The Urban Farmer: Herbs, emotional kick, squash them bugs!

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The Urban Farmer, Issue #033 * February
 Hydroponic Herbs * Emotional Benefits of
Hydro * Squash them Ole Bugs!




can be no other occupation like gardening in which, if you were to creep up
behind someone at their work, you would find them smiling.” 

~Mirabel Osler      


Creating an indoor herb garden is quite an easy
task as herbs are inexpensive plants that are easy to maintain and are
undemanding. An indoor herb garden makes a great introductory course for any
beginner to the art of hydroponics.

Depending on their use, herbs can be classified
into culinary herbs, medicinal herbs and aromatic herbs. Culinary herbs include
basil, rosemary, parsley and oregano. These herbs are used to add spice and
flavor to food. Medicinal herbs include plants like echinacea, valerian,
hypericum, gingko and garlic that are widely used in medicinal preparations.
Most of these plants are not suitable for an indoor herb garden as it is
difficult to extract the medicinal parts of the plant. Ornamental herbs are
those that are grown to enhance the beauty of homes.

You might best start with herbs like oregano,
rosemary, garlic chives, mint and thyme. You can either buy these plants at a
garden center or can use stem cuttings. Containers are useful for growing herbs
at home as these are easy to carry and are convenient for adjusting soil
mixtures. These containers are available in different colors, thus creating an
added attraction. You can also start an indoor herb garden from seeds. Simply
spread the seeds on the top of the soilless media and keep them moist til they

You can have a beautiful indoor herb garden if
you follow certain tips. Soilless mixture of vermiculite, peat and perlite
ensures proper growth of seeds and seedlings. Keeping pots in the southern or
western window ensures proper sunlight and air. Media in the containers and pots
should be moist but not damp. Humidity around indoor plants can be increased if
they are grouped together.

There are two popular hydroponic herb gardens
widely available now: