How To Grow Herbs Indoors With Artificial Lights
Herbs these days are now becoming an important part of home life. For domestic use, herbs have become an essential item in every pantry. Many, however, prefer their herbs fresh. The alternative from buying dried ones is growing them at home.
There are many advantages to this. Herbs used will always be fresh and it's not that difficult to grow them. You can have them the whole year round and it's more economical in the long run.
What Do You Need To Grow Herbs Indoors
What then do you need to start this venture? Not much really. The bare essentials are light, water, a planting medium and some space in your home. Some people can even grow them in areas as small as window sills and shelves.
For herbs to grow continuously, they should have enough exposure to light. Continuous growth means a continuous supply of herbs. If grown indoors, the herbs can thrive as well, using artificial light.
With artificial light, you can grow herbs indoors the whole year round. No more waiting for the seasons. Here's a helpful guide for you to grow your own herbs with artificial lights.
Step-by-Step Guide to Grow Herbs Indoors with Artificial Lights
Planning Your Herbs
What are the herbs most essential to your kitchen? In planning for your indoor herb corner, consider the herbs to be grown. All herbs will not thrive in the same conditions.
Some do well in dry and cool surroundings. Some are particular about moisture while others prefer brighter or dimmer lights. The types of light and the planting medium to use will depend on the herbs you want to grow in your garden.
AeroGarden 7 With Gourmet Herb Seed Kit
Starting from scratch when planning your indoor garden is alright. But you need to have some indoor gardening experience. For beginners, it's recommended to buy a starter kit to make things easier. Consider the AeroGarden 7 with Gourmet Herb Seed Kit.
This kit would be an interesting venture in soil-less gardening. It's able to grow plants five times faster than with soil. By ratio, you will be harvesting maybe five times as much for the same time. More salad greens, flowers, herbs. All fresh, cheap and within reach.
The kit also includes the energy-efficient, full spectrum Grow Lights. These will significantly increase your harvest.
If you would be using a certain herb sparingly, just grow them as potted plants. Growing them on a shelf or on the window sill will suffice. But if you're expecting to use the herbs frequently, you need different methods of growing.
Think About Where You Will Be Placing Your Herbs
After choosing what herbs to grow indoors, as important is where to grow them.
- Attics are not advised as the temperature is often hot.
- The ground floor of your home could do well, but usually, it hardly has enough space for the endeavor.
- Basements could be the ideal setting because there are fewer temperature fluctuations there. Growth conditions can also be easily controlled no matter what the season is.
- You can grow herbs in almost any container. You could have them in racks, or shelves which are near windows. But the most important thing to consider is light.
Growers should expect slow or zero production if there is less-effective lighting.
Also, choose a place for your herb garden where you can have easy access to the plants. Watering and caring should not be a space problem. When transferring plants in large containers, make sure there is ample space. Water sources should be safe, functional, and practical.
Choose Your Artificial Lights
An essential part of an indoor growing garden is the light. To be able to enjoy regular harvests, you should choose the right lighting. The type of light will determine how well your herbs will survive. It will also determine how healthy your herbs will be.
Different herbs need different types of lighting to grow well. But on average, the majority of herbs need at least 16 hours of light to supplement their growth. Your light's intensity is also a factor to consider. A lot of herbs need a high intensity of light to grow well.
The SunBlaster SL1600200 Grow Light Garden
You also have the option to buy a whole garden set which already comes with its own lighting. The SunBlaster SL1600200 Grow Light Garden already comes with lamps which produce high-quality light.
This means that the area it illuminates is a lot bigger and the light penetrates better. The lights in this garden setup imitate natural sunlight, making it best for growing herbs. This kit is a great buy, especially for beginners.
Set Up Your Indoor Garden
The convenience of indoor lighting for plants is that you can grow them anywhere in your home.
- Never grow your plants close to heat sources like a heat vent or a furnace. Herbs also need some sufficient amount of humidity to thrive.
- There should also be a right space between your herbs and the light source. It's easy to determine this with a simple test. Place your hand between the light source and the plant. If you feel any warmth from it, then the light is too close.
- What type of soil is ideal for your plants? Determine the pH level of the soil. Most herbs favor soils with 6 0r 7 pH levels. Place your plant in a soil that's compost-based and mixed with other healthy components. For beginners, it's recommended that you start with plants growing on soil. It is less expensive.
Care For Your Plants Regularly
To see your garden up and growing, you need to provide good care to your plants.
- When growing herbs, don't start your seeds under intense light. Wait for your seedlings to show their first true leaves first. Then you can transfer them to a space with more light. Quick-growing herbs will not regenerate when picked. If you need a constant supply, you will need fresh seedlings.
- After initial planting and the soil becomes dry, water the herbs thoroughly. Do this until you observe water coming out of your pot's bottom.
- Never over-water indoor herbs as this may lead to the plants becoming waterlogged. This, in turn, may lead to mildew disease.
- Nourish your plants with occasional doses of fertilizers. Fertilize your herbs every two weeks based on the type of fertilizer. Feed the plants when you see them actively growing. Never overfertilize as this may kill your plant.
- Harvesting the herbs regularly will not damage the plant. Rather it will even promote continuous growth and longevity. It's also good to also trim the plants regularly to prevent it from flowering.
Click & Grow Indoor Smart Fresh Garden Kit
Another starter kit that is available in the market is the Click & Grow Indoor Smart Fresh Garden Kit. It adheres to basic indoor gardening rules that are easy to understand. Simple instructions will lead to the harvest of more herbs with the least effort.
The kit's innovative technology can make the plants grow faster. They will also be more nutritious. It even comes with three basil cartridges to help.
Lighting Tips To Consider
So far, we have discussed different topics to help you know how to grow herbs indoors. We've discussed lighting as an essential requirement for plant growth.
In the absence of sunlight, planters can resort to artificial lights. These are now available in many garden stores. Here are more tips for you to think about:
Kinds Of Artificial Lighting
Incandescent Grow Bulbs
Although you can use incandescent grow bulbs as a light source for indoor plants, they are the least effective. But, they are also the cheapest option.
They aren't durable enough and do not provide the required full spectrum of sunlight. They can still help in herb growth, but they may not reach their full potential.
Fluorescent Grow Lights
Fluorescent Grow Lights are a better option. But, they still do not have the full light spectrum required to maximize the growth of plants. Fluorescents do have the T5 system to provide the necessary spectrum but are very expensive.
LED Grow Lights
LED Grow Lights come next and these are energy efficient. They also offer the ideal range of light spectrum needed for herb growth. Price-wise, they are the more expensive than the first 2 options.
Full Spectrum Plasma Lights
These lights are extremely expensive. That is their downside. But its upside should more than make up for the price. It is the next best thing to sunlight when it comes to full spectrum as well as UV/infrared light. Also, they are far more capable than the LEDs.
Placing Your Lights
- Position your artificial lights directly about your plants. That is the best way to imitate natural sunlight. This also allows your herbs to grow evenly.
- Direct artificial light above the plants isn't required if it only serves as an addition to natural light. You can angle the lights. During seasons where there is less sun, leave the artificial lights on for up to 16 hours each day. This compensates for the abated sunlight.
Position incandescent lights about 12-inches from your plants. They should be relatively far because they emit heat rays that could damage the plants.
LEDs have a lesser heat signature. You can position them about 6-inches or so above your plants. As the herbs grow, make the necessary adjustments on these distances.