Would you like to start the new adventure of growing herbs right in your kitchen or terrace? Then start collecting small pots or containers or make soil beds made of wood. In Manila, I've seen some folks use old flat water containers or batya. If you're ready, here's how to grow herbs indoors in the Philippines--or other tropical countries.
Why tropical countries? Herbs crave for sunlight. Indoors, make sure to place them in areas where windows face east or west--better if they get fresh morning sunlight, so that's more of facing east. Don't put them in the north or south side of the house. So, arranged your small earthen pots or other small containers (paint them if you want a better-looking indoor herb garden) in a place where it is reached by rich sunlight, especially in the morning.
My mom used to have a ladder-type or stair-type wooden shelves for her herbs. The structure has 4 to 5 steps, and on each step the small earthen pots for the herbs are placed. This is space saving, occupying only about 3 feet by 7 feet of area in your terrace or kitchen. By the way, why the kitchen? It's an indescribably good feeling being able to pick fresh herbs straight from your garden and use them immediately in cooking or food preparation. And it gives your kitchen a fresh and natural green look and aroma, as well.
Anyway, back to how to grow herbs indoors in the Philippines. Use fertilized soil for this purpose. And make sure the fertilizer is organic and decomposed dried. Don't use fresh decaying stuff; remember, this is an indoor herb garden we're talking about. There are fertilizer brands of chicken manure and fish meat that have no odor whatsoever, like Greenland.
Or, make your own. Dump fruit and vegetable leftovers (include chicken manure and animal innards if available) in a hole in the ground. Pour over microorganism if available to shorten decomposition time. Without microorganism, it will take more than a month for the waste products to become like soil. Then, dig out everything and use the decomposed matter as fertilizer for your herb garden. After more than a month, there should be no odor. That's how to grow herbs indoors in the Philippines.
Make sure there is enough drainage to drain off excess water in the herb containers. Simply puncture the container bottom. Most earthen pots come with holes at the bottom. Then design a catch basin or anything to catch dripping water with from the herb containers so your interior is not messed up when you water the herbs. Better if you use water spray to water them with.
Use soil with pH of 6 or 7. A pH of 7 is ideal but 6 is what we usually have in the Philippines. Replace soil every 1 or 2 months.
If the leaves are thick, healthy looking, and often narrow, it receives strong sunlight. If they're broader, thinner, and easily damaged, they're not getting enough sunlight. Remember that sunlight helps plants "cook" their food. The food is L-amino acid. Your organic fertilizer is made absorbable by plants through microorganisms and when absorbed, plants are able to use them for nutrition. If they get enough food and nutrition, plants display healthy leaves. If the leaves are crumpled or dry or lacking color, it's usually due to a lack of nutrition or sunlight. Worse, it's a bacterial or viral disease of the soil. Herb health is vital when talking of how to grow herbs indoors in the Philippines.
If you grow your herbs organically, chances are, pests will not like them. Chemically grown plants are prone to pest attacks because they emit a gaseous substance pests are attracted to. So make sure it's an organic soil and fertilizer you are using from start to finish.The Complete Book of Herbs: A Practical Guide to Growing and Using Herbs