I love fresh herbs – I use them pretty much every day – but every time I plant them in the garden they get obliterated by hungry slugs. They leave the parsley well alone but can strip a new basil or coriander plant down in 24 hours – which is pretty annoying if you’ve planned a recipe and come out to a bunch of stalks. Not to mention the slime trails on the bits of the plant they leave behind. So I decided to create an indoor herb garden on my kitchen windowsill and now I have slime-free fresh herbs an arm’s length away whenever I want them (I’m also going to enjoy not having to go out into the garden to pick herbs when it’s cold, dark and rainy this winter!). I hope my indoor herb garden inspires you to create your own – scroll down for more pics.
Labels for my indoor herb garden
I encourage my girls to use herbs in their food but a few mix ups convinced me that the indoor herb garden needed some labels which I’ve spent the evening making. I apologise in advance – you’ll see that the mod podge on my labels is not quite dry so they still look slightly shiny! It’s matte mod podge so this will go once they’re dry.
Things I used:
- The crates are from Unwins Herb Kitchen Garden Kit – they are £6.99 each or if you choose “Kitchen Garden Bundle” you’ll get two crates for £12.98 with free delivery (this is a really good price compared to other websites which are selling them for up to £9.99 each crate, excluding delivery!). Personally I didn’t need the seeds from the kits so I’ve saved them for future use. The kit comes with plastic pots but I put the compost (also supplied) straight into the crates which are plastic-lined.
- I recommend that you buy some herb food and a squeeze bottle – it allows you to be neater when you’re watering your herbs so that you don’t put too much water in and end up with water and soil dripping down the sides of the crates.
- The labels are made using: Tiny craft pegs, scrapbook paper (I printed the names directly onto the paper using my computer/a printer/a Stencil font) stuck onto thick brown natural card with plenty of matte mod podge. Everything was covered with a couple of layers of mod podge to give it water resistance, leaving to dry between layers (don’t skimp on this bit or you’ll end up with soggy labels if you so much as catch them with a little water). I then snapped the handles off some transparent disposable spoons we had leftover from my son’s last birthday party and stuck each herb label on, covering the handle with more scrapbook paper.
- Photos were taken by my lovely daughter Courtney of ILoveLippy.com.
Indoor herb garden – chives
Indoor herb garden – oregano
Indoor herb garden – mint
Indoor herb garden – coriander
Indoor herb garden – thyme
Indoor herb garden – basil
Indoor herb garden – parsley
Indoor herb garden – rosemary and thyme
How many herbs?
The Unwins crates are meant for four herbs each but I can’t imagine this ever working out – some of your plants will get pretty big. I recommend no more than two types in each crate.
You might spot that there’s actually 5 crates but only 8 herbs. I use a lot of basil and coriander so I doubled up on both of those plants as you can’t strip away all the leaves if you’re cooking a large meal (leave a little something to allow your herbs to continue their photosynthesis!)
This is a matter of taste – my choices were:
These are all great herbs that are extremely versatile and, perhaps with the exception of the basil, pretty easy to grow.
Tips to keep your indoor herb garden healthy:
- Choose a sunny windowsill. Your herbs will grow fine if the sun hits the side of the house with your windowsill around 4 hours a day or more.
- If you’re not growing the herbs from scratch, buy them from the supermarket. Sainsburys and Tesco both have a good selection priced at around £1.50. Check the plants carefully for signs of pests before you buy.
- Whilst most of your herbs will be fine with it being warm in the day and a little cooler at night, basil is harder to grow inside as it doesn’t like the cold. If you find your basil droops after a few days, it’s probably because your windowsill is too cool. If you can’t move it, you could just accept the fact that your basil plant will need replacing every few weeks.
- These crates don’t have drainage and you probably wouldn’t want them to as you’d end up with a very mucky windowsill. The solution is, DON’T overwater your herbs – the roots will rot and they will die. Test the soil before watering them and water little and often as needed – don’t give them too much.
- Try not to let the air get too dry in the room where your herbs are. If you love pumping up the heating especially through the colder months, they may appreciate a little spray mist from time to time.
- Some of your herbs will grow faster than others – it’s likely your parsley will need a haircut from time to time if you’ve not been eating too much, as will your mint which grows fast but only tends to get used in small amounts due to its strong flavour.