If you love bringing the outdoors inside, growing your own herbs in an indoor garden is a great way to enjoy the freshness of homegrown herbs all year round. Not only can you gain the satisfaction of growing your own herbs and spices, but also you can reap the rewards of using these herbs in your cooking, teas, salves, and aromatherapy. In this article, we’ll show you how to harvest, store and use herbs from your indoor garden to make the most of your homegrown herbs.
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Harvesting herbs from an indoor garden can be a rewarding experience and a great way to get the freshest ingredients for your cooking. As a rule of thumb, wait until the herb is established and begins to flower before harvesting. To maximize the flavor of your herbs, pick the leaves in the morning before it gets hot. When harvesting, make sure to only take what you need, as over-harvesting can take away from the plants’ health. When harvesting, it is best to use scissors or gardening shears to ensure that you can get the most leaves off the plant in the cleanest way possible.
When to Harvest
Harvesting herbs from an indoor garden requires careful timing. Generally, herbs should be harvested when the stems are at least 6” long and the leaves are bright and fragrant. If the leaves are wilting or discolored, they are likely past their prime in terms of freshness and flavor. Avoid harvesting during hot or windy days, as these conditions reduce the herb’s potency. Herbs can generally be harvested several times throughout the season before the plant’s energy is depleted. After harvesting, make sure to dry the herbs promptly so that any remaining moisture does not cause them to spoil.
How to Harvest
Harvesting your herbs from your indoor garden can be easy with the right tools and technique. To begin, select which herbs you would like to harvest and carefully cut the parts you would like to use with scissors or garden shears. Make sure to not cut off too much as this can hinder future growth. When harvesting, it is important to also consider how you will store and dry the herbs. For best results, plan on using the herbs shortly after harvest. Additionally, some herbs require a specific part of the plant to be harvested. For example, lavender should be harvested for its flowers instead of its leaves. Finally, be sure to be aware of any pests or diseases in your Indoor Garden that you may need to take precautions against while harvesting.
Once you have harvested your indoor garden herbs, it’s important to store them correctly for maximum flavor and to extend their shelf life. Drying is the most common way to store herbs, as it helps preserve the flavor and nutrients. To dry herbs, cut or pick clean sprigs and either hang them upside down or lay them on a paper towel in a warm, airy place where they’ll get plenty of air circulation. Additionally, herbs can be frozen in water or oil, or they can be added to vinegar, butter, and honey. If stored correctly, your herbs should last for several months tucked away in a cool, dry place.
The best way to preserve your herbs for later use is to dry them. Drying herbs from your indoor garden is a simple yet effective way to ensure you can keep enjoying them all year round.
To dry herbs from your indoor garden, start by removing the leaves from the stems. Loosely bundle the leaves, such as by tying them with string or using a rubber band. Hang the bundles upside down in a dry and well-ventilated area. When the leaves are completely dry, typically within a few days to a week, remove them from the stems and store them in an airtight container. The dried herbs can be used for cooking and baking, or for making herbal teas and other drinks.
Harvesting herbs from your Indoor Garden is an excellent way to preserve the flavor and quality of the herbs. One of the best ways to preserve herbs from your Indoor Garden is to freeze them. To freeze herbs from your Indoor Garden, first select herbs that are not wilted. Wash herbs with cool water and dry them thoroughly. Arrange the herbs on a baking sheet and place in the freezer. Once the herbs are frozen, transfer them to an airtight container or resealable bag, label, and store in the freezer until ready to use. Frozen herbs can last up to a year in the freezer. When it’s time to use, just take out and add directly to your recipe.
is an excellent way to preserve the harvest from your Indoor Garden. The process of canning usually involves sterilizing a Mason jar and its lid, then adding the herbs and a liquid, such as oil or vinegar, and finally boiling the jar in water for a few minutes. This process helps ensure the herbs will stay fresh for a long time. Once the herbs are canned, they can be used in a variety of dishes such as salads, pesto, sauces, marinades and more. Additionally, canned herbs can make great gifts. Just be sure to include instructions on how to store and use the herbs so your friends and family can get the most from their fresh herbs.
When harvesting and using herbs from your Indoor Garden, there are many ways to incorporate them into your diet and lifestyle. Whether you prefer to use them for tea, savory dishes, or aromatherapy, you can enjoy the flavor and health benefits from your homegrown harvest.
For culinary purposes, try adding freshly cut herbs to simple dishes such as salads, pastas, and sandwiches. For a refreshing tea, steep a selection of fresh herbs in hot water. Some popular herb combinations for teas include lavender and chamomile or peppermint and rosemary. To use them for aromatherapy, simply place the herbs in a container and enjoy the fragrances in the comfort of your home.
Harvesting and using herbs from your Indoor Garden can be a fun and exciting way to explore the benefits of herbs and create unique, fresh flavors and scents!
Cooking with Herbs
Harvesting fresh herbs from your indoor garden is a great way to add flavor to your favorite dishes. To use herbs in cooking, it’s important to know the best way to prepare them.
For leaves, like basil, sage, and parsley, it’s a good idea to remove them from the stems before using. This can be done by holding the stem with one hand and pinching the leaves off with the other. If you intend to mince your leaves for a recipe, you can do so with a sharp knife. If you need to chop the leaves, a food processor is a great tool to use.
Woody herbs, like thyme, rosemary, and oregano, also need to be removed from the stems. Most of these herbs can be torn away from their wooden stalks. If you have a hard time removing the leaves, you can use a pair of kitchen shears.
With either type of herbs, it is best to add them in the last few minutes of cooking. If you add herbs too early, they can lose flavor and aroma. Now that you know how to incorporate herbs from your indoor garden into your cooking, you can enjoy the flavor of fresh, homegrown herbs in all your favorite recipes.
Making Herb Tea
Herb teas are a great way to use herbs from your indoor garden. All you need are a few fresh herbs, boiling water, and a mug. Start by grabbing some of your fresh-picked herbs and give them a quick rinse under cold water. Place the herbs in your mug, and add boiling water. Allow the herbs to steep for several minutes, depending on the type of herbs you’ve included in your tea. Once the tea has steeped, strain it and enjoy. You can apply the same method to make iced herbal teas when the weather is warm, by including some ice in the mug. Experiment with different combinations of herbs from your indoor garden to create your own unique herbal tea blends.
Making Herbal Salves and Oils
Herbal salves and oils are a great way to make use of the herbs growing in your Indoor Garden. To make your very own herbal salve or oil, you’ll need a base oil such as olive oil and/or beeswax. You’ll also need a variety of herbs from your Indoor Garden. Start by picking and drying the herbs you’ll be using for your salve or oil. Once the herbs are dry, grind them into a fine powder in a mortar and pestle. Combine the herbs with the base oil in a small saucepan and heat on low for about 20 minutes. Next, strain the mixture and allow it to cool. You may also choose to add essential oils to your salve or oil for a pleasant scent. Finally, transfer the finished product into a jar or tin and enjoy your homemade herbal salve or oil.
Using Herbs in Aromatherapy
Aromatherapy is a great way to take advantage of the scents of your indoor garden. Herbs have many therapeutic benefits and can be used to create a calming, relaxing atmosphere in your home. To get started, you can purchase an essential oil diffuser and combine freshly harvested herbs with other essential oils to create your own unique blend. You can also use herbs to create a steam inhalation treatment by boiling them in water and inhaling the vapors. This treatment can be beneficial for sinus relief or to help clear airways. You can also use the herbs in a bath to enjoy the benefits of their natural fragrances. With your indoor garden, the possibilities are endless when it comes to using herbs in aromatherapy.