Herbal Gardening- Indoor Herbs Vs. Outdoor Herbs

Many herbs do quite well in both indoor, greenhouse, settings, containers and outdoor herb gardens.

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Fortunately for us gardners who tend to find new and inventive ways to challenge perfectly healthy, happy plants, such as presenting them with environmental tests, there's a large overlap between herbs that do well in an outdoor garden versus those that thrive inside. Many will perform equally well in either setting, provided they're cared for properly.

Hands down, herbs are just about the easiest possible plant to tend. Once they have been planted in the proper soil, they'll do well with almost no care. (Note: "almost") They perform well in earth that would be considered poor for other plants. They rarely require fertilizer of any kind, are drought tolerant and most will come back year after year.

That kind of stuff makes the choice easy for picking some to go out in the sunshine or into a pot for the house or deck.

Bay Laurel is a Mediterranean native so it likes lots of sunshine and dry conditions. But it can be planted indoors or out. Just make sure the container has good drainage if you want this herb in a pot. Allow it to get plenty of sun if it's in or near the house.

You just fill a pot with pre-dampened potting soil, and make sure the container is large enough to prevent the Bay Laurel from becoming root bound. Then place the herb where it will get 6 hours of sun per day or more and watch it outgrow your container in a year.

Chives can thrive in a pot, but they really excel in a garden. They soak up the heat and sprout up to a foot or more, producing beautiful purple flowers. They do well bunched together and can last years, wintering over well in cold climates. Clip the leaves near the base, rather than further up.

Parsley is an excellent choice for an indoor herb. Even though it will usually also grow well outside, it will probably only last one season. Keep it in a pot and you can sustain it year after year. Easier to grow from plants than seeds, it will be easy to tend.

New leaves grow from the center, so trim the outer ones first in order to keep the plant healthy. They love sun, so put them on a sill in a window with southern exposure (in the Northern Hemisphere) where they can soak up the rays.

Let that Lavender stay outside until you're ready to prepare it for potpourri or a perfume sachet. An ornamental herb, as well as an aromatic herb, it makes great ground cover and gives a garden a lovely smell to complement the beautiful pinkish-purple flowers.  It has many uses in the area of aromatherapy.

Lavender generally requires very little care, so just make sure the soil drains so that it isn't excessively wet. They're bug-resistant and deer don't care for the blossoms so you won't have to take special precautions. No need to fertilize or prune either.

Most herbs will winter well, and many will do just fine in a container or a basket. Just keep the soil a mixture of clay and sandy loam to ensure some water retention, but not too much. Indoors or out you'll find they are lovely, aromatic and many make for great seasonings when harvested.

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Page Updated 3:57 PM Saturday 6/28/2014