How to make an indoor herb garden

Use your own fresh herbs in your recipes

The key to making a recipe delicious is to use fresh herbs; while dried herbs are good, fresh herbs add a lot more flavor to even the most mundane meal. I love growing my own herbs and always have some fresh Rosemary growing in the yard, however during the cold winters it’s not possible to maintain an outside herb garden.

I therefore realized I need to learn how to make an indoor herb garden. After much experimentation I realized that creating herbs indoors isn’t easy; you need to create the right combination of lighting and moisture in order to help the herbs thrive.


So how do you make an indoor herb garden?

The good thing about an indoor herb garden is that you can maintain them all year round, and while I still have an external herb garden, the aromas of an internal herb garden really make the idea of an internal herb garden very appealing. Below you will find a general guide for creating your own indoor herb garden; don’t give up, you may not be successful the first time, or even the second time but the effort will pay off when you have fragrance herbs enhancing your recipes.

Rosemary is one of the easiest herbs to grow; it has an amazing aroma and is great in most dishes.
Rosemary is one of the easiest herbs to grow; it has an amazing aroma and is great in most dishes. | Source

Step 1 – select your herbs – if this is your first time then I suggest you select only one or two herbs to start and then as you become more experienced try to increase the number and variety of herbs.

Step 2 – plants or seeds? – decide whether you want to ‘cheat’ by buying a plant or start from scratch by using seeds. Buying a small herb plant from your local hardware store is easier and the herb is more likely to be hardier, but it is more expensive. Using seeds is more difficult and without the right combination of sunlight and water might not develop the hardiness that you need for them to last.

Step 3 – location – finding the right location where the plants will get plenty of sunlight is key; as mentioned before if you don’t have the perfect location then you can purchase a horticultural lamp that you can time to come on during normal sunlight hours.

Step 4 – potting – while you can use fresh soil and fertilizers and try and maintain your own fertilized soil, it is easier to use potting soil with fertilizers and nutrients in them. You can supplement with Miracle Grow if you want, but regular potting soil doesn’t really require much maintenance.

For individual herbs you should use a 6 inch pot, for a full garden use at least a 12 inch pot. If you are using a plant, create a hole that will allow you to put the entire plant in. If you are using seeds, follow the instructions on the packet. Usually you will soak the seed in water for several hours, poke a hole in the soil and then place the seed in the hole (usually the depth will be about three times the height of the seed) and then pat down the soil so that there are no air bubbles.

Step 5 – watering – generally you should water once a week or once every two weeks depending on the moisture retention of the soil. Do not over water. This is one of the hardest parts of creating a herb garden indoors and it can be very hard to judge. Generally I like the soil to feel slightly moist when touching it, but you’ll find what works for you over time by simple trial and error.

Step 6 – harvesting – pruning is an important part of growing indoor herbs; it helps to keep the herb healthy and bushy. You want to aim to have a fairly compact plant. Generally you can use the pruned leaves in your recipes or dry them for the future.

My experiences with growing herbs indoors

 The table below lists the herbs I have grown indoors, what I tend to use them for, and the difficulty level:

Great in salads and marinaras
Very easy
Superb with beef
Very easy
Great for Mexican food
Staple for all Italian foods
Great in a fresh salad
Try in soup and salad
Great with chicken and in stuffing
Perfect in all recipes
Moderate / difficult
Nice in mashed potatoes
Great when stuffed in fish
A must-have with lamb


Making your own indoor Herb Garden is a very rewarding experience. Not only will you save money, enhance you meals but you also add a pleasant aroma to your home. Be careful it can be addicting and you’ll soon find yourself growing some very exotic herbs!

Author:  Simon Cook

Author: Dennis Hickey

There are no limits to success to those who never stop learning. Learning will nourish your personal growth. I hope you enjoy this website and visit often so you too keep learning and growing.

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