With little investment, an indoor greenhouse provides fresh herbs all year long. Save money by growing your staple herbs, and then experiment with new varieties. Try a pinch of rosemary on chicken dishes, basil in sauce and fresh mint in lemonade. Grow catnip for your pet or make tinctures and tonics for your health. Regardless of how you use the herbs, whether in cooking, herbal remedies or crafting, the more you cut, the more they will grow.
- Skill level:
Things you need
- Plant stand
- Sheet plastic
- Glue gun
- Grow light
Set up a shelving unit of any size. The only requirement is that it has an open front and back. Measure the stand and then add 2 inches to the height and width.
Cut two pieces of clear sheet plastic according to your measurements. Look for heavy plastic that comes on a roll from a hardware or home improvement store.
Lay the plastic down on a flat surface and match the top edges. Use a line of hot glue 1/2 inch in from the outside edge to seal one top edge with the other. Work on small sections at a time. Next, glue down both sides, leaving the bottom open.
Install grow lights over the shelving unit. Place under the top shelf to shine down on the plants. Depending on the size of the shelving unit, you may need more than one grow-light fixture.
Hang a thermometer close to where the plants will sit. The temperature should reach between 21.1 and 26.6 degrees C. Place a heating pad under the plant trays to raise the temperature as needed.
Add desired herbs to the shelves. Start trays of seeds or seedlings, or set pots of small herb plants purchased from a garden centre on the shelves. Transplant some of your outdoor herbs to small pots and bring them in during the winter months.
Slip the plastic sheeting cover over the top of the shelving unit. Pull up the cover and mist the herbs occasionally to keep them moist. Place a cup of water on the shelf to add extra humidity.
Set a small fan under the sheeting to circulate the air. Prevent plant disease and help your herbs develop strong stems with additional air circulation.
Tips and warnings
- Reduce the amount of light if the plants' leaves become stiff and hard.
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