Even before I became an accomplished cook, I loved having an herb garden. It all started when I wanted to convince others, and myself, that I was really interested in cooking. I would grow the herbs in a halved whiskey barrel. The container was always well manicured and trimmed.
Fast forward a few years and I have become a passionate cook. My herb garden is planted steps away from my kitchen. It is on our kitchen porch, and not just limited to a container anymore. I have 10 (18” inch) wooden crates housing my herbs. I cut and harvest from the plants daily and wouldn’t have it any other way.
But my herb garden isn’t limited to just the summer either. Many herbs can thrive when planted indoors. True, herbs grown indoors are usually less productive than outdoor plants. But they’ll still give you all the freshness and flavor to your favorite dishes. You can enjoy that fresh taste and smell their wonderful aroma year around. Who says you can’t have freshness in the winter?
How To Grow Herbs
To grow your herbs indoors, you’ll need a well-lit space; a sunny area. Depending on how many pots you plan to have is the space that you will need. Speaking of pots, all pots that you plan to use should be at least 6 inches deep and must have drainage holes. Use a fast draining potting mix that includes lightweight ingredients such as perlite or vermiculite. These ingredients help loosen and aerate the final mix. You may need to fertilize your herb plants too. I recommend an organic fertilizer that you feed your plants on a monthly basis. Keep checking on your herbs, making sure none are becoming woody.
Herbs To Try
Here are 10 wonderful herbs that thrive growing indoors:
Basil – Grows as an annual or a short-lived perennial.
Bay – Grows slowly at first, then becomes bushy and can be trained to grow as a topiary.
Chives – An herb with an onion flavor and a prolific producer.
Dill – An aromatic annual best grown indoors for its leaves. The ‘fernleaf’ dill is the best variety to grow indoors.
Mints – Best grown in pots anyway as they have a tendency to spread and take over your garden. All varieties of mint thrive indoors.
Oregano – A plant that must be harvested often to encourage new growth. Can be productive up to two years, but can become woody. So, keep an eye on it.
Parsley – Both flat-leaf and curly-leaf varieties excel when grown indoors.
Rosemary – Another slow growing herb that can be trained to grow as a topiary. Rosemary prefers drier conditions but never let the soil dry out completely.
Sage – The dwarf garden sage is best grown in a pot. It offers the same flavor as garden sage but grows only to 10 inches high.
Thyme – Lemon thyme and French thyme are delicious culinary varieties. Thyme is a rather “low maintenance” herb that is a must to have on hand year around.
And one last indoor gardening tip for the road: indoor herbs are happy with typical indoor temperatures. Temperatures between 60 -75 degrees are just right. So if you are comfortable, your herbs probably are as well.
This is one of my favorite herb recipes. Enjoy!
Fresh Herb Quiche
3 large eggs
1 cups half and half
1/2 cup fontina cheese, shredded
1/2 cup gruyere cheese, shredded
2 Tablespoons fresh chives, chopped
2 Tablespoons fresh thyme, chopped
2 Tablespoons fresh parsley, chopped
1 prepared frozen pie crust
Preheat oven to 375 degrees.
In a large mixing bowl, combine eggs, half and half, cheeses and fresh herbs. Whisk well to combine. Set aside.
Place the frozen prepared pie shell on a baking sheet. Line the pie shell with foil and pour dried beans over foil. Bake for 7 minutes. Remove from oven, and remove foil and beans. Return pie crust back to oven and cook another 7 minutes.
Pour herb and egg mixture in pie shell. Carefully place back in oven and cook for 35-40 minutes or until the center of the quiche jiggles only slightly. Remove from oven and let sit for 5 minutes before slicing.
** Quiche can also be frozen. Follow directions above. After removing from oven, let cool completely. Cover with foil and place in freezer. Can be frozen up to 1 month.
I am Brooke Fedigan, and I consider myself pretty handy. I am relatively versed on many domestic aspects, and I love preserving all things old, and truly appreciate the heritage. I’m always up for trying and tackling most DIY projects. Making things pretty is my passion, and when I want to relax, I cook.
I have always dreamed of living in an old farmhouse. I love the character of them, and the thought of refurbishing one is an opportunity that I relish. We bought our 1820 farmhouse five years ago and the project list is long. Our budget is tight and our dreams are big. All the more reason to live up to the challenge.
I live in New York’s Hudson Valley with my husband Sean, and two children, Mac and Caroline. I am truly grateful for all life has given me.