Tips for Starting an Indoor Herb Garden in Your Chicago Apartment

Chicago Apartments, Herb Garden

Herbs are relatively easy to grow, and their benefits go beyond the simple pleasure of tending to your plants — you’ll be able to enjoy their flavors, too. Plus, you won’t have to worry about running out of your favorite herbs while cooking. Here’s how you can get started with your own indoor herb garden.

Chicago Apartments, Herb Garden

Choose Your Herbs

The first step to starting an indoor herb garden is to choose the herbs you’d like to grow. Not all herbs thrive indoors, so you’ll need to choose wisely. Some good choices for newbies include basil, thyme, sage, and parsley.

When it comes to purchasing your herbs, you have two options: Seeds or plants. It may be easier to start with plants if you’re a total beginner. But if you’re on a tighter budget, seeds may be a better choice because of they’re so affordable.

Chicago Apartments, Herb Garden

Pick a Good Location

You’ve picked out the herbs for your indoor garden. Now, it’s time to figure out the best location for them to grow. Ideally, herbs should get direct sunlight for about six hours each day. For optimum growing conditions, place your herb garden near a bright window, and make sure the surface it’s on can withstand water and dirt spills (they’re inevitable!).

Chicago Apartments, Herb Garden

Pick the Right Soil

Choosing the right soil is an essential step to setting up your indoor herb garden. Your best bet is to go with a potting mix, which is typically composed of organic matter that aids in drainage, a necessity for successful indoor gardens. Without proper drainage, herbs may drown from excessive water.

 Chicago Apartments, Herb Garden

Use Separate Containers

Herbs tend to do best when they’re planted in individual containers. This is because different herbs have varying soil and water preferences. Some herbs, such as mint, are known to have roots that can overtake nearby plants and put them in danger. Avoid unwanted disruptions in your garden by giving each herb its own container. This will also make it easy to give each herb its proper care, as some herbs require more water than others.

Don’t be discouraged if some of your herbs don’t survive, especially when you’re just beginning to learn how to garden indoors. Herb gardens aren’t meant to last longterm. There’s also a learning curve, and you’ll get better at tending to your plants with practice. Once you’re comfortable with maintaining your herbs, you may build up the confidence to branch out with other house plants.

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