Want to have a fresh and uninterrupted supply of herbs and spices? Grow Chef Garden Indoors and enjoy them all year round!
The essence of flavorful spices and herbs makes any recipe exceptionally delicious, and growing them indoors makes a lot of sense. If you live in an urban apartment and want to have a fresh supply, here’s all you need to know on how to Grow Chef Garden Indoors.
Check out our article on easy edible plants to grow indoors here
How to Create a Chef Garden Indoors?
Vertical Chef Tower
Vertical gardening is a boon for condor living, as it saves a lot of space. You need a wall that receives ample natural sunlight to create a garden on it by hanging pots.
Any sunny window that receives at least 5-6 hours of sunlight is best. Most herbs and spices require full sunlight so opt for south or west-facing windowsill to create your chef garden.
Hydroponic culture is another feasible option for indoors. Many hydroponic kits are available with a self-watering system.
Best Plants for Chef Garden
1. Bay Leaves
Indian savory dishes are the mix of different spices, and bay leaves top the list. The aromatic and flavorful bay leaves impart subtle but lingering flavor in curries, pulao, and biryani.
Any dish looks incomplete without the refreshing garnishing of coriander. The leaves are also grounded with chili and other spices to make chutney.
Sweet taste with a cooling aftertaste makes mint an extraordinary herb. It goes well in chutney, sauces, salads and is a must ingredient of lemonade.
This aromatic herb can be stir-fried, but mostly, it is added to lentil like shepu, and toor suva dal as it renders a distinct flavor.
5. Fenugreek / Methi
The herb gives out a sharp, pungent flavor with a minty undertone. Its distinctive taste is cherished in soups, sauteed dishes, and various egg recipes.
7. Sorrel / Ambad Bhaji
Be it salad, soups, pickle, stews, or sauces; sorrel complements in all. Its leaves have a sharp note of tartiness that tones down upon cooking.
Thanks to its subtle and sweet flavor, the aromatic fennel seeds are shredded on poha, stir-fries, fritters, and even added to sauce puree. Besides, it is also chewed after meals for better digestion.
Cumin seeds are the starter ingredient of every sauteed recipe. They feature a blend of sweet and spicy flavors and famous for their immense health benefits.
Oregano gingers up the boring taste of tomato soups and pizzas. An integral part of every cuisine, its dry form, is more appreciated as a seasoning.
Nothing can enhance food flavors like the seasoning of fresh chives. Just harvest it fresh, chop, and sprinkle on the plate of salad, dips, or soup.
Some Important Tips for Chef Garden Plants
Always opt for a window that receives plenty of sunlight with good air circulation. A south-facing window receives abundant sunlight, so you can place rosemary, thyme, basil, bay laurel, and oregano near it.
West-facing windows offer 5-6 hours of morning sunlight, and it’s best for mint, coriander, chives, and chervil.
Tip: Rotate your plants periodically so that the whole plant avails even sun exposure.
Always opt for a good quality potting mix for the container plants, as they require well-draining, aery, and fertile soil for optimum growth. You can DIY the same by mixing equal parts of coco peat, perlite or vermiculite, compost, or well-rotted manure.
Almost every herb and spice do well in the pot with 6-8 inches diameter. Though, basil and thyme can even do well in 6 inches pot due to shallow roots. You can even upcycle an unused box or bucket for growing them, but do ensure the container has ample drainage holes.
Poke your fingers in the topsoil to check for the moisture. If it feels dry, water it deeply until it starts coming out of the drainage holes. Let the topsoil dry out before watering again.
Feed the plants with a slow-release organic or a liquid fertilizer, diluted to half strength, once every 2 months. Do not overfertilize.