Instructables
Picture of Simple Indoor Herb Garden With Adjustable Grow Light
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My Husband and I live in a small duplex with no space for a regular garden. We also live on the shady side of the duplex, so all of our windows get very little natural light. However, we figured out a way to make a simple indoor herb garden that fits in our kitchen window.

You can buy tabletop herb gardens complete with a grow light, but their cost (often $100 or more) can be excessive. For example, here's a link to a very nice Tabletop Herb Garden Kit, but it costs over $100. Our goal was to avoid buying expensive fresh herbs from the produce isle, so why would we want to spend $100+ to do that? Our little Herb Garden cost us about $25, but would be even less expensive if you already owned a suitable florescent light that you could re-purpose for the project.

We needed to supplement the amount of natural light provided by our north facing kitchen window. To do this we purchased an inexpensive 18" fluorescent light fixture (fitted with an 18" grow light) and attached it to the bottom of the window blinds. By attaching the light to the blinds we could easily raise and lower the light, as well as set the light at an angle if necessary to maximize the amount of light reaching the herbs.

When choosing your window, be sure to pick a window that is neither too hot or two cold for your herbs. For example, a south facing window in Arizona might get too much light and heat for your herbs scorching them in the hot sun, while a poorly insulated (i.e. single pane) window in North Dakota during a chilly winter might expose your herbs to air that is too cold to allow your herbs to sprout. In other words, your kitchen window may or may not be the best window for this project. You'll want a nice cosy warm (but not hot) environment for your herbs to sprout.

 
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Akin Yildiz3 months ago

you have to check out my design sir..! http://www.instructables.com/id/Stove-Top-Herb-Gar...

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james265 months ago

What is the CFL grow light that you use there? The link to the Tabletop Herb Garden Kit is dead now too...

MilaI7 months ago

This is an awesome Idea! Thank you so much for sharing it!

I had to make an account just so I could reply to this.. THANK YOU! I live with my mother and step dad currently while I'm finishing college and last year we tried to do a container garden on the lip of our front steps. It was all well and good but we always had issues with squirrels and it wasn't worth the price to buy enough chicken wire to keep them out. I've been looking for a way to do the small pots indoors for herbs to go along with the small mason jar sprout garden I have going and this is exactly what I needed. I don't have a window I can put them in but I have a grow light in my room already waiting, I just need to figure out the how. I'll be growing some herbs in my room now and I will be extra happy once I get to use all the basil, and oregano I want!
bethmwl1 year ago
Impressed. I like the light attached to blinds to make movable. I always wanted such a planter but did not want to 'build' the light holder.
ieatpieme4 years ago

Great guide :) Do you need a "grow light" won't the light it came with work? Do the plants need watering often with the excess heat created by the bulb, does the bulb suppy more light than the sun?

Most florescent bulbs will work on their own. There are even people who do indoor gardening using compact florescent bulbs (the twisty, 'environmentally friendly' ones).

Also, florescent lights do not generally generate a ton of heat.

Finally, no, it doesn't not make more light than the sun. If you are really worried about not having enough light, maybe look into other lighting sources such as high pressure sodium bulbs and ballasts. Though, to be honest, if you place this rig on a windowsill, the light from the florescent bulbs and the light from the sun coming through the windows should be far more than enough light for a number of plants to flourish.
so one or 2 CFL (normal cheap one) is alright?
i am trying to grow Knotweed and some Tomato.
(removed by author or community request)
Just another example of how useful sharpies can be!
You got that right.
Nixontherat4 years ago
Are the velcro strips directly touching the bulb? Its hard to see how you have them on there.
Yes, the velcro touches the bulb - which brings up a few things I forgot to mention.

1. Make sure your bulb doesn't get hot to the touch. If it does get hot don't allow anything to touch it (including the plants). Otherwise you might be risking a fire hazard. Our bulb barely got warm after several hours of use, so we weren't worried about strapping the velcro around the bulb.

2. You'll notice that the cover that came with the light fixture is removed leaving the bulb exposed. We did this because we didn't know if the plastic cover would diffuse and/or block out some of the light spectrum that the plants need to grow. To prevent this from happening we omitted the cover altogether.

If you end up building a similar setup, please post a picture of it. I'd like to see it!