Herbs are the best gift from nature. You can grow them almost anyway and their benefits are widely known. You can use them to spice up your favorite meals or to use them for their health benefits. This whole article will cover some basic points on how to pot some plants and how to take care of them.
A) How Herbs Help Our Health
Herbs have various compounds that help us stay healthy and fit.
Essential oils in herbs have an anti-inflammatory function. The enzyme-inhibiting effect of essential oils in herbs makes it a great aid for individuals with inflammatory health problems such as osteoarthritis, rheumatoid arthritis and inflammatory bowel conditions like ulcerative colitis. Some of the herbs can help regulate blood sugar levels in diabetics.
Chemical compounds in the herbs can also have an anti-spasmodic and analgesic effect, and can help act as digestive aids, antiseptics, lipolytic and stimulants if taken in appropriate dosages.
B) How To Grow Herbs Indoors
It is easy to grow some herbs in your home. Below you can check out some requirements and advice for you indoor garden.
1. Typical Indoor Temperatures
Gardening can come as a hobby that will bring great benefits to your health. Indoor herbs prefer the same temperatures that most people do, so keeping it around 65 to 70 degrees F will keep you both comfortable.
Remember that the air next to a window will be cooler in winter than your average indoor temperature, so adjust your plants accordingly. Dry air is hard on most herbs, so give them a weekly shower in the sink.
2. Finding The Best Spot for Indoor Herbs
The best spot is the south, facing a window, but east or west facing windows can also do. North facing windows need to be avoided for gardening.
3. Select The Proper Potting Soil
There are 2 kinds of potting soil, classic soil or soilless mix. A good potting mix is one that is fluffy, holds moisture, and gives plant roots the perfect balance of air, moisture, nutrition, and anchor.
Organic potting soil is available at any good gardening shop; you just determine how much you will need for your available containers. Pre-packaged compost can be purchased at the same time to increase the nutrient value of the potting soil.
Classic Soil-Based Recipe
- 1/3 mature compost or leaf mold
- 1/3 garden topsoil
- 1/3 sharp sand
Soilless Potting Soil
Seed starting instructions vary, and some may call for a good Soilless potting mix. Starting seeds from soil right from a garden and using it indoors comes with 2 major disadvantages.
You Don’t Know What’s In It – There are all kinds of natural predators and weather phenomenon outdoors that help keep these things in check. To use this soil indoors, you’d need to sterilize it first, with some sort of heat treatment.
Lack of Drainage – Garden soil tends to be somewhat heavy and without tilling as it begins to compact after several waterings.
A soilless mix is free of diseases and other contaminates and you can blend ingredients for better drainage, air space and water retention.
Some soilless mixes will also contain fertilizer and/or trace elements of a wetting agent.
You can even find pH adjusting amendments like limestone or gypsum. Occasionally a particular plant will favor certain amendments over others, but for seed starting a basic mix is sufficient, and should be labeled for seed starting/starter or germination mix.
Soilless Seedling Mix Recipe
- 2 parts compost
- 2 parts peat moss or coir
- 1 part perlite
The best way is to plant all herbs separately. You can even have fun using them as a decoration. Best location can be the kitchen even better if the kitchen has a south-facing window.
5. Using Organic Fertilizers is more convenient than using chemical fertilizers.
a) Dry Organic Fertilizers
Dry organic fertilizers can be a blend of many ingredients or consist of a single material, such as kelp or rock phosphate. Organic fertilizers provide various nutrients, but the blends are specially formulated to provide balanced amounts of all the needed nutrients.
Application – The easiest way to apply dry fertilizer is to sprinkle it and then work it into the top 4 to 6 inches of soil. You can add small portions of fertilizer when you plant them. Unlike dry synthetic fertilizers, most organic fertilizers will not harm delicate seedling roots.
b) Liquid Organic Fertilizers
You can use liquid fertilizers to give your plants a light nutrient boost every 2 weeks. Simply mix in a spray bottle, and spray all your plants at the same time. Plants can absorb liquid fertilizers through both their roots and through pores in the leaves. “Foliar feeding” can supply nutrients when they are lacking or unavailable from the soil, or when roots are stressed. It is especially effective for giving fast-growing plants an extra boost during the growing season. Some foliar fertilizers, such as liquid seaweed (kelp), are rich in micronutrients and growth hormones. These foliar sprays also appear to act as catalysts, increasing nutrient uptake by plants. Compost tea and seaweed extract are two common examples of organic foliar fertilizers.
Application – Application of the liquid fertilizer should be strictly by the instructions provided by the manufacturers/experts. Spray until the liquid drips off the leaves, and concentrate the spray on leaf undersides, where leaf pores are more likely to be open.
6. When To Start Feeding
When the herbs have been in any container for ten days or more, you need to begin feeding them. In a container, the roots are stuck in a small space and will quickly drain it of any nutrients, especially if you have been going easy on the nutrients to begin with.
7. Know When To Water
Watering is almost the most important step in gardening. Checking the surface of the soil will tell you whether you need to water or not. One of the easiest ways is to observe. Some plants are thirstier than others. For example, basil needs more water as indoor plants and less as outdoor plants. If you are growing your plants in plastic pots, or your home is cooler you should water less since overwatering can also ruin your plants.
