How to grow your own food indoors, part I: Herbs How to grow your own food indoors, part I: Herbs

Did you know that you can grow herbs and other edible plants inside year-round? Plants can thrive in the mild temperatures found indoors. They’re also protected from bad weather, pests, and plant-eating animals when they’re grown inside.

This is the first blog of a series about how to grow your own food indoors. Growing your own food can help you:

  • Save money
  • Control how you want your food to be grown
  • Grow food even if you don’t have a yard you can plant in
  • Have fun learning new growing skills or mastering old ones

We’re focusing on really easy plants first: herbs! Great for adding flavor to any meal, herbs are low commitment plants to grow inside. Using herbs instead of salt can also help reduce your sodium intake without giving up taste.

 

cost comparison between grocery store basil and a basil plant

Here’s how to get started:

  1. Purchase your herb or get one from a friend or neighbor. Grocery stores also often sell herb plants in the produce section. Some great options are basil, rosemary, and thyme.
  2. Place your plant in a sunny windowsill so it can get plenty of natural light.
  3. Make sure to plant your herb in a container with holes in the bottom. This prevents the soil from staying wet and rotting the roots. Clay pots are good for drainage, but they can dry out quickly. Most herbs come in plastic containers that won’t dry out as quickly as clay.
  4. Water the herb according to what the package it came in says. You may need to water it more often during the warmer months and less during the winter.

herb on windowsill

A popular and tasty herb you can grow is basil. Placing a basil plant in your kitchen windowsill will mean you always have fresh basil for your sauces, pasta, sandwiches, and more. Check out this great recipe for green beans with tomatoes and basil.

Learn more about growing plants indoors here. Having trouble growing your indoor plants? This resource can help. You can also bring your questions and photos of the plants you’re concerned about to your nearest Extension office. They’d love to help!

 

thyme and basil on a windowsill with a cat looking up

Written by Taylor Newman, Ph.D. Candidate | Edited by Laurel Sanville, MS, RDN, LD

Original photo sources:

Thyme on the windowsill: Taylor Newman

Cost comparison: Kroger and Taylor Newman

Thyme and basil with cat: Taylor Newman

Interested in more recipes, cooking and exercise videos? Or Sign Up for our weekly Food Talk eNewsletter.

For recipes and more: