An image of some herbs laid out on a table.

Best Indoor Herb Garden Kits

The truth is that buying herbs from the supermarket can get expensive and can be wasteful, too. You sometimes only use them once and then end up forgetting about them. Growing your own herb garden can be a great alternative! Believe it or not, growing your own fresh herbs can be far easier to do than you might think. 

The key to success, of course, is choosing a kit that fits your needs and is simple and easy to use. As a rule of thumb, the best indoor herb garden kits are the ones that you can place on your windowsill, water regularly, and simply let sit and grow. You don’t want to pick a kit that overcomplicates things, as this will make the growing process that much harder. 

Bearing that in mind, what are the top 5 indoor herb garden kits on the market? We’ve created a simple guide to the best kits available – read on for everything that you need to know!

1.) The Earnest Herb Garden Kit

Earnest Earth's logo.

If you’re looking for a herb garden kit that offers a wide range of planting options, is easy to use, and comes at an affordable monthly price, then The Earnest Herb Garden Kit is perfect for you. Designed to make indoor herb growing as simple and enjoyable as possible, the kit has been curated to offer a growing experience unlike any other, combining innovation with simplicity. 

2.) The Plant Club

The Plant Club's logo.

Fall in love with a new type of indoor herb each month. The Plant Club packs everything that’s needed for your plant of the month into a handy parcel, that’s then delivered directly to your door. The Plant Club subscription box can make a great gift or a little treat for yourself and your green thumb.

3.) Urban Sprouts Store

The Urban Sprouts logo.

Partnered with Cratejoy to offer a planting subscription service, Urban Sprout Store delivers air plants monthly designed to be simple to grow. The concept is that anyone can grow in their homes, it’s just a case of understanding how to do so.

4.) Bloomin Bin

An image of the Bloomin Bin.

The Bloomin Bin subscription service offers ‘gardening in a box’, and is perfect for urban or indoor gardeners looking to expand their gardens. How it works: Bloomin Bin puts together a bin designed to help users grow certain seasonal plants that have been specially selected by the team. Each subscription bin comes with a guide to the best techniques for getting the results you want.

5.) Urban Organic Gardener

An image of the Urban Organic Gardener box.

Offering a monthly surprise designed to feed your passion for growing. The Urban Organic Gardener subscription box offers a fun and easy growing experience, including a new seed to plan each month. The Urban Organic Gardener seed club subscriptions are designed to offer the perfect gift for any occasion. 

There you have it, a guide to five of the best indoor planting subscription boxes.

Two handfuls of soil.

The Best Soil Kits on the Market to Improve Your Garden

High-quality soil kits tell you what’s in your soil and what you can do to optimize it for your plant’s needs. Here are the top 5 soil kits on the market right now.

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Soil Savvy Test Kit

Whitetail Institute Laboratory Soil Test Kit

Atree Soil pH Meter, 3-in-1 Soil Tester Kits

Luster Leaf 1601 Rapitest Test Kit for Soil

Environmental Concepts 1663 Professional Soil Test Kit

1.) Soil Savvy Test Kit

An image of the Soil Savvy Test Kit.

The Soil Savvy test kit is great for those times where you need more than just a probe, and it’s generally used for more thorough examinations of your soil. Like many other soil testing kits, you’ll need to take a sample of your soil, and send it off to be professionally examined at a testing facility. The great thing about this kit is that you can pinpoint exactly what’s needed in your soil, including the main ingredients of potassium, nitrogen, and phosphorus.

Link: https://www.mysoilsavvy.com/

2.) Whitetail Institute Laboratory Soil Test Kit

The Whitetail Institute Laboratory Soil Test Kit.

Much like the testing kit above, the Whitetail Institute Laboratory Soil Test Kit works by sending off a sample of your soil to be testing in a professional facility. Results are usually available within a week and you can choose to accept them by mail or email, though some results were processed much earlier in most cases. They will tell you how much potassium, calcium, and magnesium phosphorus is present in the soil, as well as the pH and the amount of organic material.

