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Nothing beats sprinkling fresh herbs on a plate of home-cooked food. Herbs like basil, dill, and mint add an aromatic boost to any dish, earning rave reviews from the whole family. Sure, dried ones are just fine, but you’ll miss out on most of the nutritional value (and bright flavors) of just-picked herbs—and when you can easily create your own indoor herb garden, why settle?Kits and planters can transform kitchen counters and windowsills into mini-gardens, even if you don’t have much space to spare. “Indoor herb gardening is one of the most diverse approaches to gardening due to its endless creativity opportunities,” says Jasmine Jefferson, gardener and founder of Black Girls With Gardens.How to make an indoor herb gardenOn top of adding personality to home-cooked meals and takeout alike, planting can also do wonders for your mental health, says expert gardener Melinda Myers. “Fresh herbs, even those grown indoors, taste better and have greater nutritional value,” she says. “And gardening indoors or out helps reduce stress, elevate our mood, and improve focus.”A 2015 study even found that interacting with indoor plants significantly reduced both physical and mental stress—a lifesaver in the age of working from home. You might even want to keep the herbs at your desk; a 2020 study found that looking at and tending to a plant for just three minutes during the workday can decrease anxiety and pulse rate. Here’s how to get an herb garden going, with or without a green thumb.Focus on light. Jefferson explains that the key to growing an indoor herb garden is light, whether from the sun or LEDs—that’s why a windowsill is one of the best spots to grow herbs indoors. “Regardless of method you choose, make sure you water only when needed, provide as much as light possible, and have fun exploring and watching your herbs grow,” she says. Plant grow lights are particularly helpful for rooms or locales that don’t get much sunlight, especially during the winter.Find the features you need. Opt for kits and planters that have drainage holes and maybe even a grow light. Some indoor herb gardens come with all the essentials, while others are meant for more experienced gardeners. If you’re a complete newbie, hydroponic gardens can do the hard work for you; some of them even connect to apps that optimize the growing cycle.Pick your favorites. When you finally put your mini-garden together, choose only the herbs you’re most likely to use, like basil, thyme, or mint. (Good news: These herbs are some of the easiest to grow.) If you enjoy the process, branch out and try new flavors.Read on to find all the supplies you’ll need to transform your kitchen windowsill into a tiny greenhouse.
1Best Beginner Herb Garden
Spade to Fork Indoor Herb Garden Kit
Watch the fruits of your labor literally blossom with an herb garden kit featuring all the basics. Perfect for beginners, this 2020 Wellness Awards winner is USDA organic certified and provides you with the easiest herbs to grow, plus compostable peat pots, soil discs, and adorable plant markers.
2Best Complete Herb Garden
Hasty Roots Grow-Your-Own Culinary Herb Kit
Hasty Roots’ herb garden comes with everything you need to get started, including soil mix, six varieties of seeds, pots, and markers. It’s all packaged beautifully, too, meaning it’s a thoughtful gift to get someone through the rest of quarantine.
3Best Value Herb Garden
Smart Seeds Emporium Windowsill Herb Garden Seed Kit
Already have your planters? Great! Now all you need are the seeds. With hundreds of seeds included (yes, up to 250 or more), you’ll always have fresh herbs that’ll bring flavor to food at a moment’s notice. Varieties include culinary staples like basil, oregano, thyme, and sage.
4Best Windowsill Herb Garden
Walford Home Farmhouse Indoor Herb Garden Planter
This rustic farmhouse planter is beyond cute, with three deep pots to hold tons of herbs and a metal tray that’s ideal for windowsills. Stylish and functional, these pots also have drainage holes, which Myers says is super important in the case of overwatering, which can lead to root rot—not a good thing.
5Best Hydroponic Herb Garden
Mason Jar Indoor Herb Garden
These oh-so-fun mason jar herb garden planters follow the hydroponics style of gardening, which eliminates the dirt altogether and essentially becomes a self-watering, self-sufficient plant that’s hard to kill. Read: you barely have to do a thing.
6Best Herb Garden with Light
Click and Grow Smart Indoor Herb Garden
For a completely hands-off approach to gardening, this smart hydroponic herb garden is just what you’re looking for. How smart? This planter has a self-watering tank that provides H2O to your herbs as needed, plus an LED grow light overhead that provides all the light they’ll need.
7Best Smart Herb Garden
There are smaller, cheaper smart planters out there, but ēdn’s stands out because of its unique overhead light and its ability to pair with Apple products. (Alexa and Google Home support is also in the works.) All you need to do is place seed pods—including ones for herbs, vegetables, and flowers—in the 10 slots, then use the app to control the light and watering schedules.
8Best Wall Herb Garden
MyGift Mountable Indoor Herb Garden Planter
Hang these classic-looking pots on your kitchen wall to both jazz up your decor and liven up your food. This set of four drills directly into walls and uses a hydroponic system that’ll quench your herb’s thirst—without the human error of overwatering.
9Best Window Herb Garden
Window Plant Pod
Ample sunlight allows healthy herbs to flourish, Jefferson says. And there’s no better way to do it than with a plant pod that sticks to your window. And since this planter adheres to the window, it doesn’t take up space on countertops or tables. Apartment dwellers, you’re in luck.
10Best Hanging Herb Garden
Mkono Ceramic Hanging Planter
This three-tiered hanging planter looks quaint in any room, but it doesn’t take up any additional counter space. Myers suggests buying already-grown herbs at your local nursery and transplanting them to vessels like this, saving you time and energy. The deep planters here make that a possibility.
11Best Bottle Herb Garden
Urban Leaf Windowsill Herb Garden Starter Kit
You can throw empty bottles into the recycling bin or you can turn them into your very own herb garden. Opt for dark colored-bottles, then set up the kit, which comes complete with plant inserts and seeds for a self-watering herb garden. You’ll get lemon basil, lime basil, and lemon balm—perfect for elevated home cooking.
12Best-Looking Herb Garden
Williams Sonoma Blue & White Herb Starter Set
These blue-and-white ceramic planters (and their matching markers and tray) would make a striking addition to any kitchen, especially ones that need a touch of personality. Bonus: They can move outdoors with zero issues, in case your porch is looking a little drab.
13Best Herb Garden Pot
Self-Watering Kitchen Herb Pot
This pot’s self-watering design makes it a low-maintenance option, providing enough water for thriving bouquets of herbs. Although it has a water reservoir, the ceramic pot actually holds potting mix that doubles as a nutrient source and as a raised bed for drainage.
14Best Pocket Herb Garden
Touch of Eco Vertical Hanging Herb Garden
Don’t want to drill a hole in your wall? These pocket slip over any door or overhang. Made of felt, these three vertical grow bags do wonders for drainage, since the water can pass through the material without the need for drain holes. So even if you pour a bit heavily, the roots will never be drowning in water.
15Best Umbrella Light Herb Garden
GrowLED Umbrella Indoor Herb Garden
Providing the suggested 14 hours of sunlight is tough, especially in the wintertime. If the sun isn’t cooperating, this LED light picks up the slack. It even has an automatic timer, meaning you don’t have to worry about switching it on. Just add it to any pot and you’ll soon be ready to harvest!
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