How to Plant an Indoor Kitchen Herb Garden

1. Choose the Perfect Location

Select a west- or south-facing window for optimal light. If using a grow light, give herbs 14 to 16 hours a day under fluorescent bulbs placed 6 to 12 inches above the plants.

2. Prepare Your Pots

Opt for large, deep containers with drainage holes. Fill with potting mix, leaving about 1/2 inch at the top. For Mediterranean herbs like thyme and oregano, mix in some cactus potting mix for better drainage.

3. Plant Your Herbs

Plant your herb seeds or transplants in the pots. Water thoroughly until water drains from the bottom. Place the pots on windowsills, using trays to catch dripping water.

4. Water and Feed Regularly

Allow the soil to dry out slightly before watering again. Use a diluted water-soluble fertilizer every two weeks, but don't over-fertilize as it can affect the taste of the herbs.

5. Maintain Proper Humidity

If the indoor air is dry, set herb pots on trays of stones filled with water, ensuring the water level stays below the drainage holes.

6. Rotate Your Pots

Turn the pots regularly to ensure even sunlight exposure and uniform growth.

7. Harvest and Prune Often

Snip herbs when they are a few inches tall. Prune regularly to encourage a larger, longer harvest and prevent flowering.

8. Move Outdoors in Warm Weather

When spring arrives, move your potted herbs to the patio or deck for more sunlight and fresh air.

9. Repot and Refresh

Repot herbs when roots begin to show through the drainage holes. Refresh the potting mix periodically, as organic material breaks down over time.