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Friday, 23 October 2015

Trying To Grow An Indoor Herb Garden

I guess the title says it all as in I'm trying, desperately trying, to grow an indoor herb garden.  I've read many suggestions about the benefits of growing your own herbs as you can harvest them when needed and use them right away.  I have found that there is quite a bit of waste involved with buying herbs as we only ever use a bit of it and then the rest goes mouldy before it gets used up.  The problem is that I don't have a backyard or a balcony.  But herbs are just weeds and we all know weeds have evolved to grow anywhere. So I thought, why not trying growing them indoors?  When I saw this glass miniature greenhouse at Ikea, I was entranced.
via Ikea.com

I had these romantic visions of casually sauntering over to my lovely miniature greenhouse that was perched in my kitchen bay window and snipping off a few leaves of herbaly goodness which then gets tossed nonchalantly into my Michelin star recipe.  Like so...
via Ikea.com

Maybe I would have so many herbs that I could make my own cosmetics!  Yessss!!!  BUT my kitchen has no deep bay window, no natural light and very little counter space.  In fact, I was stumped as to where to put this green house, miniature though it was.  Insert sad face.  Still I was game to try and so, rustling up a couple of tiny coconut husk cups for starting seedlings, I decided to try growing dill and cilantro.  After many days spent on bended knee waiting and then pleading (and ignoring Monsieur's postulations about a watched pot or in this case watched dirt...), this is what I had.

That's right...nothing.  Insert another sad face.  Why???  Why??  Were the seeds old?  But seeds, by definition, are young.  How can they be old before they have even started growing??  You will see that, in an ecstasy of optimism, I even labelled my little seedling pots.  Hmmm...I am beginning to think that this business of simple living is not so simple after all.
At this point, I remembered reading somewhere that a good way of jumpstarting a garden is to just buy seedlings or save the roots of store bought herbs (if they come with roots attached).  I saved the roots of a green onion and lo and behold it grew one stalk and then another!  Obviously, it is the one in the blue pot.

I was so excited and admittedly took an inordinate amount of childish pleasure out of watching it rocket upwards especially after the dill and cilantro failure.  And then, one morning, I checked on it and the first stalk, now a long tall stalk, had inexplicably flopped over. Was I supposed to stake it?  I have heard of staking tomato plants but spring onions?  I guess I should harvest it as it looks a wee bit pathetic flopped over like that.  You will see that I have a basil plant to the left.  It was bought as a seedling and is still in a plastic pot because I am too afraid of transferring it to a proper plant pot for fear of killing it.  I think that next year, when there are more seedlings available in the nursery, I will buy a few and do my best to keep up an indoor herb garden.  I haven't given up the dream completely.  Do you do indoor container gardening?  Any suggestions on growing herbs indoors, please send them my way!

I am linking up with Natasha in Oz.


vickie morgan said...

I've just brought in my herbs before the frost last week. I'm giving them a try in the house this winter. I've heard that growing herbs from seed is a hard thing. Sometimes in our grocery store they carry herbs in pots. Maybe you will get lucky to find some in your store.

Julia Nyanyo said...

I've only had success with herbs outside. There I have a very old rosemary plant, chives, thyme, lemon balm & mint which are all pretty hard to kill off. Inside I've struggled to keep things for long, I think the trick might be to lower your expectations of how long a herb will last indoors, maybe try taking cuttings or planting new seeds regularly. Bear in mind I say this as someone who hasn't ever actually managed it!
Congrats on what you have managed, baby steps!

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