Like it or not, the summer is officially history once again and the country is staring down the barrel of another brutal winter. Not that the colder months of the year aren’t without their own unique charms of course, but if you’re the type of person who lives and breathes gardening, it’s a pretty bleak outlook to say the least.
That is of course unless you fancied trying your hand at hydroponics and indoor growing in general, as while the great outdoors may not be nearly hospitable enough to support any real garden plant life for some time, the indoors represent a totally different story. In fact, there are certain hardy herbs that are also incredibly easy to grow all year-round but you can actually get away with little to no equipment whatsoever and still come out with spectacular results. And of course, the fact that they also taste nothing short of mind-blowing is a pretty huge bonus to say the least.
So if you prefer to carry on the growing throughout the winter and enjoy a few homegrown tastes of summer, these are the five fabulous herbs you should be focusing on:
Whether growing from seed up picking up a young plant that’s already flourishing, basil is undoubtedly the single simplest herb to grow indoors throughout the winter. Provided with plenty of light, a good deal of warmth and even the most modest of time and attention with regard to soil conditions, it’s an absolute doddle to ride out the whole winter with more organic homegrown basil than you’ll ever need. And when the spring finally does arrive, feel free to take a few cuttings and transplant them to the outdoors.
That quintessential taste of outstanding quality pizza and pasta dishes, oregano is very similar to basil in that once you get it off the ground, there’s really no stopping it. When cultivated in an indoor garden, oregano tends to spread like wildfire to such an extent you probably have no idea what to do with it all. But as it is so easy to preserve either by drying or freezing, you won’t need to waste a single leaf of the good stuff.
Perhaps the single most versatile herb on the face of the earth, parsley is the kind of thing you can throw into just about any dish across the board to give it a little extra boost. From rich creamy sauces to tangy tomato sauce to soups and salads and as a welcome garnish for anything else imaginable, parsley is the kind of herb you can never have too much of. What’s more, the fact that parsley responds so well to indoor growing techniques is something of a blessing as when compared to most other herbs, it can take quite a long while to grow the stuff.
Also ideally suited to indoor growing conditions is thyme, which isn’t particularly demanding when it comes to lighting and nutrients, but can be killed-off pretty easily by over-watering. Get it right however and no matter how much space you allocate for your thyme plants, you’ll soon find them growing way bigger than you expected.
Last but not least, the fact that you’ve no doubt experienced massive bushes of mint growing outdoors without you personally having had any say in the matter should get across how easy the stuff is to grow in a controlled environment of the indoors. And while it may not be the first or most important herb that comes to mind in terms of the ones you routinely use, take a look at the tens of thousands of incredible recipes for dishes, drinks, desserts, sauces, preserves and chutneys online based around fresh mint and you’ll see just how much potential this wonder-herb really has.