Fresh herbs are an undeniable delight, even if you don't channel Ina Garten on a daily basis. But they often end up half-used or forgotten in the back of the fridge. The best indoor herb garden will bring bold, fresh flavor to your kitchen, in just the amount you need.
To help find the perfect grow setup for your space, consider the following factors.
Find Your Best Light
Herbs require about six hours of sunshine per day. A window with southern exposure is ideal since it provides the most consistent amount of sunlight year-round, but that’s not always available, especially for apartment-dwellers. Enter: LED grow lights, which have come a long way from what your college roommate hid in their closet. Look for a full-spectrum grow light, which means that it mimics natural sunshine, including wavelengths that are invisible to the human eye (essential for happy plants).
Make Sure There’s Drainage
It’s all too easy to over-water herbs, and their roots will actually start to rot if left in soggy soil for a long time. Most planters have drainage holes at the bottom for this purpose, and you’ll want to make sure there’s a tray underneath so you don’t ruin your tabletop or floor. This is less of a concern for hydroponic or self-watering systems that do the work for you, but checking the soil drainage yourself every so often can help prevent accidental herbicide.
Survey The Terrain
Most indoor herb garden kits are designed for tabletops and windowsills and should take up a relatively small amount of space. If countertop real estate comes at a premium, consider a hanging planter. Also take into account your lifestyle — if you have an unparalleled ability to forget to water plants, say hello to hydroponics or self-watering options. Or if you have children (real or pet) that might take it upon themselves to “liberate” your parsley, an adhesive window garden could be the solution. (Tip: The ASPCA has a list of plants that can be harmful to pets if you want to be extra careful.)
Green thumbs may just need a few seeds and some pots to get started, whether you're growing basil or more medicinal herbs like echinacea. With all that in mind, it's time to shop. All of the options below come highly rated on Amazon and have made many into happy plant parents.
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