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How to Get Started Growing Herbs Under Lights

Woman harvesting some herbs from your indoor herb garden

If you want to start growing herbs indoors, you have come to the right place! This comprehensive guide will discuss everything you need to know about growing herbs under lights. We have covered you, from selecting the right plants to setting up your grow space. By following these simple steps, you will be well on your way to harvesting your fresh herbs all year round!

What are the benefits of growing herbs under lights?

Herbs are an excellent addition to any home garden, and they can be quickly grown under lights. By controlling the amount of light your herbs receive, you can extend the growing season and get even more use out of your herbs. In addition, herbs grown under light tend to be more lush and complete than those grown in other conditions. The extra light helps the plants to produce more chlorophyll, which gives them their lively green color. Herbs grown under lights also tend to be more aromatic than those grown in other conditions, making them even more enjoyable to use in cooking or as decoration.

The most aromatic herbs grown under lights are basil, oregano, and thyme. Imagine how amazing it will be to add some fresh basil or oregano to your pizza. Or, how about using some freshly grown thyme to make a delicious roasted chicken? The possibilities are endless!

Herbs grown under lights taste better, but they are also more nutritious. Studies have shown that plants grown under lights have higher levels of vitamins and minerals than those grown under other conditions. Herbs taste better when grown under grow lights because the extra light helps the plants produce more chlorophyll, which aids in the absorption of nutrients from the soil.

What types of plants are best suited for this type of gardening?

Many herbs, including basil, oregano, and mint, do well when grown under grow lights. These plants typically do not require a lot of light, so they can be placed relatively close to the lights without getting too much heat. In addition, herbs generally do not need as much space as other plants, so they are ideal for small indoor gardens.

Group of herbs growing in separate pots
Just imagine growing amazing looking herbs like the ones pictured above. Take your cooking skills to the next level by using fresh herbs that you have grown yourself!

Another type of plant that does well under grow lights is lettuce. Lettuce is a cool-weather crop that does not require a lot of light to develop. As a result, it can be placed closer to the lights than other plants. When growing lettuce under grow lights, it is essential to keep the leaves moist to prevent them from drying out. Mesclun-type lettuce can be quickly grown alongside your herbs because they have similar light requirements and can be harvested simultaneously. While this article is about growing herbs, not lettuce, lights, lettuce is a good option for those looking to add some greens to their dinner plate.

How do you set up a light garden for herb growth?

When setting up a light garden, it’s essential to choose the right type of lighting. Incandescent bulbs are not ideal for herbs, as they give off too much heat and can dry out the soil. Instead, look for fluorescent or LED bulbs that emit a full light spectrum. These will help your herbs to grow strong and healthy. You’ll also need to provide some ventilation for your light garden, as herbs can release a lot of moisture into the air. Too much moist air is a problem for herbs grown closely together because it can encourage the growth of mold and mildew. A small fan can help to circulate the air and prevent your herbs from getting too humid.

Fluorescent Fixture 2 Foot 2 Lamp Slide GW220WS-SGetting started growing herbs under lights can be as simple as purchasing a grow light and setting it up in a sunny spot in your home. A two-bulb, 20 watt or 40-watt fluorescent fixture can be hung a few inches above your herbs and provide the light they need to grow. If you’re growing herbs for cooking, be sure to choose a location close to the kitchen so you can quickly grab them when you need them. Your indoor herb garden will thrive with a bit of care and attention!

SL22F2LEDFor a more extensive herb collection for the seasoned home cook, try setting up a light garden with multiple grow lights. For example, you might want to look into the two-shelf SL22F2LED Value Line stand or the four-shelf SL44F2LED Value Line stands as the solution to use for your indoor herb gardening needs. These stands come complete with full-spectrum LED grow lights that you can hang at just the right height to ensure your herbs get the right amount of light as they grow.

What kind of light bulbs should you use for herb gardening, and why are they beneficial over other types of bulbs?

The light bulb you use can make a big difference in herbs. For optimum growth, herbs need full-spectrum light, similar to sunlight. Fluorescent bulbs are the most common type of full-spectrum light bulb, and they are very efficient. They emit very little heat so that they won’t dry out your herbs, and they are suitable for both indoor and outdoor herb gardens. LED bulbs are also becoming more popular for herb gardening. They last longer than traditional incandescent bulbs and use less energy. However, they can be more expensive upfront. Ultimately, the best light bulb for your herb garden will depend on your budget and specific needs.

There are many benefits to using full-spectrum light bulbs for herb gardening. They help plants to grow strong and healthy, and they can also promote better yields. Speaking of better yields, if you want your indoor light garden to operate at peak growth performance levels, you must replace fluorescent tubes at least every 12 months. Replacing fluorescent tubes every 12 months will ensure that your herbs always have access to the full spectrum of light they need to grow. If you do not invest in replacing your fluorescent tubes every 12 months, your overall herb yields will slowly decline over time. So if your indoor herb garden is not producing the high-quality growth you are used to seeing, it might be time for some new light bulbs!

