A cold dreary December day lulled to bored restlessness by the steady drizzle of rain. The perfect day to get new seed catalogs with pages exploding with life and color and fresh energy for spring. The seed companies really know what they are doing sending out catalogs right at the beginning of winter!
One of my plans for this winter, as I have mentioned, is attempting to start some herb seeds in the house so I have some healthy little plants to place outside come spring when I am more focused on recovering after having our new daughter.
Of course that requires having some seeds to start, and that requires putting in a seed order! The most optomistic part of the entire garden process!
Herbs are notoriously challenging to grow from seed, (some of them anyway) I am infamously horrible at remembering to water my indoor plants, and my daughter is extremely curious to see, smell, and pick whatever mama is working on keeping alive. So this should be interesting.
My process generally is . . .
1. Research research research.
2. Stop researching and jump in to make a decision already.
I’m at the jumping in stage now. From what I have read, the most commonly suggested herbs to grow indoors are generally considered culinary herbs like basil and parsley, though some can definitely be used medicinally like mint or oregano. I’ve decided my technique is going to be to just order what I am interested in growing, attempt to start a small percentage inside, then plant another percentage outside if I need to in the spring. I’ll be using the soil block seed starting method with a heat mat, which actually worked well last year for my veggies & is definitely it’s own post for another day.
What am I attempting to grow? My criteria for choosing herbs is focused on creating a long lasting, easy to maintain medicinal garden.
It included choosing perennials, things that will grow in my zone, 6/7, things that look relatively pretty because I’ll be incorporating them into our landscaping to some extent, and things that are relatively hardy.
I’ve decided to purchase frome Pinetree Garden Seeds, superseeds.com, because they have the medicinal herbs I am interested in that other larger companies like Johnny’s and Jung’s did not, and were less expensive than exclusive herb companies. Here’s what I’ll be buying . . .
-Arnica to make into a salve for treating pain & inflammation
– Catnip to make into infusions to treat upset tummies & teething pain
– Roman Chamomile because it is a perennial & German Chamomile is not. I was shocked to find I actually liked this tea & will be using it as a soothing nervine
– Chives to add to my cooking
– Narrow Leaf Echinacea, apparently the true medicinal variety that grows 3-4 feet high, I’ll be using this for it’s immune boosting, germ fighting properties.
– Fennel to include as an addition to my homemade gripe water for my babies. This is only a semi hardy perennial, but I’m going to plant it in a sheltered area & hope for the best.
– White Pompon Feverfewto treat allergies & use as a cut flower potentially.
–Hidcote Blue Lavender because it is advertised as extremely aromatic with blue flowers & blue is my favorite color. And I’m going to use the Lavender medicinally of course.
–Lemon Balm to use in teas and flavoring
– Marshmallow for soothing stomach issues etc.
– Stevia, which is considered a perennial and did not like being transplanted this year. I may grow this in a large pot so I don’t need to shock it my disturbing the roots
-Common Thyme because I enjoy using it in my cooking.
– Valerian to use for it’s soothing properties.
That sums up my list! A few things that you would think would be included like mint and sage are not because I already have them growing, and a few other things like Calendula are not included because they are not offered through Pinetree. So while it is not an exhaustive summary of a medicinal herb garden, it is plenty for me to attempt to start with inside! Stay tuned for an update on planting everything using the soil blocks and my germination rate of success.
What else would you add to an indoor herb garden? Leave a comment below!