How to Grow Spices at Home
Fragrant, delicious and useful – I just love to grow spices and herbs at home! There are a few things you need to know to succeed though. Here are my best tips!
It's the middle of winter, but I keep the hope of spring alive by getting my seed packets! Did you know that you can grow spices and herbs indoors even this time of the year? You can harvest some of your new little plants already on the window sill, or wait until it gets warmer and then plant them outside instead.
You can of course grow other vegetables indoors during winter too. Leafy greens is for example a great choice. But there's just something special about fresh spices and herbs when it's cold and dark outside. It definitely brightens the mood and adds some extra flair to my meals too.
Of course, there are a few things to consider if you want to grow spices and herbs indoors. Especially as a beginner. New gardeners often make the mistake of just sowing one single seed in each pot. I often see pictures of regular plastic pots with one tiny little stalk on social media. The person behind it usually worries about their seedling. They might not even recognize the plant like this, or wonder if something went wrong with the sowing. Well, the big problem is naturally that they only used a single seed per pot. This doesn't really work.
Several types of spices and herbs should actually be sown in clusters. A smaller one, for example around 1.2 inches in diameter (3 cm in diameter), could use 5-10 seeds. If you want to use a pot that's twice as big, around 20 should be perfect. Every little seed will develop into a small seedling that doesn't look like much on its own. That's why you should always grow spices and herbs in tight clusters. Just imagine buying chives in the store. You won't exactly expect a single stalk per pot.
So, remember to always use several seeds in each pot when you want to grow spices and herbs at home.
Sow in Clusters:
- Chinese chives
Grow Spices Indoors:
If you want to grow spices and herbs indoors on your window sill in winter (preferably underneath a grow light), you need to remember to:
- sow the seeds in a smaller pot and transplant it to a larger one later
- avoid using larger pots with too much soil
- sow the seeds in clusters
- keep the soil damp, but be careful with the watering
You don't have to think too hard about how many seeds you use for each cluster. You can always remove one or a few plants if it looks like you have too many in one spot. I generally use a pinch of seeds that I just scatter on top of the soil.
The reason why you should use a smaller pot with less soil is that your seedlings might not make it in heavy and wet soil. My favorite method is probably to start in plug trays and then transplant the seedlings to larger pots when they grow bigger.
Remember that you have so much to look forward to this winter. Good luck growing herbs and spices at home!