Finally, after watching numerous cooking shows and listening to the advice of your horticulturally inclined friends, you have decided that you will start your own indoor herb garden . . .
You have heard that herbs are very hard to kill and require little attention once they have germinated, you even learned that “germination” is just a fancy word for “to grow”.
You are now ready to go out and get your seeds, containers, and soil, but before you do that you need to take the time to learn about some of the most common indoor herb gardening mistakes so that you’ll know how to avoid them.
Too Much Water
The biggest mistake that you can make when growing herbs in your home have to do with the amount of water you give them. You must never overwater them as it will cause the roots to drown and eventually rot.
Root rot is one of the fastest ways to kill a plant, therefore make sure that you are only giving your plant as much water as it needs. If you’re at the beginning of your indoor herb gardening adventure and you’re not sure yet. Simply touch the soil with the knuckle of the index finger and if it feels moist you don’t need to water that day.
In fact, a lot of mature herbs only need to be watered every third day but if you are concerned about your plants drying out you can mist around them on a daily basis.
Holes at the bottom of the pot help in draining excess water. You may think that these holes would let all the water drain out and therefore dry your plant, but that is not the case if you use a good potting mix. A high quality commercial potting mix is very porous and will absorb and retain all the water it can hold.
Your plants’ roots will then suck out the water that they need from the soil while the excess water, that which cannot be stored in the soil is what drains out of the pot.
The next biggest mistake when dedicating yourself to indoor herb gardening has to do with light. You may think that placing your containers by any window will do but this is not the case because the quality and strength of light vary depending on which direction your windows are facing.
The morning light is best for the growth of herbs, this is because it contains gamma rays which enhance the process of photosynthesis – this increases the energy level of the plant thereby increasing the amount of leaf production.
On the other hand, if you keep the plant on the west-facing window your plants will not be able to photosynthesize properly because the sunlight is far too strong. However, make sure you don’t keep the herbs in a dark area as the stems will grow abnormally long and weak and the leaves sparse and yellow.
Put More Than One Type Of Herb in Single Pot
You can also make a mistake if you try to put more than one type of herb in a single pot. This is a completely legitimate way to save on space if you don’t intend to use a lot of your herbs. However, you need to make sure to create a complementary pairing as both plants in the pot should want the same amount of sunlight and water.
An oversight that can happen when people start indoor herb gardening is to position the herbs where animals can reach. While the herbs may be beneficial to humans they could be toxic to your pet – as an example, comfrey, while speeding up healing in people, can cause liver damage in dogs due to its strong alkaloids.
Read also: Why Do My Indoor Herb Plants Die?
Don’t Let Your Pet Get Close To The Herb
Additionally, your herbs won’t do well if they have been pawed at by the cat – therefore as you choose herbs to make sure they smell unattractive to your pet and wherever possible arrange them on a stand, out of reach of paws and the inquisitive nose of your puppy!
It can be disheartening seeing your herbs wilt and die, so if you avoid these common mistakes you’ll get lots of joy from your indoor herb gardening hobby and also discover that herbs are quite resilient and very forgiving. In addition, they will bring you lots of joy and freshness to your home.
Read also: How to Create an Italian Herb Garden
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