Link: https://whitetailinstitute.com/soil-test-kit-1/

3.) Atree Soil pH Meter, 3-in-1 Soil Tester Kits

An image of the Atree Soil pH meter, with a description of its three different readings.

The Atree three-in-one soil tester is a little different in the sense that you don’t have to send any samples off for testing, as the tool allows you to see results from home. The kit comes with three testing capabilities, and you can use it to easily test the moisture content and amount of sunlight your plants are receiving. You can also use it to view the pH level of the soil around your plants. No waiting times and 3 different capabilities!

Link: https://www.amazon.com/Atree-Tester-Moisture-Outdoor-Battery/dp/B07R4RPS54

4.) Luster Leaf 1601 Rapitest Test Kit for Soil

The Luster Leaf 1601 Rapitest Test Kit for Soil.

The Luster Leaf 1601 Rapitest Test Kit is another great way to test your soil from home. The kit comes with four color-coded containers that represent different tests. You can test the pH level, potassium, nitrogen, and phosphorus separately. You also receive 40 capsules to start the process and a dropper along with a guide on fertilisation, and an information packet for the desired pH levels of different plants. All you have to do is place a sample of your soil in the corresponding container, and add a little water. Then add the capsule. You can then compare the results to the guide as to what your soil contains.

Link: http://www.lusterleaf.com/nav/soil_test.html

5.) Environmental Concepts 1663 Professional Soil Test Kit

An image of the Environmental Concepts 1663 soil test kit, with manual and different testing materials shown.

Finally, the Environmental Concepts 1663 kit comes with everything you need to test for pH, nitrogen, phosphorus, and potash. Everything comes packed in a carrying case so it’s easy to keep all of the important pieces together. You’re ready for each test, including detailed instructions on the process and results. The kit comes with 80 tests, so you can compare lots of different soil samples. This lets you choose the right one for each of your plants!

Link: https://www.amazon.com/Environmental-Concepts-1663-Professional-Tests/dp/B004W6JC2U

This is an image of two basil plants.

GYOB (Growing Your Own Basil!)

To remain healthy and live long during this era full of lifestyle diseases growing herbs such as Basil in your compound is necessary. 

The following points drive this notion home.

  • Plays a crucial role in the kitchen by turning simple meals into elevated ones. 
  • Basil is ideal for treating colds and flu due to its antibacterial and antiviral nature
  • It works perfectly in relieving pain and aids in digestion
  • It’s rich in vitamins and minerals
  • It enhances better sleep and relaxation

Basil refers to a pungent-smelling and robust tasting herb belonging to the Ocimum genus of the mint family that is used in cooking. It’s said to originate from India and other tropical regions. It has been in existence for over 5,000 years, and today it’s grown in all corners of the world.  

How To Grow Basil Indoors

This is an image of a man preparing his basil indoors.

Growing your herbs is the best decision you can make today. This activity has many benefits ranging from being economical, time-saving, requiring minimal effort to start, most herbs are easy to grow, give you fresher herbs than those bought in a store, and the therapeutic benefits accrued from spending time in the garden. 

Basil plant care

This is an image of a person taking care of their basil plant.

To successfully grow Basil indoors, you will need well-drained nutrient soil. Additionally, the pots should have good drainage to eliminate excess water, which could otherwise damage the plant. One tip to aid you on when to water the plant is to always check the soil around the plant if it’s moist; it means the plant is good to go, but when not, that’s an indicator that the plant needs watering. 

When doing the watering is careful not to overdo it as this is harmful. Make sure to also water around the roots. The plant will also require occasional fertilizing to grow healthy and faster. It’s advisable to use minimum fertilizer, probably half of the recommended strength, to avoid harming the plant. 

Basil thrives in 6.0 and 7.5 soil PH levels. Therefore check the PH levels once in a while to make sure they are suitable for the plant. Moreover, exposing the plant to at least six hours of sunlight every day. If possible, have the pot concerning the growing Basil placed in a sunny window facing south or put it under fluorescent light. 

With this type of lighting, the plant will need a maximum of 10hours for adequate growth. Also, remember to do appropriate repotting when the need arises. 

