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20 May 2020

Jade shares her tips on a DIY indoor herb garden

The time for winter broths and slow-cooked, melt-in-your-mouth meals is now upon us. And what’s just as important as the meat and veg in these meals? Flavours!

Jade from the Deakin Community Garden has an abundance of winter herbs already in her garden, but it’s an acre away from her house and walking out there in the middle of winter for a few herbs is a long, harsh journey that she’s often not willing to take.

Know the feeling? Rather than compromising on your delicious stews and warm wintry meals, you can bring all your essential herbs inside with Jade’s easy-to-follow instructions for a DIY indoor herb garden. Besides,  if you’re a self-confessed ‘plantaholic’ you’ll probably be looking for any excuse to put more plants around your house.

If you don’t have herbs in your garden at the moment or are wanting to get hold of some, check out Herb Cottage online and grab and few cheap herbs to start off.

Essential herbs to have indoors

Choosing herbs to grow depending on meals you like

Not sure what flavour palette your tastebuds gravitate to? By doing a quick Google search of meals you enjoy in winter, you can start to see what herbs tend to make your shopping list regularly.

Often, different cuisines use flavours that are popular in the country that the meal originated from.

Indoor herb garden materials: what do you need?

There are so many options for ‘herbing up’ your kitchen. It all depends on what you have lying around your house to use. If you plan on giving this project a go, I highly recommend trying to use what you’ve already got on hand to pot your herbs. It’s a fun challenge, it helps us reduce our waste and it makes life much easier and safer for everyone in these times of self- isolation.

Here are a few cool options I found while searching the web for indoor herb gardens:

This is an easy, simple one for those of us who don’t have too much time on their hands. And it looks fantastic too. You could even use tins. As far as the labelling goes, you can get blackboard stickers in craft stores or even buy some online. I personally like to use some trusty plain white paper and some pretty pens to label mine.

The all-in-one elongated plant pot
This one is definitely for those who are confident with their herb identification. And if you have a more sophisticated, elegant look in your house/kitchen then I’d say this one is a winner! You can Google this to find a look that suits you.

Vertical wall herb garden
If you’re keen on DIY, this one’s for you. I’ve seen vertical herb gardens using old shelves, cabinets and ladders. This is very space efficient and a stylish way to have your herbs inside. If you’re one of those crazy-creative types that can make something from nothing, then please make one of these for yourself (and maybe one for me too, please)!

Kokedama hanging balls
Kokedama balls are so fun to make and look fantastic hanging up in your house or sitting on a shelf/windowsill. They’re just as easy to care for as a normal plant and are super cute! You can even give them names if you want. If you’d like to try your hand at making a Kokedama ball then visit Deakin Community Garden on Facebook to see our live Kokedama ball tutorial!

Jade: how I made my own herb garden

I was lucky enough to find this wooden box sitting around the back of my house. It needed a bit of TLC before I could use it but I thought it would look really great on the bench where I keep my spices.

There were some gaps and spaces in the base where soil could escape through, so I lined the bottom with a recycled plastic bag cut in half, as well as a hessian bag.

I then filled it with a mix of soil that included some standard potting mix. I picked some small cuttings of mint, basil and thyme which all had some good, established roots.

Mint is a crazy plant and will take over any and all gardens, so I recommend if you are potting mint into the same pot as other herbs like I am, be sure to plant it in a separate plastic pot first. You can then plant it in the bigger planter to stop it dominating. You could also do this with basil as it has similar tendencies but to a lesser extent.

Finally, I  grabbed some celery and made sure to get a piece of the root (very end) with the cutting. This means I could put it in a jar of water and it will sprout proper roots (magical!).

Here is the finished product! I’m so looking forward to the convenience of having fresh herbs right next to my cooking station as the colder months roll in! I recommend giving a drizzle of water to your herbs once a week, maybe twice in summer.

Have fun making your very own indoor herb garden!

The finished product: Jade’s homemade indoor herb garden!

Deakin Community Garden welcomes everyone from all backgrounds to join in making a sustainable Deakin. On campus, it is an amazing area to relax and enjoy while socialising and/or getting your hands dirty. Online, the team offers helpful tips and advice on all things gardening and sustainability to help you create a lifestyle that cares for the planet. If you’d like to stay up-to-date with their DIY tips and advice, be sure to follow the Deakin Community Garden on Instagram or read the Community Garden blog.

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