A Guide to Starting an Indoor Herb Garden from Seed

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Do you want to cook with more organic ingredients? I’ve got one solution for you, that’s growing your own indoor herb garden. Growing herbs is a superb way of gaining extra organic ingredients all year round. Before we dive into this topic, let’s discuss the benefits of growing indoor herbs.

Growing fresh herbs indoors is incredibly beneficial as they’re healthy ingredients to add to your diet. Most herbs that can be grown indoors are packed with vitamins that can naturally have antioxidants, antibacterial and anti-inflammatory advantages.

As you’re able to see from the above, growing your own herbs indoors can be incredibly beneficial. After reading that short snippet of benefits, you’re probably raring to get involved in creating your own indoor herb garden. I understand, and that’s why we’ve created this handy guide to starting your own herb garden indoors.

How to start an indoor herb garden from seeds

Growing an indoor herb garden isn’t rocket science and just requires some basic planning. If you want to achieve a thriving indoor herb garden, follow these instructions.

  • Before you buy your herbs, you need to think about a designated area indoors that’ll be suitable for growing. Remember, herbs need as much sunlight as possible. The recommended amount of light is around 6-8 hours each day. If you don’t have a suitable location, you can also invest in a grow light. 
  • Now you’ve found the perfect location indoors to grow your herbs, you need to actually buy them. Some easy-to-grow herbs are basil, English thyme, Greek oregano, sage, and parsley. During this time, you may also want to invest in some gardening equipment if necessary. You’ll need to think about purchasing a watering can, spray bottle, containers, and appropriate soil for the herbs if you haven’t already.
  • When selecting containers, make sure you invest in pots that have excellent drainage capabilities. A suitable drainage container will have several holes located at the bottom of the pot, and this will allow it to drain water without the herbs becoming over-hydrated.
  • Once you’ve discovered a good location and accumulated all of the equipment, you are now ready to combine them all together and start growing your herbs. Here, you’ll want to add soil into your containers and then your seeds into your soil. Before you leave them, make sure you give them a dash of water, but not too much, as herbs don’t require much hydration to grow.
  • Now you’ve completed the above, you need to wait until they start germinating. They won’t do this for a while, but you should keep an eye on the development process and water them when needed.
  • Lastly, once your herbs look ready to eat, go ahead and add them to a meal. The organic richness will flow through it, and you’ll want to start growing your next batch.

As you can grasp from the instructions above, growing herbs from seeds indoors isn’t very hard. The only crucial elements are sunlight, water, and containers. If you’re able to perfect all three of these, you’ll be on your way to successfully growing herbs indoors.

Helpful tips for growing an indoor herb garden

Growing inside can seem daunting at times, and some helpful guidance can really encourage people to take the plunge into a new adventure. I’m aware of this, and below I’ve made a comprehensive list of some helpful tips to ensure you have a successful herb growing journey.

  • Light – This vital element is absolutely essential to growing herbs indoors successfully. If you don’t have an area indoors that gains a lot of light, you can artificially re-create this by investing in a grow light. 
  • Containers – Pots and containers aren’t expensive, but you need to make sure you purchase the correct ones that’ll drain water effectively. Failing to achieve this will result in your herbs growing poorly or die from being given too much water.
  • Seed starting mix – You can grow seeds in ordinary soil, but you can use a seed-specific mix to aid the growth. If you purchase a seed starting mix, you’ll want to have ½ seed mix and ½ standard soil in your container. This aids the development of the seed as the seeding soil has a dramatically reduced amount of pathogens found within it.
  • Sow your seeds – For many beginner gardeners, that can sound rather odd. However, you don’t physically sow them. Instead, you’ll poke small holes into the soil, place two or three seeds in them, and cover it back up again. By doing this, you’re introducing them to an environment that’ll aid growth.
  • Be careful with water – Herbs don’t need a lot of water to germinate and grow successfully. So, be cautious about re-applying water if you’re not sure you have to. As a rule of thumb, you should only water your herbs if 25% of the topsoil is dry.
  • Consider fertilizer – If you want to increase the growing capabilities of your herbs, you should think about buying some fertilizer. However, use it sparingly as they don’t need much to reek the benefits.
  • Re-pot when you’re ready – As herbs grow, they’ll most certainly outgrow their existing containers. If this happens, you can re-pot them without affecting their health.

After carefully reading the above tips, you should be able to grow herbs indoors successfully. Without a doubt, the first time will be the worst, but it doesn’t have to be unsuccessful.

Benefits of having an indoor herb garden

If you’re not convinced about growing herbs indoors, the below benefits may change your mind. To encourage people to start growing their own organic herbs, I’ve created a list of benefits that come along with it.

Grow herbs all year round – You can probably imagine, as you’re growing these herbs inside, you don’t have to stop during the winter. This is Because it’s much warmer inside and easier to manipulate the photosynthesis process to grow annually.

Low maintenance – The main reason I hear from people that don’t want to grow herbs indoors is that they don’t know anything about gardening. However, growing herbs is straightforward and super easy to implement in your daily life.

