Fall is such a beautiful season and I enjoy it immensely. But once the first frost comes I really start to miss my garden. I love stepping outside to grab tomatoes off the vine and clip some herbs for homemade marinara sauce. Since this option is no longer available, I’ll move and grow herbs indoors and clip them when needed.
Growing herbs indoors isn’t as easy as letting them thrive outside, but you can be successful with a few helpful tips.
Place Herbs in a Sunny Window
Herbs need at least four hours of direct sun per day – six hours is better. A south-facing window is best, but even an east or west window will work. I place my sun-loving plants and herbs in my kitchen windows where sunlight freely shines in.
If you grow herbs indoors in the kitchen, you have them nearby for handy snipping when cooking your favorite recipes.
Give Herbs Proper Drainage
Most herbs don’t like wet feet, so be sure you plant them in garden pots with a drainage hole. Place a saucer or similar underneath the pot to protect your windowsill or furniture. Be careful not to over-water your herbs.
Fall is a great time to start an indoor herb garden. Move outdoor herbs inside. You can propagate them – snip off a few 5-inch stems from your outdoor herbs and remove the bottom leaves. Place the stems in water until they begin to root and then plant them in a garden pot. After roots are established (after a few weeks) in the soil, you can give them a little fertilizer to boost growth.
Cooking with Herbs
My absolute favorite thing to do with fresh herbs is to use infuse extra virgin olive oil with their wonderful flavor and aroma. My favorite recipe is Basil and Garlic Infused Olive Oil. Heat a quarter cup of olive oil over low heat. Add three to six cloves of garlic and 10 basil leaves. Heat over low heat for 10 minutes – the garlic cloves will just start to turn brown. Turn off heat and let the mixture rest for 10 minutes. Remove garlic and basil from the oil. You can pour a small amount of this oil over pasta. I like to drizzle it over my yummy Tomato Basil Spaghetti recipe. It is so, so good!
Add Herbs to Tea
This winter when you settle down for a cup of your favorite tea, clip a few leaves from your herbs and let them seep in the hot liquid. Better yet, make your own flavored tea bags and insert the fresh herbs inside the bag with the tea. Peppermint or lemon balm are good choices.
When Christmas comes, slip a stem of rosemary or other herb into the ribbons of packages for a natural element. You can also dry your herbs to give as gifts during the holidays. Or tie a small red ribbon around a few bunches of fresh herb clippings to give as gifts. These pretty little bundles would also be cute placed on dinner plates as hostess gifts for your guests. I love to make basil pesto – perfect to put in a small, pretty jar and give to a friend.
If you’ve never grown herbs indoors, I hope you’ll give it a try. You might find it’s rather therapeutic during the short cold days of winter!
Stop Back Tomorrow for the new, monthly Cozy Living Series! I promise you that you’ll find creative inspiration for adding a bit of coziness to your life during the month of November. I can’t wait to get the party started!