Living in a Chicago apartment and are craving a touch of spring?
Don’t have a green thumb? No idea how to begin?
Read on to master the art of growing herbs!
Plants are vulnerable to soil-born diseases so it is best to go with a potting mix that can be bought at stores such as Home Depot or any store that sells nursery merchandise. The lighter the potting soil the better because it will help it more drain quickly.
Make sure to pick a pot that has holes in the bottom for easy draining. It will allow water to escape and not stay in the bottom. Select a container that accents your apartment or if space is an issue, how about a vertical garden? Clear mason jars are perfect to hang from your ceiling or even to sit on your window sill. Tin cans add an industrial feel; punch holes in the bottom and set on a small dish with pebbles for drainage.
It is important not to water too often. Do the finger test: stick a finger in the soil and if it is moist, hold off watering. If it seems dry, it’s time to water. Some herbs need more water than others so be sure to read the plant requirements.
A final note about sunlight – each plant has different sunlight requirements. Read to find out if the plant takes indirect sunlight or full sunlight and how many hours per day. Know the lighting of your apartment and which windows get sunlight.
Some Favorite Herbs
Basil – Requires bright light, warm temperatures, and can be grown from seed. A great source of vitamin C, A, and K.
Chives – Bright light and cool temperatures. When you go to harvest, cut them at the base and do not cut more then one third at a time. Chives have a lighter taste than onions and help with digestion.
Dill – You want to be sure to choose a dwarf plant instead of a standard size. Standard size grows too tall for an apartment. It does not grow back after harvesting so you need to keep planting.
Lemon Balm – A fresh smelling herb and is easy to grow from seed. For true flavor, let it grow for a solid year before harvesting.
Oregano – An be grown from seed. Some people do not like the strong taste of dried oregano. Fresh oregano is best for less flavor. Works well with Greek meals and is good for muscle and joint pain.
Rosemary – Can be grown from cuttings or as a complete plant. The soil needs to be drained but not too dry.
Thyme – When you are planting the seed make sure you cover it lightly or leave it uncovered. Thyme is the magic cold reliever. It goes well with other herbs.
Mint -Left unattended in a flower bed, mint can be invasive but in a container, it can be maintained. There are all varieties that are suitable for apartments and each variety brings a unique and fresh aroma.
Speaking of green and healthy, you have to checkout our latest blog on Healthy Cooking For One In Your Chicago Apartment!