The idea of starting a food garden can be a bit overwhelming, especially if you were not gifted with a green thumb. But pandemic life has us considering doing all kinds of new things that we may never have attempted before (see also: sourdough bread).
Rather than jumping right into growing rows wheat in your backyard to harvest in the fall, we found 5 clever ways to start an indoor herb garden that will help you build your gardening confidence, and hopefully inspire you to move on to larger crops next. Who knows? Maybe “farm-to-table” will actually be from “your farm-to-table”.
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Top Photo: Self Watering Herb Garden Tutorial via Urban Leaf
1. Egg carton greenhouse
Now is a great time to start your seeds indoors, because it’s still too early to plant anything outside. An empty egg carton perfect is a seed starting vessel that you might already have on hand. These step by step instructions at My Happy Simple Living turn this into a fun project for the kids as well! I personally love this assortment of Culinary Herb Seeds, which also happens to come with 12 different herbs to perfectly fill up your egg carton. Once the plants get big enough, you can simply cut or tear the egg carton apart and plant in a larger pot or outdoors as the carton will dissolve in the dirt.
You can easily regrow herbs from a cutting of herbs you already have (aka as propagation). In fact, you can easily regrow more than just herbs from cuttings! Simply cut basil, mint or cilantro or any other herb, making sure you leave 2-3 inches of stem on the sprig. Place it in a container of water until roots begin to form, then transfer to potting soil in a container of your choice inside or outside and let it keep on growing. I absolutely love this propagation station from PropoTrait because you can mount it to free up counter space while your cuttings take root, and the glass vials have a magnet on the back so you can easily fill with water and change out cuttings.
Want to learn how to grow edible plants beyond herbs? Join our We Time Project! We’re taking a free online food gardening course, then chatting about it on Facebook. Hooray for community, learning, and fun!
3. Make a self-watering herb garden
You can start a little self-watering herb garden in your kitchen window sill, or another sunny spot with seeds, or even with your propagated starts to give them a bit more meat on their legs. These easy DIY instructions from Urban Leaf are so simple, and use stuff you probably already have around the house. Be sure you use the wide mouth mason jars!
4. Countertop garden
This self watering countertop garden kit is handy, not only because it is self watering, but because you can grow up to eight herbs in a super space saving design. FarmHippie has you covered with these eight perfect seeds. You will want to put this in a sunny spot in your house, or use a grow light.
5. Smart garden
If you have trouble finding a sunny window in your house (or maybe you live in the Pacific Northwest), you may need a bit more help growing an herb garden inside with an indoor growing system. The Click and Grow Smart Garden has been a favorite of ours for several years. It kind of takes the guesswork out of everything – which makes the end result tastes all that much more sweet.