UA-76843172-1

Seven tips for indoor herb gardening

Christine Illes
Associate Photo Editor

To the majority of college students, gardening isn’t exactly a top hobby, especially when you are stuck in a dorm room or an apartment. Many assume that it is difficult to have any kind of plant indoors, but when the effort is put in, it is possible. Herbs are great to plant indoors.

Not only do herbs save you money with cooking supplies, but they can improve the ambiance of your room just with their bright green colors and fresh aromas. Their benefits are best for those cold, dark days when you don’t want to leave your room to go outdoors. Herbs can change the environment of your dorm or apartment for the better.

Herbs save money with cooking supplies and add ambiance.
Herbs save money with cooking supplies and add ambiance.

Planting an indoor herb garden is not as difficult as you may think. Small Kitchen College, an online guide promoting healthier lifestyles for college students, lists seven steps you need to keep your small garden thriving. What’s essential about keeping your garden alive is just keeping in mind all the elements plants need.

1. If you have a window, choose the one that gets the most sun. South-facing windows will usually be the sunniest. If your sill isn’t big enough for the plants, put them on top of a pile of books or crates. Plants love sunlight and heat as well, so make sure the window doesn’t bring in a large draft.

2. Choose the herbs you would like to grow. Some of the best (and most popular) herbs to grow include garlic, basil, oregano, cilantro, rosemary, dill and sage. These herbs are not only delicious, but can provide some interesting remedies. Some people have used garlic for fever and cold treatments, and even prevention of some cancers. Dill, basil, sage, and rosemary have been used to treat problems of the digestive system, oregano is used for respiratory problems, and oil from cilantro can be applied to the skin to decrease inflammation. These plants will be able to handle dry, indoor air, making them popular to plant.

3. Find some pots. You don’t need a fancy or large pot to plant the seeds in. You could use anything, from a plastic container to a coffee can. However, it is recommended to be bigger than a yogurt container but smaller than a foot in diameter. The pot should be able to drain well, so make sure you poke holes at the bottom of the container, and have a plate underneath so the excess water isn’t leaking all over your sill.

4. Add soil. You can find soil from any garden supply store. How else would these plants grow?

5. Find some plants. If you start a plant out as a seed in a six-pack seedling tray, make sure you transfer them to their own pot, as it is necessary.

6. Water, water, water. Check your plants every day to make sure their soil is nice and moist. If it feels dry, water it as soon as possible. Seedlings cannot grow if they are not watered regularly with your care.

7. Eat and enjoy! When matured, you can cut herbs like basil, parsley and cilantro at their stems and they will keep growing back for months. Once they are flowered, it is too late. The best way to enjoy these herbs is to mince them up and throw them into a hot dish for a pop of color and flavor. These can improve any college meal!

If you are interested in planting your own indoor herb garden, check out some tips and other plant ideas from http://organicgardening.com and http://college.biggirlssmallkitchen.com/. Even doing a simple Google search will help you get started. All the work you put in will definitely be worth it!