Basil Recipes

This is a pizza with basil on top.

To get the best flavor, make sure to pick it shortly before use time, as this is a cold-sensitive herb. Nonetheless, you can store it in a glass of water at room temperature or, better yet, freeze it for prolonged storage. 

Basil is versatile and can be used in pesto, vinegar, pizza, chicken, puree soups, salads, and tomato sauce. Additionally, Basil is ideal for ice cream topping and garnishing avocado toast. 

Benefits of Basil

This is an image of basil tea.

Basil is a herb whose parts growing above the ground are used in making medicine. It is the to-go for herb when experiencing appetite loss, kidney conditions, worm infections, fluid retention, intestinal gas, to name a few. 

Basil herb also comes in handy in treating snake and insect bites. It’s also believed to aid in curing acne and improving mental health. 

Holy Basil, a type of basil plant, has phytochemicals that help protect against lung, liver, oral, and skin cancer. Eugenol, linalool, and citronellol oils found in Basil play a significant role in fighting inflammation in the body. 

You cannot afford to keep wasting money treating everyday lifestyle diseases when you can live a healthy life and have medicines at your doorstep by planting this easy-to-grow herb in your compound. Why don’t you go ahead and grow your own Basil other than acquiring the expensive and not-so-fresh herbs at the store? 

Several succulents in close proximity in a pot.

When to Repot and Water Your Succulent to Help it Grow

Did you know you can add life to your home by planting certain types of plants? 

Here is an overview of what growing succulents in your home compound can do

  • Succulent plants brighten your home 
  • They help purify the air
  • Succulents have medicinal benefits and treat stomach aches, cuts among other conditions
  • They improve concentration and general productivity 

By definition, succulents are a group of plants with fleshy and thickened leaves used to store water. Their thick, sap-filled leaves are where they derive their name. Naturally, this group of plants thrives well in desert-like condition and is not affected by hot sunny weather. You only need to water your succulent once a week, and it will be good to go. 

They require little care, come in a wide range of colors, need less water to grow, plus other many benefits have made this type of plant prevalent amongst millennials. Today, it’s an assurance to find this plant type in almost every home. Below is a discussion of the must-dos when caring for your succulents. 

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How to Care for Succulents

When to Repot Your Succulent

How to Care for Succulents

A watering can, which is essential to help care for your succulent!

One essential thing to note with succulents is that they thrive in light. If possible, make sure to expose the plant to sunlight for at least six hours a day. As you do this, rotate the plant regularly so that all the sides get enough lighting. 

You are wondering how often to water your succulent? When it comes to watering, it is straightforward to know when to water your succulent plants. Once the soil has gone dry, it is safe to water your succulent again. The key to caring for your succulent is to avoid overwatering-this is the most common way to kill a succulent. 

Make sure to always use a container that has drainage to help remove the excess water. Also, take note that dirt can halt your succulent’s growth. Therefore take it upon yourself to regularly wipe the leaves and spines with a piece of cloth. 

Lastly, make an effort to use a not too strong fertilizer for your plant once every few months. Fertilizers add nutrients to the plant, helping it thrive well and get better colors.  

When to Repot Your Succulent

An image of several pots on a tarp.

Repotting a plant from a small container to a bigger one gives it optimum space to grow. Therefore make sure to transfer your succulents when they start showing signs ranging from roots being too tight and sticking out of the container searching for space. The plant is unhealthy despite exposure to adequate sunlight and water, and when the plant starts toppling over the pot. 

Even as you consider the above signs, it is essential to repot the plant at the right time, preferably during the growing season. This minimizes damage and increases the plant’s survival chances. Repot the succulents once every two years to have fresh and fertile soil. It’s also recommended to repot a succulent when you buy it to ensure it has good soil. 

When it comes to repotting, you only need a perfect soil mixture, a clay pot, water and some garden tools. The next step is to remove the plant from the old pot and clean the root system. Be cautious with the root system when doing this, as its damage can kill the plant. 

