Growing culinary herbs indoors

Growing tender herbs indoors to enjoy during the cold, winter months.

Growing herbs, like basil, indoors during the winter months will help add flavor to your favorite winter dishes.
Growing herbs, like basil, indoors during the winter months will help add flavor to your favorite winter dishes.

Summertime meals mean grilling and campfires, which lend themselves to clipping fresh herbs from the garden. But as winter sets in, soups, stews and roasted meats are basic fare for our cold, Michigan days. Nothing is better than a crock pot of hearty soup, sun shining through the windows and a good gardening book for a winter afternoon. Just because our garden is asleep doesn’t mean our taste buds are too. Adding fresh grown herbs to almost any dish enhances your favorite recipes. Fresh herbs add something that dried herbs from the grocery store just can’t match.

Fresh herbs are expensive to buy and of course you need to use them in a day or two after purchasing them. The solution is to grow your own. There are many herb growing kits available and lists of the best indoor herbs and how to grow them. Here are a few basics tips from Michigan State University Extension to help get you started to a tasty winter.

  • Many tender herbs can be moved indoors to enjoy during the cold winter months. If you do not have herbs to bring in, now is a great time to start some from seeds. Basic seed starting methods work for most culinary herbs.
  • Light is very important for growing herbs indoors. Be sure your herbs get at least six hours of sunlight a day. Water each herb as needed; many herbs like to be on the slightly dry side. It is a good idea to keep herbs in separate pots if room allows so you can monitor the light and water of each.
  • Clipping your herbs to use for cooking is the biggest reason to growing them. It is beneficial to the plants as well, just don’t clip more than a third of the herb at one time.

Add fresh herbs to your soups, stews and more for an aromatic and flavorful winter treat. Here are a couple resources to learn more about growing herbs indoors:

Don’t forget to enjoy your winter meal in a sunny window with a great gardening boo, as you dream about spring and all the herbs you can grow for your next culinary treat.

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