As fall rolls around the corner, we start to feel and see the changes; the weather is cooling down, the days are getting shorter, and the harvests are different. There are so many delicious foods coming available for the next few months, and for us gardeners, it just means it is time to move some things inside. Growing different microgreens and herbs indoors is a great hobby that rewards you with the freshest ingredients to use in your cooking. Follow along to learn all you need to know when starting your own indoor garden this fall!
Why Grow Your Own Herbs or Microgreens?
Herbs and microgreens are very nutrient-dense leafy greens. They are great as supplements, decoratives, and flavor boosters. Growing them on your own is the best way to assure you are getting the most out of your food. As we know, food begins to lose its nutrients, vitamins, and essential minerals the minute it is picked. Foods sold in grocery stores travel on average 1,500 miles from its source to the store in the US. In the time it then takes for the food to end up on your plate, it has lost too much of its nutritional value. Gardening at home is an easy fix to this issue; you get all the benefits possible having prepared the food with your own hands. Not to mention, indoor gardening is fun and simple. You can grow things from basil, parsley, sage, or any microgreens from different leafy plants of your choice. With a better understanding of the benefits, the next step is to get started preparing and planting.
Placement Is Important
When getting started, you want to prepare an appropriate space for the garden to grow. Microgreens and herbs need to be grown in the sunlight, so you will need to pick out a place where they can get enough. Typically, you will need a windowsill or space by the window that will allow your greens to get between 4 and 8 hours of sunlight a day. If you live in an apartment, pick a location that has the sunniest side you can find. If that is not available, you can always consider buying an indoor gardening lamp as a safe alternative. Even if you do not have the sunniest living situation, there is always a way to get growing!
Egg Carton or Starter Kit?
Once you have set a good place with plenty of light, you will be able to plant your seeds and get to it. Indoor gardening kits such as the ones sold at Hortiki Plants are very easy to get started with; not to mention they are organic and sustainable. Most come with seeds, compostable gardening cups, and a tray. Another option to this would be using eggshells and an old egg carton that can be found right in your home. Place half the shell in the carton, fill it with about 2 inches of soil, and plant your seeds. Eggshells are great for indoor gardening because they provide minerals and nutrients that will become the building blocks to jumpstarting a healthy garden. Also, this option is a perfect way to compost and repurpose your waste to give it a second life. Even if you live in apartment-style housing, you can still compost while gardening and reduce your carbon footprint. You can be sustainable while growing your garden.
Water, Take Care, And Watch It Grow
Follow proper watering protocols with your garden to assure you do not give too much or too little to your greens. Water your plants just so the soil is dark and damp. When taking proper care of your plants with plenty of water, sunlight, and good soil, time will be on your side. Before you know it, the plants will be sprouting and you should have harvestable herbs or microgreens in about 2 to 4 weeks. Then, you can reward yourself with the benefits of your home-grown delicious greens.
Instagrammer Larissa Molina, @first_leaves_family_farm, has created a whole page dedicated to her gardening. Larissa works on a family farm that specializes in growing microgreens, wheatgrass, and more. Based in Whitinsville, Massachusetts, her farm is certified organic and open for business. They sell their greens for any locals, chefs, or home cooks either by pickup appointment at the farm or every Saturday morning at the Canal District Farmers Market in Worcester, MA. She posts daily on her Instagram and emphasizes the beauty and flavorful benefits of growing herbs and greens. If you are from her area in Massachusetts, check out their website here to discover more about their craft. Be sure to take some inspiration for yourself!
Growing indoors is fun, simple, and rewarding. With the fall growing closer, we will be spending more time indoors than we have been in the summer. Indoor gardening is a great hobby to keep you busy in the comfort of your home with a great payoff. Get started as soon as you can and repeat the process as much as you would like to get the most out of this wonderful and delicious experience.