Leave the plant in a cool place for roughly 3 to 5 days for the roots to dry. The last step is to place the plant in a new pot and leave it in the dry soil for a few days. This enables it to recover before you can now slowly start watering it. 

Conclusion

If you are looking for an ideal indoor plant that will help add meaning and life to your home, requiring fewer maintenance efforts, succulent plants are the way to go. The only requirements for these plants to thrive are the correct type and amount of fertilizer, suitable soil and watering.

This is an image of someone gardening.

Gardening: What, Who, Where, When, Why, and How

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Gardening

Who Performs Gardening Activities?

Where Does Gardening Take Place?

When Does Gardening Happen?

Why do People Garden?

How Does Gardening Work?

Gardening

This is a picture of a person gardening.

The act of gardening is the practice of looking after an area of outdoor space, usually a garden. Specifically, gardening involves cultivating, planting, and nurturing the growth of plants, flowers, shrubs, and trees in an enclosed outdoor space. Tasks in gardening involve keeping an area of outside space looking at its best. Examples include collecting up fallen leaves from the ground and removing moss from paving stones.

Who Performs Gardening Activities?

This is an image of a girl who looks like a gardener performing gardening activities.

A gardener performs gardening. Gardeners range from people who enjoy this as a hobby to people who work as their main source of income. 

Hobbyist gardeners usually carry out gardening duties for maintenance and their own enjoyment. Professional gardeners are employed to work on gardens in a wide range of locations for paying customers.

Where Does Gardening Take Place?

This is an image of an outdoor tomato garden.

Hobbyist gardeners perform gardening duties within their own properties. People that garden as a hobby take care of the outside space on their own property. For instance, professional gardeners can be employed to work in private gardens to keep the owner’s garden looking at its best. Working on public gardens to keep them well-maintained is also one of the many tasks gardeners do. Public gardens include the gardens of historic buildings, hotels, and parks. 

Gardening can take place anywhere that there is outside space with plants, grass, trees, shrubs, or flowers.

When Does Gardening Happen?

This is an image of a tulip garden that shows when gardening happens.

Taking place throughout the year, gardening tasks can vary depending on the season. Weather conditions play a significant part in the types of gardening activities that need to be carried out. Despite difficult weather conditions, plenty of jobs can be performed in the garden to keep it well-maintained and looking at its best.

Gardens located in warm climates and for those located where it becomes warm in the summer months, watering the plants and flowers are essential to prevent them from dying off when temperatures rise. On the other hand, gardens located in cold climates should be protected to ensure they survive and don’t become damaged by frost.

Different plants and flowers thrive in different conditions, so different varieties of bulbs and seeds require planting at various times of the year. 

Why do People Garden?

This is an image of an older lady and younger child gardening together.

There are many reasons that people garden. Hobby gardeners that look after their private outdoor space may garden to keep the area looking neat and tidy. Ensuring the garden always looks at its best, maintenance gardening is performed. In addition, other people may enjoy this leisure activity because they like spending time surrounded by nature outdoors in the fresh air. For some people, the joy of seeing a garden that they have created themselves come to life and bloom with color is the reason that they choose to spend their time gardening. 

As well as being an enjoyable hobby, gardening is also essential from a practical point of view. Many people spend their time gardening to grow their own vegetables and fruit. Furthermore, interest in eating organically grown vegetables that is free from pesticides and other chemicals has grown to become popular. Gardening is versatile and allows a means of producing food or a desire to keep outside space looking tidy.

How Does Gardening Work?

This is a picture of a variety of gardening tools.

Spades, rakes, trowels, lawnmowers, hoses, and watering cans are many of the tools gardeners use to take care of their gardens. With the help of these tools, gardeners work to keep the various elements of their gardens looking at their best and nurture their plants, trees, flowers, and shrubs to keep them healthy and growing. 

Moreover, gardeners perform tasks such as: mowing the lawn to keep it looking neat and prevent it from growing too long, cultivating the ground to prepare it for planting seeds, and bulbs, watering plants and flowers to help them thrive, and carrying out general maintenance of the garden such as raking up fallen leaves. Different tasks are involved in looking after a garden which is what makes gardening enjoyable to many.

