Indoor Gardening Tips!

Gardening as a source of food, to anyone without access to a couple square feet of fertile soil, may seem like a bit of a stretch. This is especially in the case of an apartment dweller, with little room (or money) for large hydroponics systems. If you can't invest in something like the AeroGarden, a unit that makes growing tomatoes indoors a reality, herb gardening is probably the best option for you.

To begin you'll need to choose possible containers, here are some options but a visit to your local home and garden center and an assessment of the space you wish your garden to occupy will probably give you some ideas as well. Make sure to choose a location with lots of light and which will largely be undisturbed by drafts during the colder months or any heating vents.

Container Options:
  • Window box
  • Hanging baskets
  • Terracotta pots
  • Plastic pots
  • Empty plastic containers (food containers are typically best, even yogurt cups)
  • Foam cups (reminds me of elementary school when we would plant beans)
Other required items:
  • Potting soil (sterile)
  • Gravel
  • Herb seeds (pick them depending on your diet, the location of the garden and your skill level)
  • Sunlight (or grow lamps/fluorescent lighting)
  • Organic bug repellent to keep bugs off your plants (several homemade recipes available on the web, such as cayenne pepper or soap)
Beginners can start with something as simple as mint or basil, before growing a large garden.

Certain herbs benefit from being dried (concentrating the flavor) however ensure the following:
  • Harvest herbs before they flower in the early morning after dew has dried
  • Cut annuals at ground level, perennials three quarters of the way down
  • Rinse in cold water
  • Depending on the herb, drying times and method can vary however it is possible for mold to form on certain plants such as mint
It is possible to freeze herbs, but make sure to clean and blanch them before doing so.

There are several kits available for indoor gardening, including deluxe aeroponics units like AeroGarden that cost upwards of $150 with seed kits priced at $19.95. That being said, its hardly a cost-effective option however it is a very convenient one that appears to yield great results.

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