Fresh herbs are better when they can be grown from seeds in your indoor or outdoor garden. The classic popular herbs are thyme, basil, mint, and rosemary. Herbs require a minimal amount of gardening just like other garden plants.
Many cooks enjoy indoor herb gardens to spice up the flavouring of their meals. Herbs require pruning and dividing in their growth process, to yield continued crops. The varied herb species include shrubs, vines, trees, or bulbs, and they are categorized into annuals and biennials.
To begin a herb garden is to start with a few herbs and increase your herb garden after further experimentation and experience. The size and type of herb garden depends on time, space, and needs.
Outdoor herbs can be used to create walkways or grow along paths, using brick, stone, wood chips, grass, or gravel. They can also share soil space and be an accompaniment to beautiful flowers and vegetables. For limited space, herbs grown in various containers are an attractive display on patios and kitchen window sills.
Elevated Garden Beds
Elevated garden beds, is a gardening convenience and makes planting, tending, and harvesting, a lot easier. There is no bending or kneeling involved, gardeners can stand and grow their flowers or vegetables, with ease. A raised garden bed can be any shape or size, but without any bottoms so that they can be placed onto the soil. Elevated garden beds provide the right amount of drainage and aeration for plants to grow. They also allow for great moisture retention, aerated soil for better root growth.
Raised beds work best when framed, which can be made from stone, brick, pest and weather resistant wood, recycled plastic materials, or landscape timbers. If using wood, do not choose timber that has been treated with creosote or pentachlorophenol, which are too toxic for plants. Just because your garden is elevated, the same gardening principles apply to it as to an in ground bed, such as fertilizing and a layer of lime.
Growing Vegetables Indoor
With today’s gardening technology and a natural environment, people can grow their favourite vegetables indoors, in places such as in their kitchen, a shed, greenhouse, the living room, or where you work. The essential components of an indoor vegetable gardening atmosphere, requires:
- The right amount of light
- The right humidity levels
- Air circulation
A higher lighting medium is required, for growing vegetables indoors, especially those that produce fruits, like cucumbers, tomatoes, and peppers. Fluorescent lighting is great for carrots, beets, sprouts, and green vegetables. Start growing vegetables indoors on a small scale, maybe begin with lettuce, then branch out to spinach. Be patient and you will yield healthy, delicious crops in no time.
Mint seeds are an easy to grow herb that is very popular for adding flavour and garnish to many dishes. Mint seeds are available in peppermint, spearmint, apple mint, and pineapple mint. They grow to be about 2 to 3” tall and will spread quickly in an outdoor garden. They can be grown in containers for indoor gardens, year round.
Their natural scent is released when the mint leaves are bruised or brushed. When planted in the spring, mint seeds can be planted indoors in the late winter or the seeds can be sown in the spring. Mint seeds produce hardy perennial plants that can also be planted anytime until about 2 months before the first frost of the year.
Almost anything can make a unique garden container. The only denominator is holes at the bottom to allow water in the soil to freely drain and the plant’s roots to be aerated. It is easier to grow plants in large sized containers because they hold more soil, which means it stays moist longer, thus creating its own temperature environment.
A garden container tip is that light coloured containers help to keep the soil cooler than darker containers. Garden containers are available in varying sizes and shapes which is important in the plant’s root system. You must know your plant and its growth in order to choose the right container, whether it is an annual, perennial or a shrub.
Containers can be used indoors and outdoors. Popular container ideas are:
- Wood – wood helps to protect plant roots from temperature changes. Make sure the wood is pest and temperature treated. It is strong and inexpensive; and makes a great DIY project.
- Metal – metal containers are long lasting and strong. They also conduct heat; therefore they should have a plastic liner.
- Plastic – plastic containers are very light and are available in varied shapes and sizes. Your plant’s plastic garden containers should be flexible, not stiff.
Plain garden soil is too heavy for garden containers. Houseplant soil mixture should be placed in containers that are up to 1 gallon in size. With garden containers, you must water plants thoroughly and regularly feed your plants. Fertilize them and keep them pruned, whether indoors or outdoors.