Happy winter solstice. It only gets brighter from now until summer! We're not the only ones who will enjoy the longer days. Herbs can be grown indoors to be added to recipes, drinks, and provide some greenery in winter. Here are the best ones to grow.
While we'd like to grow a whole compliment of herbs indoors, even when grown in a south-facing window, some herbs don't like these cold, short days. Try starting thyme, oregano, cilantro, sage and basil for later in winter when the days are longer and the sun is stronger or grow them under grow lights.
Parsley, chives, mint, and rosemary are better choices for this time of year. If starting from seed, sow seeds in containers placed in a warm room and be patient, it may take a few weeks for seed germination.
A better way to have a quick indoor herb garden is to do a little holiday shopping in a garden center. Often they'll have transplants ready to grow for you.
Plant them in a trough container or individual pots and place them in the sunniest window you have in your home. But, don't put them too close to the glass because of cold drafts.
Keep the soil barely moist. Overwatering is the most common reason herbs don't grow or die in winter. Make sure the pots have a water drainage tray underneath them so any excess water doesn't stain the woodwork.
Try growing some unusual varieties, such as prostrate rosemary that grows in a trailing habit, 'Giant of Italy' flat-leaved parsley with its strong flavor, garlic chives, and chocolate peppermint with their unusual flavors.
Next week on the Connecticut Garden Journal, I'll be talking about holiday plant care. Until then, I'll be seeing you in the garden.