Saves you money – If you’re someone who buys fresh herbs to add to their meals, growing it yourself can save you a boatload of money. For instance, the cost of fresh basil is around $2-3, and if you can save this each time you shop, it can add up to an astronomical amount.

It’s completely organic – Because you’re growing it yourself, you’re guaranteed that it’s completely organic and not sprayed with harmful chemicals.

Are herbs easy to grow from seed?

In terms of gardening, growing herbs is probably the easiest as they require very little maintenance to grow. Below, we discuss some of the best seeds to grow indoors, not just because they’re the easiest but also the most convenient to add to meals.

Basil

This type of herb is tender and can grow annually in the correct environments. It’s rather aesthetically pleasing to look at, as it has a broad, smooth, and bushy appearance. Basil comes in many different variations, but its most popular species is called “sweet basil.” This can be used in an abundance of meals, making it a beneficial herb to have located around a cooking space.

Here are some essential requirements to grow basil indoors:

Recommended direct sunlight6 hours
Total sizeUp to 24 inches tall, 10 inches wide
Day to germinate5-10
How to growCover seeds with 1/4” of rich nutritional soil and keep warm and moist. Be sure that your basil seeds don’t encounter frost. This will dramatically reduce the chances of it growing. Lastly, Monitor the process and apply water when needed.
Best soilThe best soil for growing basil is something that is rich in organic matter.
HarvestAs a rule of thumb, the younger leaves have the most amount of flavor. Therefore you’ll want to pinch the ends of the stems to allow them to grow back.

English Thyme

The English thyme is a well-known herb that is dashed around in various recipes that include chicken, pork, and most other meats. Undoubtedly, having this type of herb growing indoors will be extremely valuable when you’re cooking. It’s a hearty perennial herb that almost grows like a small wooden scrub.

Recommended direct sunlight6 hours
Total sizeUp to 6-12 inches tall and wide
Day to germinate10-15
How to growDash a small load of thyme seeds on the soil surface and spray with a mister lightly. Keep the surface moist and make sure you don’t obstruct any precious light from this herb. With thyme, you need to be patient as it sometimes takes a while to sprout.  
Best soilThyme isn’t a heavy feeder, so it prefers sandy and dry soils. However, adding a small amount of fertilizer to your soil will undoubtedly enhance its growing capabilities.
HarvestCut foliage, leaving around 3-inch long stems to encourage re-growth.

Greek Oregano

Oregano is a hardy perennial that is simple to grow indoors. As you’re able to guess from the name, it’s widely used in Greek food. This is because it complements many Greek-related foods such as stews, grilled meats, salads, soups, and pizza. To my understanding, most households eat one of the foods mentioned in that list, making it a remarkable herb for anyone wanting to add organic flavor to their meals.

Recommended direct sunlight6 hours
Total sizeUp to 24 inches tall and wide
Day to germinate7-14
How to growSow into the soil’s surface and mist slightly, keep the topsoil moist and make sure it doesn’t frost.  
Best soilAll oregano’s thrive in loamy soils that drain well.
HarvestWait for the plant to reach around 6 inches in length before snipping the leaves and stems.

Sage

Another great herb to have around the house is sage. Sage is a shrubby perennial herb that has wood stems and green leaves. This herb is highly used in most recipes, and it holds a slightly peppery flavor. This brings out the flavors of sausage, pork, poultry, stuffing, and many vegetables.

Recommended direct sunlight6 hours
Total sizeUp to 24 inches high and 36 inches wide
Day to germinate10-20
How to growSow into the soil’s surface and mist slightly, keep the topsoil moist and make sure it doesn’t frost.  
Best soilAll sages thrive in loamy soils that drain well.
HarvestDon’t harvest within the first year. Let the herb become established. Once this year has passed, pick the leaves carefully when needed.

Parsley

The last herb I’d like to mention is parsley, which is highly used in many Italian dishes. It’s a biennial herb that can be grown annually when provided with the right living conditions. It gives freshness to any meal it’s added to, such as meats, salads, soups, etc.

Recommended direct sunlight6 hours
Total sizeUp to 12 – 18 inches tall and wide
Day to germinate14-28
How to growParsley takes a while to sprout, so patience is key here. Soak seeds in warm water for 24 hours before planting. You’ll then want to cover them in 1/8-inch of soil and mist slightly.
Best soilLoamy soil that is jammed packed with organic matter.
HarvestCarefully snip outer stalks from the plant base and trim the leaves when you need them.

As you’re probably aware, there are many other herbs you can grow indoors. However, I recommend starting with the above. Not just because they’re easy to grow, but actually, they are found in many popular recipes.

Conclusion

As you’re able to see from the above, growing your own indoor herb garden really isn’t that hard. If you just follow the guidelines mentioned, you’ll be on your way to developing a truly remarkable herb factory inside of your home.

It’s certainly a great way to create your own organic herbs and something everyone should implement today. So, what are you waiting for? Get growing!