Once you've decided on growing an herb garden and know where you're going to place it, think about what kind of herb garden you want. Give your garden a theme. You'll be sure to use all the herbs you plant, and can plan meals and drinks around what you know you've got growing.
Here a few ideas for some themed herb gardens:
- Italian -- basil, parsley, oregano, fennel, rosemary, garlic, sage
- Medicinal -- echinacea, milk thistle, peppermint, yarrow, chamomile, St. Johns wort, fever few, lemon balm, valerian, cayenne
- Salad -- mesclun (technically a lettuce, but grows well in shallow herb gardens), parsley, fennel, chives, dandelion, sorrel, mustard greens, endive
- Tea -- chamomile, lemon balm, lavender, orange mint, thyme, lemongrass, cardamom, lemongrass, marigold, peppermint
So, now that you know what you want to grow, here are a few general tips on indoor gardening: Herbs don't do well with soaking wet soil; it'll cause the roots to rot. Make sure you don't over- or under-water your plants. Also ensure you have adequate drainage in your pots. If you don't, drill holes in the bottom. Water the plants when they're dry to the touch.
You can use plant fertilizer, but be sure to check the label -- different plants require different types and different applications. And remember, most of your herbs will want about six hours of sunlight a day. Some herbs can survive in partial shade -- mint, thyme, parsley, and rosemary, for example. If you don't think your herbs will get enough light, you can supplement with fluorescent lights as well.
For more about gardening and cooking, check out the links on the next page.