Starting a Healthy and Productive Windowsill Herb Garden
Gardening is often seen as an outdoors activity that is limited to certain weather conditions. When it comes to herbs, a windowsill facing south or west is an excellent area to grow and harvest herbs all year long. It also add beautiful natural beauty to that window and fills the air with the sweet scents. A windowsill herb garden doesn’t need to be very big, a few pots can produce enough herbs to satisfy your needs.
Tools and material needed to start a herb garden:
- various containers with drainage holes
- waterproof saucers to contain excess drainage
- potting soil or a soil-less seed-starting mix
- natural fertilizer
- herb seeds or plants of your choice
Herb growing requirements:For the majority of herbs, a good 5 to 6 hours of sunlight coming through a south or west-facing window is sufficient. Watering should keep the soil slightly moist at all time. Fertilize twice a month using a half-strength solution of an all-purpose fertilizer. Compost is added in a small quantity every few months.
Choice of containers:The pots you plan to use can come from various sources ranging from recycling to buying ”designer” containers.You can group certain herbs together in a pot when they share common needs. Plants that need particular care should be planted individually. The diameter of the pots should be 4 inches for individual plants and 10 inches for grouping plants together.
Choosing herbs you wish to grow:Choice herbs to grow on the windowsill are those that remains dense and compact. Thyme and oregano are always a good choice, you can also grow mint offered in a wide array of flavors. Parsley is a good choice as long as you keep it especially when kept trimmed. These plants all do well in small containers ranging in 4 to 6 inches in diameter.Other choice of herbs popular include basil, cilantro, dill, rosemary and sage.
- Most herbs grows well in a sunny, south-facing window, supplemental fluorescent lights or grow lights will help during the winter season.
- Place the plants so that the foliage are not in contact with cold windows.
- Turn the pots around occasionally so that the plants get sunlight on all sides to grow evenly.
- Be aware of the preferences of each variety of herbs you grow. For example, basil enjoys warmth, while sage and rosemary prefer cooler temperatures.
- Pinch back branching plants such as basil. This will help keeping them shrubby instead of leggy.
- When choosing herbs to grow, go for the compact or dwarf varieties.
- Growing herbs on the kitchen windowsill will keep fresh herbs close at hand when preparing meals.
A windowsill herb garden adds a wonderful, attractive look to your home decor. Creating this project is quite simple and inexpensive and fills the air with a pleasing aroma that can be enjoyed by everyone in your household.
Eustache Davenport is a gardening enthusiast and author. He lives in Montreal and enjoy teaching his gardening secrets to work groups on how to setup, optimize and maintain an amazing herb garden. For more information and great tips to start home garden, visit http://www.herbgardeningonlineguide.com.
Photo Credit: Pioneerthinking.com – Ingredients for a Simple Life
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