Indoor Herb Gardening Ideas for Your Small Space Kitchen

   If you're dismayed at the high cost of some herbs and spices when you go grocery shopping, one solution is to grow your own.  This can be done in your kitchen, where the herbs will be handy for using when cooking.  A small space kitchen can still be used for an indoor herb garden, even if you don't have a window and a windowsill.  You could set up a small table or shelf in your kitchen with florescent lights near the plants, keeping the lights on for about ten hours daily.  In a small space kitchen, herbs that don't grow too tall or too wide are a good choice.  If you use a soilless potting mixture, your herbs will be free from any soil contamination.  You could use one large container for a variety of herbs, or several small (6 inch) containers, one for each different herb.  Several herbs that would have the same lighting and moisture requirements can be grown in the same container.  You can even use your own bowls for growing herbs!  If you'd like, you can find directions over the internet for making your own soilless potting mix.  Make sure the mix allows for good drainage.

  Choose the herbs carefully.  Besides height and width, think about which ones you commonly use when cooking.  Chives and parsley are two good examples of widely used herbs that can be useful to plant and grow.  Sage is another good herb for a kitchen garden in that it also has some useful medicinal purposes, often in tea for colds and sore throats.  Do a little bit of research to see what other herbs you feel you could use often when cooking that can be grown indoors.

  If you want to start with seeds, several gardening places sell herb garden kits that come in biodegradable containers.  Herb kits are good because they use soilless potting mixtures instead of regular potting soil.

  Once your herbs start growing, remember to trim and snip them often.  This will encourage growth, and keep your herb plants healthy and happy.  Keep an inch around the top of the pot for watering.  Don't soak your herbs; minimal watering is best.  Once a month you can add a plant food safe for edible herbs.  They will continue to yield plenty of the herb ingredients you find useful in your recipes.

  Before you know it, you'll have an indoor small space kitchen herb garden any chef would be proud to have.


Indoor Gardening - Plants for a Small Space Apartment

  Having a small space apartment does not mean giving up working with your green thumb, or not being able to develop one even  if you have never gardened before.  There are some things to consider before starting, such as where the plants will go and what sort of plants work best indoors.  Do you want plants with a heavy scent, or more of a light scent?  Flowers or greenery only?  Another thing to keep in mind if you have a cat or a small dog is the need to find plants that are non-toxic to your pet.  Light and temperature and care requirements are other conditions to consider with indoor gardening.  With these considerations in mind, here are some ideas to help you get started on choosing the right plants for you and your small space apartment garden.

    Let's look at what types of plants work well indoors.   Hanging plants are a good choice, especially if space is very minimal.  Spider plants are great hanging plants for apartments.  Some have broad yellowish-white bands down the leaves; others can be all green.  As they grow over the basket they will sprout little baby spider plants, making the plant appear lush and full.  These plants are especially good at reducing indoor air pollution; perfect if you have a smoker in your apartment, or just to keep the air clean and fresh inside.  These plants grow easily and care is simple.  Boston ferns are another good, non toxic choice for hanging plants.  Other types of hanging plants offer colorful leaves and vines, or colorful flowers.  Check all labels when buying for care requirements and toxicity.  You can also research this online.

  If you like flowering plants, African violets are a good choice.  These are non-toxic; great if you have small children.   These are easy to grow and easy to care for, making them especially perfect for a small space apartment.  An average temperature works well with these plants - if it gets cold in the winter, move them away from the windowsill for the night.  Dwarf french marigolds are another flowering plant that also grows  well indoors - either by a sunny window, or a grow light.  Marigolds can have a strong odor - something to keep in mind in a small space environment.  It is possible to find odorless marigolds through a bit of research.

  You can use your kitchen window sill for growing a variety of kitchen herbs such as rosemary, chives, and parsley.  Other indoor plants can include bonsai trees and varieties of indoor trees of different sizes.   Some good low light trees include the "cast iron" plant - known by that name because it is virtually indestructible!  The "lady palm" tree is another easy maintenance tree.  These can adapt to colder conditions, and can survive with low lighting.  With a small space apartment, make your choice of a tree for an indoor plant part of the apartment's decor.

  If you have a small patio or balcony, you can start a small potted vegetable garden indoors.  These plants can then be moved to the patio or balcony and transplanted in larger pots as they grow.  Before you know it, you'll have tomatoes or even strawberries!

   There are many other plants, flowering and non-flowering, to choose from for indoor gardening.  Remember to check for toxicity and hardiness.  With a bit of research, once you have made your decision, you'll find having an indoor garden can give your small space apartment a bit of the outdoors.  Happy gardening!