Picking off fruits and vegetables right out of the garden in your backyard to use them in your meals might be one of the best feelings. Why should you get in your car to drive to the closest market just to buy a fresh batch of tomatoes when you can just pluck them off your backyard? Not only will you save up time and money, but every meal that you cook with homegrown plants will taste much better than usual.
Believe it or not, there is even a better option when it comes to having your own garden in your home. You can actually grow it right there in your kitchen, on the countertop specifically. However, setting it up by yourself and growing it might not be as easy as you thought. But, with the help of online guides and tips, you will be able to have your countertop garden in no time.
Of course, you won’t be able to start growing tomatoes, melons or any other bigger fruits or vegetables, but you will be able to grow herbs such as basil, oregano and so on. Herbs are probably one of the most important ingredients in a meal right after salt and pepper.
Things to consider
Well, the first thing you will need to do is find the best location where you can start cultivating your own herbs. You will want something that is not exposed to too much artificial lighting but also gets enough sunlight throughout the day. The temperature will also need to be a bit more controlled. What better place in your home than the kitchen, right? You are going to have easy access to it if you put it on your kitchen countertop. Maintaining it, watering it and cutting the herbs will be very easy.
Keep in mind, the kitchen might be the best location for you as a cook, but if there’s too much draft, a variation of temperature and too little sunlight then you should probably consider placing it somewhere in the living room or the dining room. Having it outside of your kitchen is not that bad, it will still be just a few steps away from you.
The great thing about growing your herbs inside is that you can easily control the atmosphere they grow in. You won’t have to worry about the sun burning them throughout the summer season or about them freezing throughout the winter days. You can control the amount of light and water they get.
Once you have finally decided where you are going to place them, the next step will be to choose what kind of plants you are going to use. We recommend that you pick the herbs that you like to use most in your meals. Our favorites are mint, coriander, basil, parsley, and rosemary when baking in the oven. All of these herbs give out a beautiful fragrance when cooking and they are easily maintained.
Once you have determined which ones you are going to plant in your countertop garden, the next step would be to find where you are going to purchase them from and then purchase the seeds.
Planting the seeds
Once you have acquired the seeds, it is time to find where you are going to plant them. You will need to purchase a plant pot and a bag of potting mix to help the seeds grow into a beautiful herb. Since you are going to place the pot indoors, you can just get a ceramic one or whatever kind of material you want that will look good with the design of your kitchen. You can’t put a terracotta pot in a modern minimalist style kitchen, right? If you want the perfect design of a countertop garden for your kitchen, check out indianadesigncenter.
Now, you are ready to give life to the seeds. Put the dirt and the potting mix into the pot and give it a bit of a shuffle to ensure that they mix up well. Place the seeds in a bowl of water and leave them there for a couple of hours. Sometimes it might even take a day or two. Once you notice that the seedlings have emerged, you should sow them and store them in a tiny pot or a plastic cup. During this phase of growth, you should place them next to the windows to get enough light.
Once the herb seeds have grown enough to start showing leaves, you can then start transplanting them to the countertop pot you have originally bought.
Maintaining the herbs
Most flowers are quite fragile and require a lot of maintenance throughout their lives, but the same does not apply to growing herbs. It is actually not that difficult, especially since they are indoors and not on the outside.
Although, this does not mean that you won’t have to care about them at all. They will still need to get a lot of sunlight throughout the week and you will need to have a bit of understanding of what they require to stay healthy.
Don’t drown them with too much water, but you should also never let them get too dry. Keep a small watering can next to the pot and add in small amounts of water every couple of days.
If you feel like the plants are not providing you with enough herbs then you should provide them with a lot more sunlight. Not only will they grow faster and in a larger amount, but the sunlight might even improve the taste of the leaves which is quite important, especially if you plan to use them for cooking. If the kitchen in your home does not get enough sunlight during the day, you should consider buying a UV light to help it grow.
They stay fresh even after clipping
Keep in mind that some herbs such as the rosemary, oregano, coriander, and many others can stay fresh even a few weeks after they have been cut. This means that you can cut them a few days prior, keep them stored in the fridge and then use them for your cooking.