I was wondering how do I go about starting an herb garden in my apartment?

Question by Stephanie C: I was wondering how do I go about starting an herb garden in my apartment?
I live in a an apartment in Portland and I was unsure of how to go about starting and herb garden.

Best answer:

Answer by Di
If money isn’t an issue you may want to purchase the Aero Garden (see source for website). If money is an issue, visit your local home improvement store or nursery and ask if they sell indoor lighting for growing plants indoors and a heating mat for seedlings. You may not need the heating mat if you plan to purchase mature plants. If you have a window that gets at least 6 hours of sunlight you may try putting your plants in front of it and see how they do if you prefer not to buy a light. You can also buy pots that have watering systems built in so if you’re a forgetful waterer that’s definitely a good investment.

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  1. In addition to what the others said, you can get a few large pots and use them to grow your herbs in sunny windows. I found a few very nice ones at a discount store. Remember to keep your herbs watered, but don’t overwater them: A lot of herbs don’t like wet feet.

    A couple of years ago, I bought starts of basil, oregano, sage, and thyme, and planted them together in a large pot that I used to bring a tree home in the year before. And they grew beautifully!

  2. If you’re looking for a way to feel more at home in your new apartment, we have a solution for you. It’s economical, challenging (but not too difficult) and it allows you to explore your creative side. Herb gardening, either from a window box planter, on your kitchen counter or in an outdoor space is a great way to personalize your home with the look and smell of these useful plants. Some of the staff at Apartments.com find that herb gardening can save money, since buying new herbs from the store can really add up. Plus you’ll be getting fresher versions that may even encourage you to stay in and prepare your own meals more often. So grab a shovel and start planting today! Here’s how to get started:

    ˚ Herbs for planting are purchased in small plastic containers. A nice collection that can be grown in the same container includes basil, oregano, thyme, rosemary and chives. You can drop this combination into a stew, soup or salsa for an amazing flavor burst. Starter kits are also available at most garden centers.
    ˚ Choosing your container is no time to be boring! They come in a wide variety of sizes and shapes, or be resourceful and use an old mug or teapot. Be unconventional—herb gardens have even been grown in old hiking boots and shoes. Just be sure you can punch drainage holes into the base.
    ˚ Choose a potting soil mix (don’t use garden soil!) to ensure the healthiness of your plants. Your local garden center should have pre-mixed bags.
    ˚ Most herbs require at least four hours of sunlight every day, so find a place in your apartment where your plants can flourish. If your apartment is especially dark, use a fluorescent light.

    You can choose as many types of herbs as you like; just be sure that you have adequate planting room. You’ll be planting the seeds 2-3 inches apart. The best way to choose which herbs to plant is by seeing what dishes they compliment. Use this list to determine which herbs work best with your tastes:

    BasilMediterranean dishes, chicken, tomato sauces, pesto
    Chivesonion flavor, potatoes, fish, chowder
    Coriander or CilantroAsian and Mexican dishes, pesto, burgers
    Oreganopoultry, pork, veal, roasts
    Parsleypotatoes, soups, pastas
    Rosemarybreads, meat, potatoes, salads, soups, eggs
    Sagestuffing, vegetable dishes, fatty meats
    Tarragonvegetables, poultry, fish, sauces
    ThymeFrench dishes, poultry, lamb, seafood, vegetables

    When you harvest your herbs, you can go to https://allrecipes.com/advice/coll/all/articles/83P1.asp for accompanying recipes to this list.

    Your days of gourmet dinners filled with the aroma and flavor of your hand-grown herbs are just around the corner. You have all you supplies and have carefully chosen a selection of herbs for your kitchen. Here’s how to plant and tend your garden:

    ˚ Before planting the seeds, soak them in water or between wet paper towels in a plastic bag for 2-4 hours.
    ˚ Plant seeds by sprinkling them over the soil and then covering them with 1/4 –inch additional soil. For seedlings, bury the roots so that are at the same depth as the container they were transferred from.
    ˚ Have Popsicle sticks or another form of writable material on hand for labeling the seeds as you plant them. This will ensure you don’t get them mixed up as they grow.
    ˚ Water the plants until moisture comes out through the drainage holes. The plants will thrive in a warm location (on top of the refrigerator works well for many apartment-dwellers). Leave them there until they spout, watering them only when the soil is dry to the touch.
    ˚ When the herbs germinate (meaning when they first sprout), transfer them from their cozy warm location to a sunny place where they can grow. Continue to water them whenever the soil gets dry.
    ˚ You may have to snip out some of the plants using scissors or gardening shears if a large number germinate. This is necessary to avoid overcrowding in your garden. You can harvest your herbs as soon as they are established. Just be sure to leave a sprig behind so that they continue to grow.
    ˚ Trimming your herbs will allow them to grow bushy and continue sprouting new crops.

    When cooking with your herbs, you can take them right off the stem and into your dish. You can also preserve your herbs by drying or freezing them. Freeze chives and cilantro by removing the stems and placing them in zip-lock freezer bags. Dry oregano, rosemary, sage and thyme; store them in a well-ventilated area out of direct sunlight. Either method will work for basil, parsley and tarragon. Dried herbs lose their potency after about one year and should then be discarded. Because the sun dries out the flavors in herbs, it is best to pick them just before they bloom to preserve their aroma and flavor. If you harvest your herbs in late September, you’ll have a good stockpile to last you through the winter. Herb gardens are proof that you don’t have to live in a sprawling home with a giant backyard to enjoy the fruits of your gardening labors right in your dinner. Bon appetit!