This is an image of a gardener preparing the ground

Compost: Who, What, When Where, and Why, How

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Who needs compost?

What do you use it for?

When do I use it?

Where can you find it?

Why do you use it?

How can you make compost?

Who needs compost?

This is an image of people gardening

Farmers and avid gardeners often use compost to help enrich the soil in which they grow their plants and crops in. Recycling organic materials leaves the compost full of nutrients which helps plants and crops thrive, and even grow faster and better than regular soil.

What do you use it for?

This is an image of people working with compost.

Compost is used to enrich soils that grow crops and plants primarily. However, there are many other uses that you may not have thought about before such as:

  • It can be used to effectively grow potted plants. Mix it with regular soil and let your plant thrive!
  • Make compost tea to water your plants with. It makes it easier for your plants to absorb, therefore making the process much faster
  • Feed your plants compost to extend their bloom time
  • Use it to help bulbs in the springtime to give them a boost after winter dormancy
  • Dressing garden beds to improve appearance and nutrients from the compost.

When do I use it?

This is an image of someone digging soil.

Compost can be used all year round, but using it at particular times of the year can help accelerate growth. In addition, it prevents weeds from forming in your garden. For instance, if you’re laying a new lawn, laying compost on your lawn before planting will drastically improve the tilth of your soil and provide the nutrients your seeds need to thrive.

Where can you find it?

This is Earnest Earth’s soil amendment product.

If you’ve got an unused area in your garden, you can easily make your own compost. However, if you don’t have the time, you can buy great quality compost from Earnest Earth!

Why do you use it?

This is an image of when you can use compost.

There are many reasons as to why you might use compost, here are a few examples:

Save money

Using compost is completely free, as it’s made from leftover organic materials that you may have used in the kitchen such as peelings and stalks. You won’t need to spend any money on chemical fertilizers because the compost will be already in your garden. Compost also retains water so you won’t have to water your garden as often, and the nutrients aren’t washed away, instead they are absorbed by your plants!

Protect resources

As mentioned, you won’t have to water your garden as often, therefore saving water consumption. Not only that, but simple things like your leftover peelings from dinner won’t go to landfill and can be used for something positive.

Great for the environment

Using compost is great for the environment! Not only will you produce less waste that ends up in landfill, but you’ll be saving the fuel it takes to collect and deliver your waste to landfill. Because compost is so enriched, it depletes the need for chemical fertilizers that seriously harm the environment (and your health), therefore being an economically friendly process.

Improve your soil

Compost is a natural fertilizer that slowly releases nutrients into the ground and does no harm to your plants or crops. It also retains water much better than soil, meaning the ground is less likely to dry out between watering, and your plants will thrive. Compost provides organic matter that improves plant growth and provides more impressive yields when growing fruit and vegetables.

How can you make compost?

This is an image of how to make compost.

Compost is fairly easy to make, and you can either choose to buy a composter, or create your own pile somewhere in your garden. If this is the case, you should start on a bare piece of land, and add a few inches of twigs and leaves as a base. When adding to your compost heap, be sure to alternate between moist and dry matter. For example, using leftover foods such as tea bags and peelings will be your moist matter, and the next time you’d use something dry such as leaves from the garden.

Every few weeks, turn the compost with a pitchfork and you’ll begin to notice beautifully enriched compost forming. Remember to cover it to help retain heat and moisture, as these are two key factors that help your compost thrive. You’ll need to water occasionally, or you might choose to let rainwater do the job for you.

A bedroom featuring an indoor garden.

Common Houseplants to Start Your Indoor Garden

Are you looking for peace amidst today’s chaotic world? Consider starting an indoor garden. Not only is this activity easy to start and run, but it has far-reaching benefits, as highlighted below. 

  • Gardening is a therapeutic activity that helps keep stress at bay
  • Plants have a calming effect making the home peaceful
  • It is the surest way to healthy living, which is much needed today
  • Some plants grown in the indoor garden have medicinal purposes

There are many safe and easy to grow houseplants, as discussed below.

