Grow an Indoor Spice Garden

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Indoor herb gardens are a dime a dozen, but you’ll be the talk of the apartment community if you have an indoor spice garden instead. They’re perfect for growing in the winter because they love heat, though you’ll need an artificial light source to provide plenty of fake sunlight.

Just like herb gardens, they need to be watered and pruned regularly, but the rest is a snap when you know what to do.

Herbs vs. Spices

In short, herbs are delicate plants and spices are more fibrous and tough. Traditionally, herbs are green, leafy plants such as rosemary, mint and parsley, while spices are the fragrant plant products such as the roots, seed pods, bark or bulbs of highly fragrant plants, though today the official definition includes dried spices.

What to Grow

Indoors, you may not be able to grow every spice you want, such as black peppercorns, which grow on a vine with berries that can become too large for indoors. You can control the height and width of ginger, saffron, turmeric, vanilla, garlic, chilies and green and black cardamom indoors though.

More on growing green in your apartment:
Best Houseplants for Your Apartment
Small Changes to Help You Go Green in Your Apartment
Clean Your Apartment’s Stale Air with Houseplants
How to Make Your Apartment Greener

Prepare Your Pots

Decide if you will plant these spices hydroponically or in pots with dirt. If you’re growing them in dirt, prepare the pots by working organic material into the soil and lightening packed soil with a hand-held spade.

Plant Your Spices

For seeds and seedlings, check the suggested depth for growing them on the seed packages, or start them off in separate containers. For plants you’re transplanting into bigger pots, make a hole slightly larger than the biggest part of the root, and follow the plant’s included instructions about how deep to plant them and how far apart plants should be. Then water the soil lightly, being careful not to disturb any seeds.

Care for Your Garden

Continue to water your garden per your seeds’ or plants’ instructions, making sure the soil is well drained. Prune your plants to get rid of older leaves and encourage new growth. Vanilla grows on a vine, so regularly give it attention so it doesn’t grow too large. Since your plants are grown inside, you won’t have to worry about many pests, though you will need to keep your family pets out of your spice garden.

Photo credit: Shutterstock / gorillaimages

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