Start Gardening Indoors with Spring Herbs
Published : 5/6/2014

If you are eager to garden, start with an indoor windowsill herb garden and you will save money on expensive grocery-store varieties. Plant herbs in pots and place them near a window that gets at least 5 hours of sun a day. Herbs adapt well to indoor growing conditions and can be put outside when the weather warms up.


    Most herb plants are resistant to insects and diseases. The oils that give them their aroma and flavour help repel pests.
    Inspect herbs regularly for aphids, which are small insects that suck the juices out of plants.
    Check for a fungal disease called powdery mildew, which will make your plants look like they have been dusted with flour. Powdery mildew develops in humid and moist conditions; to help prevent it, place herbs in a sun-filled spot and trim them to encourage better air circulation.
    The Home Depot carries a range of indoor products made specifically to help prevent pests and diseases on edible plants. Trusted brands like Scotts offer fast-acting solutions that can protect against pests for up to 12 months.

Here is how to start:
Position well:

Most herbs need five hours of full midday sun in warm weather to produce the best flavour and growth. They can be planted indoors in containers or window boxes, then moved to the garden when it warms up. Although some herbs like parsley and thyme can tolerate a little cool weather, it is best to bring them indoors in the late fall to help preserve them. A sunny south-facing window is adequate for most indoor herbs.
Follow directions:

Not all herbs are created equal. If you are planted your herb garden in one large pot, group together herbs with similar growing requirements for more efficient plant care. For more tips, read our Plant Care Guides or refer to the section on growing conditions below for detailed planting tips on individual herbs.
Be soil savvy:

Although herbs can thrive in many soil conditions, an average vegetable-garden soil with good drainage suits all species. Scotts and Vigoro potting soils improve aeration and drainage for extended plant growth. For indoor herb gardens, choose a light potting soil with a high sand content to ensure good drainage. An organic fertilizer will add nutrients and encourage growth.
Water properly:

Most herbs need to be kept damp but not wet; do not over water and do encourage proper drainage. Wait until the soil is dry, down to a depth of a 1/2 inch or so, then water thoroughly until soil is moist.
Harvest time

    The best time to pick herbs is first thing in the morning, when they contain the most essential oils and are most fragrant and aromatic.
    Harvest herbs by cutting back a shoot to just above a leaf to encourage regrowth. Fiskars has a wide variety of shears available in-store and online, complete with serrated blades and sharp precision-ground blades.

Growing conditions

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