The snow may be blowing outside, but that doesn’t mean that your green thumb has to hibernate for the winter. Winter gardening is a wonderful way to keep your green thumb active and add yum to your table, and growing herbs indoors is the perfect place to start. Whether you live in chilly New England, sunny southern California, or anywhere in between, these 5 potted herbs will grow wonderfully on your windowsill and bring fresh herb deliciousness to your dinner table this winter.
Rosemary is a delicious fresh herb that brings fragrant pine forests to mind. Fresh rosemary sprigs are a delicious addition to chicken recipes and will add a special touch to your Christmas turkey. Our team member Melissa loves the roasted garlic-herb butter in this recipe so much that she makes the garlic-herb butter on its own and spreads it on slices of toasted baguette to make gourmet garlic bread. The fresh rosemary really makes the garlic-herb butter pop.
Potted rosemary will grow best in a south-facing window. Start growing rosemary by keeping a cutting in a moist, soil-free mix until it grows roots, then transplanting it to a pot with potting soil.
The easiest way to grow chives indoors is to grow them in your outdoor garden first. Organic Gardening Magazine recommends taking a clump of chives out of your garden at the end of the growing season, potting it, and leaving it outside until the leaves die back. Then, during early winter, move the pot to the coolest area inside, such as the basement, for a few days to help the chives adjust to their new environment. Then put the pot in your sunniest window, and enjoy chives all year ’round.
It’s easy to see why basil is one of the most popular fresh herbs. From homemade pizza or spaghetti sauce, to irresistible pesto, fresh basil outshines the dried stuff by a mile.
Basil is a hardy herb that grows very well in pots (see photo above). To grow basil indoors, start it from seed, and keep the pots in a south-facing window, where the basil will get plenty of warmth and sunshine.
Oregano is another fresh herb that will take Italian recipes from average to irresistible, and it’s also another ingredient in Melissa’s favorite roasted garlic-herb butter, along with fresh rosemary (see above).
The easiest way to grow oregano indoors is to start with a cutting from an outdoor plant. Potted oregano grows best in a south-facing window.
Winter is the perfect time of year for body-warming soups and stews, and bay leaves add a wonderful depth of flavor to many of the best recipes. Soups like this Minnesota wild rice and mushroom soup with bay leaf will keep you toasty on a chilly evening.
Bay grows very well in pots, and will produce bay leaves all year. It prefers an east- or west-facing window. Bay needs plenty of air circulation, so be sure not to let it get crowded.
Indoor Herb Growing Tips
Good technique is key to growing herbs indoors that will thrive and provide flavor for your table. Some herbs, such as rosemary, grow best from cuttings, while others, such as basil, grow well from seeds. If you’re bringing an herb indoors from your garden, such as chives, the transition to an indoor environment is important. Pest control can also be an issue. Organic Gardening Magazine offers important tips for all of these issues, to help you keep your indoor herb garden thriving.