Should You Grow Your Herbs Inside or Outside?

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In a quandary about where to grow your herbs? Herbs, in general, are pretty forgiving and can be grown just about anywhere. They don’t take up much room, they don’t need a lot of care and even just a single pot of herbs can be fun, rewarding… and tasty.

Purple Basil
Purple Basil

For most localities it isn’t going to make a ton of difference whether you have an ‘herb garden’, a spot on the edge of your vegetable garden, a kitchen garden, a pot by the backdoor or a windowsill full of plantings. There’s nothing handier in the kitchen than herbs on the windowsill! Indoor gardens will often produce year round since their temperature is controlled by being inside.

You can mix different herbs together in one pot or mix your varieties. A pot full of different basils outside the kitchen door is a boon to flavorful cooking.

You can grow herbs in your kitchen windowsill, the porch or balcony and of course outside in raised beds, pots, and right in the ground.

There are a myriad of different pots to choose from whether you grow inside or out. There are even some great lighted growing systems that most home cooks would swoon over! These make a great gift for Mom!

I happen to live in the country and my own herb garden is planted under and around the old farm’s original mule-pulled plow. My herbs aren’t in rows. I plant the taller varieties near the taller portion of the old rusted plow wheels and the lower growing ones near the front (where it would have been attached to a mule.)

Some herbs tolerate shade and some like direct sunlight. Just read the little label that comes with your seeds or plants so that you get them situated in just the right spot. However, for the most part, herbs are tolerant little plants and can mostly handle life in a kitchen window, a shaded porch or balcony. Just experiment! The reward is worth the effort.

Some shade tolerant herbs are basil, chives, mint, rosemary, lemongrass and parsley.

Still don’t think you have a spot with enough natural light? Go for one of the indoor units (like those pictured above) that have artificial sunlight built in. I know folks that grow, not only herbs, but lettuce in their little unit. Oh the cooking possibilities!

Even if you’ve never grown a thing you can turn your thumb green. The experience of growing your own flavorings and using them in your home-cooked dishes is worth the effort. Just go for it!