Even if you don’t have a green thumb, you can grow delicious fresh herbs, salad greens, and other plants indoors, right in your kitchen. There are a large variety of edible plants that do well in containers and will make the perfect addition to your indoor kitchen garden-all you need is a sunny window and a few minutes a week.
Choosing the best plants for your indoor kitchen garden
Nearly any herb will grow indoors, but space is a consideration, so choose herbs that don’t grow too tall or bushy and don’t have large root systems-you don’t want to turn your kitchen into a jungle! Chives, thyme, chamomile and rosemary are all compact plants that thrive in containers.
Basil, sage, oregano, parsley and mint are plants that will spread out in the garden, but stay small when planted in pots and cut back regularly. You’ll soon find yourself snipping them almost daily to season cooking and steep for tea, so that won’t be a problem.
Why buy expensive premade salads that turn mushy in a day or two? You can buy packets of assorted seeds containing the same lettuces and other greens found in popular “spring mix” bagged salads. These are great for a hanging basket placed in a less sunny corner of your kitchen.. Simply sprinkle the seeds on moist soil, keep them well watered, and you’ll soon be eating fresh salads every day. Amazingly, the more you cut back the plants, the more they’ll grow.
Your indoor garden is good for more than just cooking; it can be a treat for all of your senses. Look for unusual varieties of common plants to really freshen up your homemade dishes and liven up your kitchen. Rosemary plants come in upright and creeping varieties, with flowers ranging from white to pink to blue. You can even shape them into topiaries.
Some sage plants have variegated leaves that are green, white and purple. Lemon thyme smells greats and is wonderful in tea; woolly varieties feel soft to the touch and release their fragrance when brushed against or trimmed.
Containers for Indoor Kitchen Plants
This is where you can get really creative and have a lot of fun, while spending little or no money. You can use traditional flowerpots for your windowsill garden, but plastic can be unattractive, and it may be difficult or expensive to find ceramic pots that coordinate with your kitchen décor. Instead, why not look in your pantry or on your grocery store shelves for pretty glass jars or tins?
Imported foods often come in lovely packaging. Olive oil, tomatoes, and other canned vegetables can be found in tins with brightly colored labels and make excellent containers for your indoor kitchen garden. Dried soup beans and spaghetti sauces can be found in embossed jars that will look great on your windowsill.
You don’t have to be an experienced gardener or fancy cook to have an indoor kitchen garden. All it takes is a little imagination and a few smart plant choices to create a gorgeous, living centerpiece for your kitchen that will delight everyone who enters it.