Direct exposure to sunlight can burn the leaves though, so you should have this in mind. One indicator that you are exposing your oregano plant to excessive light is the color of the foliage edges: they will become brown.

Regarding the frequency of watering, once per week should be enough, making sure that the sandy potting mix does not become dry.

It is advisable to harvest the leaves using scissors when the oregano plant grows to be around 15 cm or 6 inches tall.

The varieties of oregano most suitable for indoor growing are the African Blue and the Spicy Globe.

Thyme

The divine thyme has been used for centuries to heal and protect people from different ailments. Its culinary use should not be underestimated either – it pairs with fish and chicken dishes particularly well.  

Thyme prefers an extremely sunny location. The sunshine also enhances the quality of the oils and the scent of this plant. If your indoor space does not have locations with sufficient exposure to sunlight, you can simply place the plant under a fluorescent lamp for around 15 hours every day.

Plant the seeds in a mixture of all-purpose and sandy potting soil.

You should trim the foliage regularly, leaving the stems to be 3 inches high.

Another type of thyme that is well-worth searching for in stores is lemon thyme. You will love its specific aroma reminiscent of citrus fruits.

Basilbasil

An indoor location is perfect for this herb of a unique flavor and remarkable healing abilities.You can grow it indoors throughout the whole year, in a warm and sunny location.

The temperature it needs to thrive should exceed 70° F during the day and 50° F at night.  Basil loves to spend a minimum of 6-8 hours of full exposure to sunlight daily. The spacing between the plants should be around 12 inches.

On cold winter days, you should move the pot with basil plant away from the window if it radiates cold, as it can cause the sensitive leaves to droop and fade.

Some general tips for indoor plant cultivation and care

  • Obtain 6-inch wide pots with drainage holes. Clay pots allow proper ventilation, which is further promoted by placing the pot in a somewhat wider saucer with small stones.
  • You should clip the herbal plants on a regular basis to promote proper growth.
  • Assign one container to one herbal plant only.
  • Obtain good quality organic soil, preferably with perlite and vermiculite for adequate drainage.
  • A simple way to enrich the soil for rosemary, basil, and thyme is to add some crushed eggshells to it.
  • You can also fertilize the herbs regularly with one Tbs. of fish emulsion diluted in a gallon of water.
  • Have in mind that herbs do not need as much water as other houseplants. If you notice that the leaves are turning yellow, it is usually a sign of over-watering.

At the end of the winter season, you may want to transfer the herbal plants to your garden.

Sources: www.dietoflife.com
Gardeningknowhow.com
More.com
Growagoodlife.com
Seedsnow.com

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