Monday, August 10, 2009

How Can I Grow Fresh Herbs Indoors?

If you've been toying with how to grow fresh herbs indoors, here's an idea to get you started in the soil on a spartan budget. I came across this astonishing answer for a thrifty way to start indoor vegetable gardening with herbs...using a coffee can!

Think of this as a sort of trial run. That is, to see if this home gardening hobby is something you'll enjoy and pursue with a bit more investment. Fortunately, if it doesn't pan out you're left with something you can give to someone else as a distinctive handcrafted gift or toss it in the recycling bin.

First, get your hands on 1 or 2 metal coffee cans. Even if you aren't a coffee junkie, you won't have to go far to find people around who are devoted disciples to the cup of joe.

While you're at this, use the outside of the can as a canvas for your artistic renderings. In other words, have fun and decorate it. Wash out the can and strip away any labels. Paint the outside with a metal primer (spray paint might be the cheapest and easiest). Once dry, apply your choice of an acrylic paint--again you can opt for one of the newer all surface spray paints. Now let loose with your creativity. Sponge paint a design, glue on empty seed packets, paint flower or herb artwork. You can become the Picasso of plant pots!

To preserve your artistry, apply a coat of sealer. Better yet, use 2 coats. You're now ready to dig into how to grow fresh herbs indoors in your custom designed coffee container.

How To Plant Indoors - Farming Food For Fun In A Can

Turn over the can. Punch several holes in the bottom using a hammer and a hefty size nail--a 3 inch nail is good. If you don't have a big nail, hold several small nails together or punch several small holes together. These are drainage holes to prepare your campy can for planting and growing some fresh herbs indoors.

Time to get dirty! Turn over the can and fill with a packaged potting soil. Do not use soil from your backyard. Trust me on this and learn from my blunders. Growing an indoor home herb garden requires a lighter soil mixture that can retain moisture than the dirt out back. How much do you need? Fill the container so there is at least an inch gap to the top rim of the can. Hint: lightly dampen the soil before filling the can.

Aw, here is the most difficult task...choosing the herb for your first indoor garden planting. To make it easier, I'll suggest the easiest herbs to grow indoors. These herbs are easier to grow because they are hardy and require little attention. Parsley (either flat leaf or curly leaf), cilantro, and chives. My personal favorite is chives. I find a lot of uses for it to rock my routine recipes. Plus, my friends enjoy the occasional gift of fresh chives herbs.

Forget obsessing about whether to start from seed or starter plants. Seeds are cheapest, but you may find leftover seedlings at the local farmers market or garden center. Give a try to get some free seeds or starter plants. Your starter herb garden in a coffee can will open your indoor vegetable gardening adventure on a scale for you to be successful, green thumb or not.

Wednesday, July 1, 2009

How To Freeze Fresh Herbs

Freezing fresh herbs is the best way to preserve their flavor and nutrients. As a gardener, you can rejoice when your supply of fresh natural herbs from the garden are so abundant you must learn how to freeze those herbs so they don't go to waste! Hail your hefty harvest as a job well done tending your herb garden.

There are a couple choices when it comes to methods to freeze herbs and preserve them to use later in the year. My favorite is dry freezing. You'll be glad the process is clever and super simple with few steps. Once your homegrown gems are freeze dried, you'll have months to enjoy them in your culinary adventures. I prefer the 'KISS' method anytime, and this is it for preserving fresh herbs!

Don't waste your healthy garden bounty! Take advantage of these 3 steps to dry freezing herbs explained for fans of outdoor and indoor vegetable gardening so you'll be enjoying your homegrown herbs year round.

Other Herb Garden Help:
Growing Chives In Your Garden and Using A Chives Plant - Discoveries in Dirt By A Novice Gardener

Tuesday, June 16, 2009

Growing and Using Chives Herb Plant

If you are an indoor gardening enthusiast (or think you want to start growing vegetables indoors), growing and using the chives plant is an attractive option. The chives plant is not only a pleasant flavor enhancer, but also makes a stunning addition to your indoor decor. The beautiful green stems growing in a clump sprouting beautiful purple flowers are especially a compliment in the kitchen. Both the stems and the flower are edible!

Growing any type of herb is a simple way to make the plunge into indoor container vegetable gardening without a huge investment of time or money. Fresh herbs taste distinctly different from their dried versions, but the cost of fresh in local markets is fairly pricey. By growing your own you can enjoy them all year round and ignite some creativity into your recipes. I found chives quite by accident. It has been a happy accident, since there is a mecca of usefulness in this little emerald gem. You will not believe all I discovered in the dirt as a novice gardener in growing chives in your garden and using a chives plant.

Other Gardening Talk and Helpful Hints:
Indoor Vegetable Gardening for Anyone