I always dreamed of having fresh herbs in the kitchen so that I could use them whenever I wanted. The problem is that I never lived in a house that had a bright kitchen.
I think I still can not say that I realized my dream of having a window in the kitchen, but at least the layout of our current apartment allows the kitchen to receive enough light.
In addition to our 'open concept' apartment, we have a full glass wall in the living room, which ensures plenty of light all day in the house.
So this idea of growing an herb garden was in my head for a while.
Last Saturday we went shopping and came back with several seedlings: cherry tomatoes, lettuce, Thai basil, purple basil, parsley, red pepper and rosemary.
I planted all the seedlings in a pot and placed them on the sink bench, which is the closest to the light.
I measured the light with a device I bought on Amazon and found that in this place the light intensity is average. I do not know if it will be enough, so I'll keep monitoring and if I realize that the plants are not satisfied with the amount of light, I'll buy a grow light.
I researched a lot about how to plant herbs in the kitchen, so I wanted to share with you the tips I found most useful:
1. Light is almost everything, but don't be desperate
Light is essential for all living beings. But for plants it is even more important. There is no way to grow any plant without light.
So many people give up having pot of herbs in the kitchen just because the environment is dark.
Of course, if you have a huge window and live in a region with plenty sun all year long, the task of planting herbs in the kitchen is much easier.
But if you, like me, do not have this privilege, you can use some "tricks."
If your home has an open layout, you may be able to light your plants with light coming from other environments.
In my house, for example, I take advantage of the light coming from the livingroom.
Ideally you measure the light to know exactly what to do. I I bought this device on Amazon that measures, among other things, the intensity of light in a specific place.
Just approach it to the area you want to measure and then it will tell you if the intensity is low, medium, or high. With this, you can move your pot through the kitchen until you find the spot that - according to the meter - gets more light.
And if you don't find a satisfactory light intensity, consider buying a growing light. This LED light ensures light for your plant and accelerates growth.
And remember that the sun only beats a few hours a day, but this lamp can stay on 24 hours a day, seven days a week. Which means that for your kitchen plans, it's like there's no night, so they grow all the time!
Result: you can enjoy your herbs faster 😉.
2. Monitor the amount of water
The need to water your cooking herbs varies from case to case.
In addition to plants that consume more water, the amount of watering depends on the environment, the type of soil, etc.
Those who have experience (and gift!) growing herbs in the kitchen or other plants, can identify when it is time to water.
Unfortunately, I'm not one of those people. Thankfully I found a solution to that.
Remember the device that measures the light? It also measures soil moisture and pH. Just stick it on the ground and, in seconds, it tells you if your plants need water.
3. Too much water also hurts
When you start growing herbs in the kitchen, it's common to be concerned that the plants are "thirsty" and watering all the time.
But did you know that the biggest cause of houseplant deaths is just too much water?
The tip is to pay attention to the aspect of your plants and relate to the amount of water that the meter is indicating.
For example, when you are still getting to know your cooking herbs, do not water them until you realize that they have begun to show signs of lack of water. When you get to that point, check how much the meter is checking and you will know what level of humidity you need to keep to keep your plant healthy.
Caution!!! Check your cooking herbs EVERY DAY so that you can take care of them as soon as they give signs that need your help.
4. Their herbs also like to eat
Remember to fertilize your cooking herbs once a month.
Usually the pot soil already comes with fertilizers, but they are being consumed by the plants and need to be replenished.
You can buy fertilizers at the same place where you bought your seedlings and soil.
5. Think of which kitchen herbs are right for you
It is normal for us to get excited and go out buying everything that we see ahead.
But ideally you should choose wisely.
Ask yourself which herbs you consume the most. Or rather, open your closet so it can tell you which one you buy the most.
This is important because the herbs need to be consumed regularly and if you do not they will die. So what are you going to grow coriander if you do not use it in your recipes?
6. Patience, patience, patience ...
Growing herbs in the kitchen is a hobby that requires (or helps you have) patience.
Face it as a pleasurable activity and enjoy the way.
Ah, but you're too impatient ??? The tip I give is, among the seedlings to buy, include some that is already ready for consumption. So you will have the immediate reward and will understand the pleasure of growing herbs in the home kitchen. For example, you can buy basil, parsley and rosemary.
If you have any tips to share with others, leave here in the comments. I love learning new things!