Friday, March 28, 2008

Saving Money With An Indoor Herb Garden (Part I)

For my boyfriend’s birthday next month I’m planting an herb garden. We’ve been discussing the idea for a good three months now. B and I only go out to eat maybe once a month. The rest of the time is spent at home nibbling and cooking up new items. Hence, an herb garden is a good investment for us. I’m also considering a tomato plant and some sort of chili pepper for the patio. Green onions are also on the list. We tend to use these three items more than anything else seeing as Mexican food is are typical fare, followed by Italian.

The herb portion of the garden is going to be indoors. He has a set of windows in the kitchen that extend out of the house. There has to be a term for them that I’m not aware of. Anyhow, they are currently barren and provide ample space for the project.

After scouting quite a few sites, I ended up finding Backyard Gardener. It is quite comprehensive and sorted alphabetically. This enables me to look up the specific herbs B and I have wanted to plant. It also details how to plant these items in pots. Garden Guides has an article specifically on growing herb gardens indoors.

Basil, Thyme, Green Onion (Chives), Cilantro (Coriander), Rosemary and Garlic are on my list. From what I’ve read, they will all grow well indoors.

As for what chili pepper to grow, I decided on jalapeno, as that is B’s favorite. We make pico de gallo once a week which utilizes jalapeno, tomato, cilantro and green onion. Just think how much money that will save us! Plus, B always feels like he has to make a huge amount of pico de gallo since he wants to use up everything he bought. Now we can make smaller amounts. Oh, and from what I read on Pepper Joe’s, jalapenos grow well indoors and are a smaller variety than other pepper plants.

With tomatoes, it seems I need to start them off first indoors and then "harden" them before transplanting outside. I also have the option of purchasing ones that are ready to be transplanted already.

The next step is too look into where I will purchase the seeds, soil, pots and fish emulsion oil (organic food for plants). It seems I will also need a spray bottle for the fish emulsion oil. Look forward to a Part Two of this endeavor.!


spillingbuckets said...

I've been meaning to start an indoor mini-garden as well. Tomato and basil are my two favorites. Never heard of fish emulsion oil though, would most garden stores have it?

Good luck with the plantings, I am sure it will be delicious.

Strange Bird said...

"He has a set of windows in the kitchen that extend out of the house. There has to be a term for them that I’m not aware of."

Bay windows?

VixenOnABudget said...

@Spillingbuckets: Two of the planting sites I looked at referred to fish emulsion oil and food for the plants. I'll update in my next post on the matter the price on all that stuff and where to get them.

@strangebird: I feel like an idiot. :-D

SavingDiva said...

I'm thinking about starting an herb garden too. I will probably buy potted plants (more expensive, but results faster) from the farmer's market. I bought a basil plant for $1, and I think I paid about $1.50 for a rosemary plant. Unfortunately, I killed both of those....let us know how your garden works!