What about LED grow lights? Do they also need to be replaced every 12 months? No, they do not. However, while LED lights are not as susceptible to light diminishment issues as other types of lighting, they still lose some intensity over time. LED lights lose some intensity over time because they don’t have a filament like incandescent bulbs, which means the brightness doesn’t decrease as the LEDs age. However, if you notice a decline in brightness over time, you can always add more LED lights to your herb garden to compensate for the lost intensity. Remember, any grow light system is an investment, but it will last for many years if you care for them.

When gardening under grow lights, how often do you need to water your herbs, and how much water is required?

For most herbs, you will need to water them about once a week. However, there are a few exceptions. For example, basil and cilantro should be watered more often because they quickly dry out. When watering your herbs, use room temperature water and avoid getting the leaves wet. Wet leaves can lead to fungal growth, which can harm your plants. Also, be sure to water the soil, not the leaves. Watering the leaves can cause them to rot. When in doubt, it is always better to err on the side of too little water than too much water. Over-watering is one of the most common mistakes made by indoor gardeners. If you find that your plants are wilting, that is a sign that they need more water.

In general, you will want to use about one or two cups of water for each herb plant, depending on the size of the pot the plant is potted in. Be sure to check the soil before watering to see if it is dry. If it is still moist, wait a few days before watering again. It is also a good idea to invest in a moisture meter. A moisture meter will help you keep track of the moisture levels in the soil and avoid over-or under-watering your plants.

A quick note on water quality. Herbs are delicate plants that require a water source that is both dechlorinated and defluorinated to thrive. Chlorine and fluoride are found in many municipal water sources. While these substances are not toxic to humans in small amounts, they can be detrimental to the health of herbs. Chlorine is an essential micronutrient for plant growth, but too much can accumulate in leaf tissue and result in leaves with a scorched appearance.

For this reason, it is essential to use dechlorinated and defluorinated water when watering your herb garden. Distilled water is the best option, but you can also purchase a simple water filter to remove these harmful substances from your water supply. By taking this simple step, you will ensure that your herbs can grow to their full potential.

Where Can I Buy Herbs for My Home Garden?

There are many different places where you can buy herbs to grow in your kitchen. The best place to start is your local grocery store. Many stores now sell small pots of herbs already grown and ready to be used in cooking. Try a nursery or garden center if you cannot find what you are looking for at the grocery store.

For sheer convenience, if you want our recommendation, we recommend the Urban Leaf’s “Garden Trio Kit,” which includes everything you need to start an herb garden right in your kitchen. They have three options to choose from:

  • Culinary – with Basil, Cilantro and Parsley seeds packs
  • Mini Fruit & Veg – with Dwarf Tomato, Peppers and Strawberry seed packs
  • Mediterranean – with Rosemary, Chives, and Oregano seed packs

The picture below shows what you can expect to receive when ordering one of these “Garden Trio Kits” from Urban Leaf. The seeds will grow well under any grow light sold on this website. 

Urban Leaf Garden Trio Kit
The Garden Trio kit is a reusable planter made from fast-growing renewable timber. The kit includes three coco coir pots (suitable for transplanting), expanding soil discs, bamboo labels, and three packets of seeds.

Are there any special tips or tricks that one should follow when growing herbs under lights? 

There are a few additional tips things to keep in mind when it comes to herbs. While herbs can be grown using only grow lights, there are several reasons why it is beneficial to use both natural light and grow lights. 

First of all, herbs need a certain amount of sunlight to thrive. They will grow more slowly if they do not get enough light, and their leaves may become pale or yellow. 

In addition, herbs grown under artificial light tend to be leggy and weak. Using both natural light and grow lights, you can ensure that your herbs get the light they need to grow strong and healthy. Furthermore, herbs grown under natural light tend to have a better flavor than those grown under artificial light. So if you’re looking for the best-tasting herbs, it’s worth growing them using natural light and grow lights.

Second, herbs like to be well-drained, so use a pot with drainage holes and cover the holes with gravel or sand before adding soil. When the soil is dry to the touch, it’s time to water. To help herbs retain moisture, add organic matter such as compost or peat moss to the sand. In addition, make sure to water herbs regularly, especially during hot summer months. You can ensure that your herbs grow strong and healthy in sandy soil by following these tips.

Bonus Tip: Keep Your Herbs Separated
One of the most important things to remember when growing herbs is to plant each one in a separate pot. This allows the roots to spread out and the plant to receive the optimal nutrients. You want each type of herb in a separate pot because herbs have different soil, water, and sunlight requirements, and they can also be susceptible to various pests and diseases. Keeping each herb independent can ensure that it gets the care it needs to thrive. Basil, for example, benefits from evenly moist soil. You will notice that basil leaves will start to wilt quickly when the soil is dried out. Additionally, herbs can have robust scents, so planting them together can result in difficulty in identifying flavors. If you’re looking to add a little flavor to your cooking, grow your herbs separately for the best results.

So, now that you know all there is to growing herbs indoors under lights, it’s time to get started! With a little bit of practice, you will be able to create an indoor oasis that provides fresh herbs all year round. Have fun and happy gardening! You can ensure that your herbs will grow strong and healthy indoors by following these tips.

 

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