Here’s how to keep a variety of easy-to-grow herbs and vegetables happy and healthy indoors:
- There’s quite a variety of herbs and vegetables that can be grown indoors depending on the space you have available. Choose easy-to-grow varieties such as: lettuce, spinach, cherry tomatoes, basil, chillies, rosemary, mint and thyme. These all thrive on being picked, but make sure that you leave enough young leaves and plant behind so that they can continue growing. If your basil begins to flower, nip the buds off to ensure bushier growth.
- In most cases a warm, sunny spot is essential, (preferably near a window) where you get at least four hours of sun a day. Mint, however, prefers a spot away from the sun and enjoys plenty of water.
- One of the bonuses of growing plants in containers is that you can control the quality of soil by potting them in a good quality potting soil or a soil that is especially mixed for herbs (available from all good nurseries). Good quality soil will help plants to grow faster and more bountiful.
- Choose a pot that’s large enough for your plant to grow. Before filling it with soil place a piece of coffee filter or porous cloth at the bottom of the pot (to stop the soil from spilling out). Add a few pebbles, but make sure that they don’t cover the drainage hole. Add the soil and plant your plant, making sure that the roots are well covered.
- Don’t pack the soil too tightly by pressing down, rather tap the pot on the ground a few times and rock gently to settle the soil.
- To give the plant a good start feed it with a liquid plant food. You’ll need to fertilise regularly to ensure the best growth (follow the instructions on your plant food of choice).
- You’ll need to water a potted plant more regularly than those in the garden, but be sure not to overwater. Your plant needs watering when the top few centimeters are dry to the touch. Water gently and allow the water to drain through the pot.
For more kitchen inspiration, see our April 2015 issue of House and Leisure magazine.