Growing an Indoor Herb Garden This Winter
On a cold winter night in Toronto, nothing can compare with eating a fresh, warm, home-cooked meal. Whether you’re serving spaghetti and meatballs garnished with fresh parsley, simmering a leek and potato soup infused with fresh dill, or trying your hand at homemade pesto crostini, anything is possible when you maintain your very own indoor herb garden. No matter the size of your home, apartment, or condo, surely you have room on a window sill for a herb garden! If you want to grow your own herb garden and enjoy fresh oregano, mint, and rosemary whenever you want, here’s what you need to know to get started:
Location, location, location doesn’t just apply to real estate – it also matters in gardening. Herbs need sunlight to grow, which makes placing your herb garden close to a window the best option. Without sufficient light, your herbs will not grow very well and may even die. Any window will do, however if you have access to a window that faces south or southwest, this is ideal. Since Toronto winters have such short periods of sunlight, placement matters a lot. Some of the easiest herbs to grow indoors include rosemary, bay leaf, savoury, and oregano.
Work with the Right Potting Mix
As a beginner gardener, one of the most overlooked factors is choosing the right growing medium. Most herbs are hardy and will thrive in a multi-purpose potting mix with compost, peat, and perlite. Regular garden soil is not recommended. Visit your favourite garden centre or local florist to ask for recommendations, because the right potting mix depends on the plant, light, air quality, temperature of your home or apartment, and even the humidity levels.
A Quick Guide to Watering
The air gets so dry in the winter months in Toronto. We take lots of different approaches to increase human comfort, by wearing lip balm, moisturizing our skin, using humidifiers, and so on. Well, your plants need the same attention and care. Just like dry air sucks moisture from our skin, it also harms plants. Hydrate your plants deeply when needed. Once you see water seeping out the drainage holes, there is sufficient water. Only water again when the soil feels dry to the touch. In one home this might be daily, in another it might be once a week. Your finger is a free water meter.
Maximize Growth with Fertilizer
Growing herbs indoors requires a bit more extra care than herbs grown outdoors. The only nutrients your indoor herbs can receive come directly from you. Apply a fertilizer like nitrogen-rich liquid fish emulsion or a general purpose fertilizer with a 20-20-20 ratio of nitrogen, phosphorous, and potassium.
Now you’re ready to add fresh and fragrant herbs to any meal you cook, without even leaving your home. For more tips about Toronto living, Simplified Rentals is here to help. Get in touch if you have any other questions.