8. Provide Good Drainage
Your herbs like their soil to drain fast, so you need containers with holes in the bottoms. Make sure you have a drain pan under the pots to prevent the surface from getting wet, but it is also important not to let you plant sit in a pan full of water.
9. Pest Prevention
The correct mix of light and temperature and regular baths can help your plant fight of insect attacks and stay healthy. Hot and dry indoor conditions can weaken the plant and make them more susceptible to whitefly, spider mite or aphid damage rather than a healthy one.
For this to be effective, the spray must come in contact with the insects. If you have to use pesticides on your plants, make sure you wash them away before processing them.
10. Knowing When They’re Ready
Period of growth is different for all plants. It is important for you to observe your plants and notice changes. For example, basil should be harvested before flowers open. You get your highest essential oil levels when you harvest at the end of the dark period.
Herbs are marvelous. They have various uses in one’s household. Whether they are used as spices or for their health benefits. The following is a list of some herbs we recommend for you.
Since basil loves sun and warmth make sure you put it on south facing the window. If basil is left on a cool air, leaves will drop and fate. When watering you should be careful since basil doesn’t like water on its leaves.
Health Benefits are the following: antiaging, antioxidant, anti-inflammatory properties and helps with swellings.
This is a plan that grows well throughout the entire year. It should be placed on an east or west-facing window. It is important for the plant not to be crowded since it needs air circulation to be healthy.
Health Benefits are the following: slows cancer cells growth, helps with diabetes, helps with epileptic seizures, helps with wound healing and helps with breaking kidney stones.
The best way is to dig up a plant from your garden and pot it. Leave the pot outside until the leaves die back. At the start of winter, move the pot to your coolest indoor spot for a few days, and then finally move it to your brightest window.
Health Benefits are the following: a rich source of fibers, anti-inflammatory, antibacterial, antifungal, antiviral, antimicrobial, bone strengthening, and lowering risk of heart strokes, Alzheimer protection, digestive aid and cancer treatment.
It is important to pick a spot where it will get enough sunlight, but in the same moment, it will be protected from drying heating elements. Mint sprigs should be harvested before the plant flowers. To extend the harvesting season, remove the flowering buds as soon as they appear.
Heath Benefits are the following: helps with irritable bowel syndrome, relieves allergy symptoms, fights the common cold, relieves sore throats, helps with stomach aches and has also helps with insect bites and rashes.
The best way is to start with a tip cutting from an outdoor oregano plant, and placing it in a pot on a south-facing window.
Health Benefits are the following: anti-inflammatory, antibacterial and cancer prevention.
You can grow parsley from seeds or just dig up a clump from your garden. Parsley loves sunlight, but it will also grow on east or west facing windows with a slower rate.
Health Benefits are the following: cancer prevention, diabetes prevention, bone health improvement, eye diseases prevention and detoxification of harmful components.
You can start with a cutting of rosemary, and just keep it in a moist soilless mix until it roots. Best placement is on the south-facing window.
Health Benefits are the following: a rich source of antioxidants, anti-inflammatory properties, protects from muscular degeneration, improves digestion, cancer treatment, stimulates brain functioning and prevents the brain from aging.
Take a tip cutting from an outdoor plant to start an indoor sage. It can tolerate dry and indoor air, but it loves sunlight. Therefore best placement is the south-facing window.
Health Benefits are the following: anti-inflammatory, a rich source of antioxidants and vitamin K, helps with diabetes type 2, lowers cholesterol and triglycerides levels, helps with a stomachache, asthma treatment, Alzheimer treatment and stimulates brain functioning.
Best time to grow tarragon is late fall or early winter. You can plant a mature plant from an outdoor garden and leave it outside until the leaves die back. Then you can bring it to your coolest indoor spot for a few days. Tarragon loves sunlight and you should place it in a south-facing window. You can use organic liquid fertilizer.
Health Benefits are the following: fights water retention, improves heart health, digestive aid, helps with menstrual problems and overall health of the female reproductive tract, alleviates toothaches, improves eye function and helps with weight loss and muscle mass.
You can start thyme indoors either by rooting a soft tip cutting or by digging up and potting an outdoor plant. Since thyme likes to be exposed to sunlight, best placement would be on east or west-facing window.
Health Benefits are the following: reduces blood pressure, antibacterial, anti-inflammatory, insect repellent, fights acne and cancer prevention.
Turmeric is used to growing in humid and dry climate, but it shouldn’t be left to sit in water and also needs proper drainage and fertilizing.
Break down a large rhizome into small pieces that have two or three buds. Place it about two inches below the surface of the soil, with the buds up, and water the container. It takes approximately 6 – 10 months for the edible rhizomes to mature, but you can harvest and eat the leaves and stems. Matured rhizomes are the size of a ginger. Check regularly after 6 months to see if they are ready.
Storage & Use – Turmeric roots should be storage in dry and cool place. Use the following instructions on how to use them:
1. Boil the roots for approximately 45 minutes.
2. Turmeric should be dried for about a week.
3. Gloves can be used to prevent dying your hands while peeling the roots.
4. Grind the peeled rhizomes into spice.
Health Benefits are the following: anti-inflammatory, antioxidant, antidepressant, antibacterial, digestive aid, reliefs joint pain, liver detoxification, cancer treatment.