There's nothing like fresh herbs for adding intense natural flavor to our foods. And it's easy and inexpensive if you grow your own, so here are some tips for growing your own potted herbs.
Different herbs have different light requirements, but most need a sunny southern or western window exposure location. In winter, fluorescent or “grow lamps” are helpful to supplement light when not as available. For a window box garden, in winter, to prevent the loss of foliage and avoid plant damage, bring herbs indoors before frost. A light frost is helpful on mint, chives, and tarragon; it tends to induce a rest period and make the resulting new growth firm and fresh.
When planting, mix two parts sterilized potting soil and one part coarse sand or perlite. There should be an inch of gravel at the bottom of each pot to ensure good drainage.
Consider the water needs of each herb. Growing plants need more water, as do plants in clay pots or hanging baskets. Misting and grouping the plants on a tray of moistened pebbles will help keep them in a humid condition. Don't drench herbs and avoid getting herb roots soggy.
Annual herbs can spend their full life cycle in a pot indoors.
Perennial herbs thrive best placed outdoors during the summer. Plunge the pot in soil up to its rim, or keep it in a protected location on the porch or patio.
Enjoy fresh basil in Summer Vegetable Salsa and other fresh herbs in practically all your favorite dishes.
Tips courtesy of West Virginia Extension Service