Article by Lighting
Nothing can beat the flavor of fresh culinary herbs in cooking. While you can purchase them from groceries, adding home grown herbs makes a whole lot of difference in cooking tasty dishes. That is why people who reside in apartments still prefer growing herbs indoors to enjoy the flavor of just-picked herbs. Maintaining culinary herb gardens not only supply your culinary requirements, but they create a cooling effect to the room interiors.
Growing Herbs Indoors: A Beginner’s Guide
Proper planning, some gardening basics and a little patience are all that are required for growing an indoor herb garden. While almost all plants require direct sunlight for optimal growth, majority of the herbaceous cultivars perform well in indoor condition with less maintenance. Thus, avid gardeners prefer to grow herbs indoors in the winter, when environmental conditions become unfavorable for maintaining an outdoor herb garden. The following info deals with the step-by-step-guide on how to grow a herb garden indoors.
Choose the Location
The first step for growing herb indoors is deciding the location. Preferred area to start an indoor herb garden is a windowsill, or areas near the door or window, where the plants can receive indirect sunlight. In case your kitchen window faces south and receives some amount of sunlight, you can start a kitchen garden near to that window. That way, irrigating the herbs and harvesting the leaves (whenever you need) will become easy for you.
Gather some Containers
Using the correct size pots is a mandatory step for container gardening herbs. The ideal pot size varies according to the herb that you want to grow. The logic behind this is that the plants should get adequate space for spreading. Say for instance, parsley and sage require a larger pot, while scallion planting can be done in smaller pots. Also, to ensure good drainage, selecting pots with drainage holes is a must. So, while using spare plastic buckets, you need to make holes at the bottom.
Prepare Potting Media
The potting soil plays a major role in maintaining a healthy indoor herb garden. It serves as a medium for supplying water and nutrients to the plants. If you are using heavy garden soil, amend it with sand, vermiculite and lime components for solving water drainage issues. And before you fill soil in the containers, lay, gravel, small rocks and brick pieces in the the bottom. Then, add soil to about three-fourth of the pot height.
Select the Best Herbs
Choose the best herbs to grow indoors with care. Start with local herbs that adapt well in your area, and you can include other exotic herb species afterward. Some of the cultivars that remain all-time favorites for gardeners are coriander, chives, dill, basil, oregano, mint, sage, bay, chamomile, rosemary, lavender and parsley. Of these, dill and coriander are annual plants, while bay and parsley are perennial herbs. Read more on growing basil indoors.
Decide Propagation Mode
Purchasing healthy plantlets is the best choice for beginners. Or, if you already have a herb garden outdoors, make cuttings out of the plants and root them. You can also start your indoor winter gardening from seeds. But, this requires additional effort for seeding, germinating seeds and transplanting the seedlings to individual containers. So, decide which one is a better option for you, and proceed accordingly.
Plantation of Herbs
This step for growing herbs indoors depends on which propagation mode you have finalized. If you are purchasing young plants, planting can be done directly. Take a pot and make a planting hole, such that the root ball size matches with the hole dimension. Place the young plant, and fill soil. Follow the same planting tips for remaining herbs. Likewise, you can transplant seedlings and rooted cuttings in the original pots, as per your plan.
Indoor Herb Care
Providing sufficient water to indoor herbs is of utmost importance for your plants to grow luxuriantly. Over watering is a common problem of winter gardening that concerns first time growers. Excess soil moisture reduces air circulation to the underground parts, resulting in leaf yellowing and root rotting. Ideally, one time watering in every two weeks is ideal for moisturizing the soil and maintaining indoor grown herbs.
This was an overview about the tips for growing herbs indoors. When the outdoor temperature becomes warm, place your potted plants in direct sun for some time in the morning. This will boost their growth and promote production of new leaves. You can supplement organic matter to supply nutrients, but refrain from using chemical fertilizers in your indoor gardening project. A plus point for growing herbs indoors is easy control over pests and unwanted weeds.
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John from www.growingyourgreens.com shares with you how he makes Sun Tea and Essense Water with fresh herbs out of his garden. In this episode, John will share with you his methods for making these two delicious water-rich drinks so you can stay hydrated and get healthy.
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New Scientific Study Confirms that Culinary Herbs and Spices have the Highest Antioxidant Content of all Foods
(PRWEB) January 28, 2010
A recently published research paper proves yet again that culinary herbs and spices have the highest antioxidant content of all foods ? validating the ground breaking formulation of the food supplement, VitaSpice.
Published in the January 2010 edition of the Nutrition Journal, the multinational authors of the study analyzed over 3000 different foods from around the world and found that herbs and spices had by far the highest antioxidant content of all food groups. Some of the other foods that they analyzed included berries, beverages, cereals, chocolates, seafood, fruit, grains, legumes, meat, fish, nuts and seeds, vegetables and oils.
Commenting on their results they observed that: “Spices, herbs and supplements include the most antioxidant rich products in our study, some exceptionally high.”
The analysis found that the culinary herbs and spices that have the greatest antioxidant content were clove, allspice, peppermint, cinnamon, oregano, thyme, sage and rosemary.
Moreover the average antioxidant activity of spices was 300% higher than that of berries, 2300% greater than that of other fruit, 3600% higher than that of vegetables and 600% more than that of nuts.
These result back up a similar study published in the July 2006 edition of the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition. In this earlier, smaller survey culinary herbs and spices were also found to have the highest antioxidant content of all food types.
The authors of the 2010 study go on to suggest that in respect of plant based antioxidant compounds, “We suggest that both their numerous individual functions as well as their combined additive or synergistic effects are crucial to their health beneficial effects?.”
And: “It is hypothesized that antioxidants originating from foods may work as antioxidants in their own right as well as bring about beneficial health effects through other mechanisms, including acting as inducers of mechanisms related to antioxidant defense, longevity, cell maintenance and DNA repair.”
The conclusions that they draw suggest that a VARIETY of antioxidant-rich plant foods should be consumed and propose that such dietary diversity will boost the synergistic and additive effects of the beneficial, bioactive compounds in these foods.
The results of the survey ? and several of the conclusions drawn by its authors ? support the concept of the world’s first comprehensive spice supplement, VitaSpice.
VitaSpice contains 21 different culinary herbs and spices including those heading the study’s list of antioxidant-rich foods. These valuable ingredients provide the synergism and diversity of beneficial plant compounds recommended by the authors of this study.
Details of the study can be found in the January 2010 edition of the Nutrition Journal: http://www.nutritionj.com/content/9/1/3
More information on VitaSpice: http://www.medicinal-herbs-and-spices.com/vitaspice-supplement.html
Hope everyone had a good 4th of July! Not much has changed. Everything still pretty healthy. Bell peppers are changing colors and the cucumbers are doing well. Tumbling Toms are producing several ripe tomatoes every nite. Be warned: I am now formally planning my garden for next year. Boy, am I gonna have some fun! My wife can’t believe we haven’t really even started harvesting a lot of veggies and I’m already looking forward to next year….LOL. Thanks for looking. Any advice, please leave me a post.
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Here’s my weekly video. Things are going well. I cut the pumpkin out of its pot and planted it in the ground. It was root bound….not enough space for the roots to grow. I plan to treat the spaghetti squash similarly….afraid of tearing up the plant if I remove the entire pot, so I’ll cut out the bottom 1/2 of the pot, dig a hole, till up the soil and plunk it in to give the roots room to grow. Thanks for lookin’ and if you have any advice, please leave me a post. I’m always eager to learn.