Saturday, February 2, 2013

How to Make an Indoor Herb Garden--with Kids

I'm thinking a better, more accurate title for this post would be:

How to Make an Indoor Herb Garden with Your 12-Year Old Son in a Northern Climate During the Winter When You Hardly Get Any Sunlight

That seemed a little long. ;)

I am having a hard time figuring out what I need to actually get started, especially when every site I quickly look at has a thing about direct sunlight (um... people here get all excited in their FB statuses when we get actual sunlight "What's that bright light?" In response, someone comments, "I'm not sure. It seems familiar..." Or "The sun! The sun! I can't believe it!"). I have no idea what kind of container I need, soil, where to actually get herbs to plant, where I'm going to put it all (starting to think a corner somewhere with a grow light might be a good option; or clear off my son's desk? he doesn't use it anyhow, but maybe because it's so cluttered).

So, instead of finding random things, finding some that look kind of good and bookmarking or trying to find them later, I thought I would post what I've found that that has been helpful and if anybody else is seeking to start such an adventure, they can use what I've found, too!

  • HERBS: Suggests starting with basil, coriander, chives, parsley and sage. Since ds is going for pizza sauce (omg, that kid LOVES pizza!), I think will stick with just the basil and parsley. They seem to say to get baby plants. I've read that works best, but I think it would really be something to start from scratch.
  • LOCATION: Says to use the window sill. Um... That might be a problem with our house. A warm window. (Um, we had -40 with the wind chill the other day...) And south or facing southwest (another issue for us.)
  • BASIC SUPPLIES: Sounds like just about any kind of container will work--but does need drainage. Suggests using even recylables, like old yogourt (Canadian bilingual spelling, if you're wondering ;) ) containers. Soil. 
  • OTHER TIPS: Snip herbs often; encourages growth.
  • Ok, doesn't have tips, but at least gives me a visual so I have an idea of what it looks like, or different possibilities of what it can look like. (Glass jars are kind of appealing--you can really see what's going on!)
Indoor Herb Gardening -- tips Very cool--an entire site dedicated to indoor herb gardening! (Basil plant doesn't like the cold! Ach, (that's a German "ach"), we might have issues! Ironically, cultivated basil freezes well. lol)

Do It Yourself Some really great tips!

TLC's How to Grow Your Own Indoor Herb Garden Tips, as well as encouragement to get a kit. :P


I think I might just buy a kit, make life easier on myself. Here are some kits:

Chia Gourmet Herb Garden Yes, that's right, the Chia Pets ("Ch-ch-ch-chia!") that were all the rage and on TV commercials all the time when I was a kid also have this little herb garden kit. Comes with parsley and basil (and other herbs), which is just what we wanted.

Toysmith Italian Herb Trio Green Ceramic Window Set of 3 Stoneware This one's really pretty, but that would make it my project and not my son's.

DuneCraft Dome Terrariums - Herbs It doesn't say which herbs come with it (unless I'm skimming too much.) Nice compact pot that would help maintain humidity levels though.

Indoor Culinary Herb Garden Starter Kit- Start Growing Fresh Cooking Herbs & Spices- Great Gift Idea!- Seeds: Parsley, Thyme, Cilantro, Basil, Dill, Oregano, Sweet Marjoram, Chives, Savory, Garlic Chives, Mustard, Sage This one looks really good--and simple! lol. I've used that kind of thing before, back when we were part of some tomato plant experiment. Kind of bulky though, so might not be ideal for where we can actually put our herbs.

AeroGarden 3 with Gourmet Herb Seed Kit, Black This seems rather un-Montessori with the fact it has to be plugged in, BUT it would solve some of my problems. Of course, this brings up the question: What's the goal? Just to grow herbs? This could always be a fall-back: try something else and if it flops, get this. ;)


I've done a bit of store searching now that I have a better idea. I'm not sure if stores would have things that aren't in their online catalogue? Because I'm not finding anything in local stores! :( Our growing project may have to wait a bit because I might just end up having to purchase one of the kits above! :D I may still go putter around a couple of stores and see what they have for growing plants indoors. With our winter temperatures and lack of sunlight, I'm thinking some sort of lamp system may be required. And maybe some growing things will be coming in and talking to a sales rep can give us even more info.

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