Vol.1, No.1

Growing a windowsill herb garden

Windowsill herb gardens are easy to create, not too expensive, extremely useful in the kitchen, provide pleasing aromas, and can be enjoyed by all.

Herb in small pot
By planting a windowsill herb garden, you can bring your favorite herbs indoors and enjoy them all year long. Herbs can be grown quite easily in containers and usually do not require too much care other than watering. Clay or plastic pots are most commonly used when growing herbs; however, nearly any container can be used as long as it provides adequate drainage. Containers that do not drain well can waterlog the roots of herbs and encourage disease. Whether you choose an individual pot or one large container, you want to make sure that it will accommodate the overall growth of the plants. Be sure that the chosen area or windowsill is large enough to house your container as well. You'll also want to place your herbs in a sunny window; light is a major factor when growing herbs. If you don't have an adequate amount of sunlight, try using fluorescent lights in the chosen area.

There are numerous herbs that can be successfully grown in a windowsill environment and can be purchased from local nurseries or garden centers. They can even be started from seed, if desired. Some of the most popular types of herbs which are grown in windowsill gardens are chives, mint, rosemary, oregano, thyme, sage, basil, marjoram and parsley. Generally, chives are easier to grow and good choices for those just starting out. Chives can be used in salads or with vegetables. Mint has an extraordinary aroma and can be used in soups, salads, and teas. There are several to choose from but commonly grown are chocolate and orange scented varieties. Rosemary oregano, thyme, sage, basil, and marjoram are all wonderful for seasoning meats or sauces. For those who enjoy using garnishes, parsley is a favorite choice.

After selecting the herbs for your windowsill garden, place them in the container using a soilless potting mix. Soilless mediums contain natural materials and drain better. They also help prevent the herbs from becoming susceptible to any soil-borne disease. Be sure to leave at least an inch of space at the top of the container for watering. When watering your herbs, keep in mind that they do not like to be kept too moist. If they are left sitting in standing water for too long, the herbs may become waterlogged so be sure to dump out any remaining liquid that may be collecting underneath the container.

Herbs can be fertilized about once a month with an edible-only fertilizer; however, take care not to over fertilize. You don't want to take away from the natural taste of the herbs. Generally, the best way to fertilize is by mixing it with water and applying it to the plant during watering.

Growing herbs in windowsill gardens is a great way to keep them close at hand during all seasons. Windowsill herb gardens also make wonderful, attractive additions to your home's décor. They are easy to create, not too expensive, extremely useful in the kitchen, provide pleasing aromas, and can be enjoyed by all.