Better yet, you don’t even need lots of space!
Even if you only have a single windowsill or a square foot of spare countertop, as long as there’s some light source (doesn’t even have to be the sun!), you can cultivate your own indoor garden with minimal cost and even less effort.
Herbs are a great choice for beginners due to the multi-use, double duty nature: not only do they add natural seasoning and organic flavor to our favorite dishes, but many of them have uses wholly outside the kitchen.
Here are two perfect examples of indoor herb garden staples that are easy to cultivate even if you’re cursed with a brown thumb:
Perhaps one of the most multi-functional members of the herb family is the beautiful lavender plant. An excellent option for cooks and bakers alike, lavender is also wonderful in its dried form.
It can be gathered into a bunch, tied with a ribbon, and placed into a dresser drawer to freshen up your clothing; crumbled up and mixed into a custom Herbs de Provence blend; and it can also be sprinkled around your dog or cat’s bed to act as a natural flea and tick repellent!
French lavender is the variety that grows best indoors and prefers a roomy pot, so don’t crowd it in with others. It also prefers a good drink followed by a period of drying out before you water it again, and it thrives in full sunlight.
Another stand-out selection for your indoor garden is people-pleasing parsley.
Since it is arguably the most commonly used herb, you’ll never run out if you grow it yourself. Parsley is also one of the easiest to grow indoors, albeit slow to germinate, but once you get it growing, it does not require much maintenance or light.
Before you plant
No matter what you choose to plant, one universal truth to keep in mind is that although these herbs love light, they do not survive for long when planted next to a heat source — keep them away from your stovetop and oven for best results.
If you are still intimidated by the idea of taking responsibility for the success or failure of your indoor growing efforts, you may want to strengthen your green thumb first through the more basic process of seed sprouting.
For those of you who are ready to get growing, what are you planning to include in your countertop herb garden?
[Image credit: AgaKacz/MorgueFile]
About this guest author: Jay Harris is a Chicago-area Home Depot sales associate. He contributes regularly to Home Depot’s blog, where he provides advice ranging from the standard hedge trimmer to riding lawn mowers.