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Growing Herbs Indoors

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By: Steve Rozic

You grew delicious, fragrant herbs all summer. They added an extra touch to your cooking, provided you with the ingredients for your own herbal teas, and filled your garden with fragrance. The good news is, you can grow many of these tender herbs indoors. Growing them in a sunny window, or under grow lights, will give you a continuous harvest of herbs through the winter months.

Best Herbs to Grow Indoors

Some herbs take better to indoor conditions than others. Here are some of the easiest herbs to bring in from the garden:

Lemon Balm
Caring for Herbs Indoors

If you’re planning on overwintering your garden herbs indoors (or at least keep them growing long enough to get a few more harvests from them) there are a few things to keep in mind:

1. Bright Light

Herbs do best with plenty of bright light — at least eight hours of light per day. This can be provided by placing them in a south-facing window, but the more guaranteed method is to place them under plant lights. I usually place my herbs on the shelves I use for seed-starting; the lights are already there, and I have heat mats as well if the basement gets too chilly.

2. Careful Watering.

One of the trickier things about overwintering your herbs is maintaining the right moisture level. You’ll want to water them regularly, but many herbs, such as rosemary and thyme, dislike soggy soil. The most effective way to figure out if it’s time to water is to do the finger test: stick a finger into the potting soil. If the top inch of soil is dry, it’s time to water.

3. Watch for Pests.

Checking your plants regularly for insects, eggs, webs, or fungi. Be sure to look underneath the leaves as well — this is where many pests tend to congregate.  Treating your plants with insecticidal soap will help keep insects under control.

With these tips, and a bit of attention, you can keep growing your garden herbs indoors during the winter!

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