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Succulents

Scallions

Hydroponics, Air Plants

Snake Plants

Succulents

An image of several succulents in a pot.

These are a group of plants with thick fleshy tissues that store water. Succulents have unique and distinguishing features ranging from color, leaf size, and shape that separate them from other plants. Depending on the succulent type you choose for your indoor plant, they can take somewhere between two weeks to grow roots and about eight weeks to form leaves. 

Succulents are easy to grow plants and ideal for busy people as they have the capability of thriving in neglect. It does not need a lot of water to grow this group of plants. For indoor succulents, make an effort to water them every 7-14 days in warmer months and every 3-4 weeks in winter. As you do the watering, be careful not to overdo it and always let the soil dry out before you can water again. 

Succulent’s fleshy leaves, thick stems, and enlarged roots work perfectly to retain water, helping the plant survive the dry indoor environments. Growing succulents inside your house will help beautify the place and purify the air. 

Take note that succulents are known to help enhance focus and concentration, thus increasing your life productivity. To learn more about these easy-to-care-for plants, click here, Caring For Succulent Plants. 

Scallions

Chopped up scallions on a wooden cutting board.

By definition, scallions refer to perennials that form long dark green, tubular leaves that change to white bulbs underground. Succulents are versatile ingredients in many recipes. For example, they blend well in pancakes, sauce, noodles, salads, soup, ramen, sandwiches, to name a few. 

They are easy to grow indoor plants that can be harvested 60 to 80 days after planting. For better results, it’s recommended to plant them in spring for a summer harvest. Growing scallions indoors does not require soil as you can obtain faster growth by placing the ends in a small glass of water and exposing the plant to sufficient sunlight. Full-day sun or half-day sun works perfectly. 

You can regularly change the water inside the container to keep things fresh, as this aids in speeding growth. 

Hydroponics, Air Plants

A few air plants in a hanging glass dome.

These are ordinarily tiny easy to grow plants that do not need soil. They use scales on their leaves to absorb nutrients and water from the air. Air plants are easy to care for and don’t require much light to thrive, making them an ideal indoor plant found in almost every household. 

One tip to guide when taking care of air plants indoors is to always check on the flowers. Sending out flowers symbolizes that the plant is getting enough of the needed nutrients. The opposite is also true, and all you need to do to wake it is snip it off. 

It’s essential to note that air plants don’t have big roots like their counterparts. They only have small ones for holding purposes. Therefore water the plant once a week depending on its variety. Water them by placing them on a sink with water and letting the plant soak for roughly 30minutes. 

After this:

  1. Leave them to dry and return to the designated place.
  2. Remember to keep the air plant away from direct sunlight.
  3. Grow the plants at the proper temperatures, probably nothing colder than 45 degrees.

Snake Plants

A snake plant atop a stool in a white pot.

Snake plants, also commonly known as mother-in-law’s tongue or sansevieria, have long, sharp margin leaves grown chiefly as a houseplant. Its color changes from dark green to bluish-green shade as it matures. Their leaf also has deep grooves running along with them. 

Snake plants are easy to take care of and only need warm temperatures above 50 degrees and moderate lighting. Be careful with the amount of water you give your snake plant, as overwatering is the primary cause of death in these plants. Work with watering it once every ten days. 

In most homes, you will find these plants in the bedroom or the bathroom due to their ability to survive on low light levels. Please note that snake plants can convert carbon dioxide into oxygen at night, making it perfect for the bedroom. Snake plants help in absorbing cancer-causing pollutants, removing harmful toxins, among others. 

As you grow this plant in your home, be watchful for insect attacks such as aphids, gnats, scales, and spider mites. Fight this problem by avoiding overwatering, placing the plant under high humidity, and poor air circulation areas. 

Conclusion

As shown above, there is no reason not to start an indoor garden, given the ease of care and maintenance of most houseplants. Choose the ideal houseplant for your home and start your home gardening journey today. There are many benefits to reap from this activity.