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Indoor Herbal Gardening - Essential Basics You Must Know!

Dec 11, 2007
For many centuries now, people have been growing and gathering herbs, across the world. These herbs have been used for flavoring the food, for decoration, for the nice smell they have, and most importantly, they are also used for their medicinal qualities. Herbs are in fact, also purported to have magical powers. The best part is that you now have the option of growing these multi-utility herbs indoors, outside, as well as indoors. However, there are certain specifications and requirements for growing these herbs indoors. Firstly, these herb plants need containers to grow in.

One of the most essential factors for herbal gardening done indoors is light. Herbs need direct sunlight for around six hours everyday. So if you have the facility of a greenhouse window, or a sunroom, you will be able to grow any herb that you wish to have. In case you don't have the facilities of greenhouse, do not despair. These days, there are fluorescent lighting systems available in the market. These are specially designed keeping in mind indoor herbal gardening. You can also make your own lighting system by getting together a combination of cool white, and warm white fluorescent tubes.

However, you need to make sure that your tubes are always around six inches above the tips of your plants. Leave room for the growth of the plant, by making adjustable shelves for these lights so that can be moved up as the herb keeps growing. Around fifteen or sixteen hours of this artificial light everyday, is good for your plant's growth.

For facilitating the growth of indoor herbal plants, you need to use porous soil that can hold water well, but also has good drainage. This type of soil will also help in easy circulation of air. You have the option to either buy good commercial potting soil, or making your own and saving money. Making your own soil is easy. All you need to do in order to make two bushels of potting soil is to mix one bushel milled sphagnum peat moss with the same quantity of horticultural grade perlite. Add to this five tablespoons single superphosphate, ten tablespoons ground limestone, one tablespoon iron chelate and two tablespoons of potassium nitrate, and your potting soil is ready.

The deep root systems that plants growing in the outdoors have are absent in its indoor contemporaries. It is for this reason that the soil in which these indoor herbs are being grown, must be kept moist, but be careful not to over-water them. Even varieties like sage and rosemary that are otherwise hardy require moist soil. However, if you have to use a garden soil that is heavy, in order to prevent caking, you can use mulch.

If you are going in for the option of buying commercial potting soil, you must read the package carefully to see if the nutrients have already been added or not. If your soil is deficient in nutrients, or if it has worn out, you will see that the growth of your herbs has slowed down and that its leaves have started turning yellow. In such a situation, you will need to use a fertilizer. Start off by reading the instructions on the label and at first, use only half the strength recommended to see its effect on your herbs. If your herb is over-fertilized, it has the tendency to lose its fragrance and flavor.

Herbs generally, are not very vulnerable to pests, but indoor herbs are an easy target for whiteflies and mealybugs. Don't get worried if you do find such pests on your herbs. You can get rid of them by simply rubbing them away with your finger, or even a cotton swab. If your herb plant is largely infested with such pests, you can take some slightly soapy water and rinse them away. Your indoor herbal plant will recover fast if you cut off the stems that are infected.
About the Author
Abhishek is a self-confessed Gardening addict! Visit his website http://www. Gardening-Master.com and download his FREE Gardening Report "Indoor Gardening Secrets" and learn some amazing Gardening tips for FREE! Create the perfect Garden on a shoe-string budget. And yes, you get to keep all the accolades! But hurry, only limited Free copies available!. http://www. Gardening-Master.com
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