Gardening Vivian | 03 Nov 2010 08:13 am

Seven Tips For Your Windowsill Herb Garden

Now you can wake up to the aroma of fresh basil, thyme, rosemary and mint wafting around your home and add some zest to your morning cup of tea with your home grown fresh herbs. You do not require a patio or backyard to grow your favorite herbs – you can make your very own compact and attractive windowsill herb garden. Not only do herbs add charm and coziness to the atmosphere of your kitchen, you will also have a regular supply of aromatic culinary herbs to add that extra zing to your cooking!

There are a couple of things to consider before creating your new windowsill herb garden:

What Herbs to Have
First decide on which herbs you would like to grow. The seven favorites of any windowsill herb garden have to be rosemary, thyme, oregano, parsley, chives, sage and mint. Most gardening experts would advise you not to start with basil as it is very sensitive to winter. Chives instead are an excellent choice – they grow easily and will take some neglect.

Start from Seeds or Seedlings
You can either use seedling from a local nursery or start from scratch by sowing the seeds. Some people recommend purchasing seedling from greenhouses as these plants are already accustomed to low light and will also be pest free.

Now that you have decided on the herbs, we come to the next important decision – the location of your windowsill herb garden. While most people prefer having their herbs right near the kitchen, you need to ensure that there is lots of light and sunshine. Indoor herbs need a minimum of four to six hours of sunlight daily so the best choice would be to place the windowsill herb garden facing a south window -if you live in the northern hemisphere. If you still feel that the sunlight is inadequate, you can either use a fluorescent light or a full-spectrum grow light.

Herbs can be grown in plastic, clay or terracotta containers or even in herb wheels. Some home magazines even suggest using old things from your house such a gravy boat or an old jar to make your windowsill herb garden more interesting. Just ensure that:

稵hey have proper drainage provisions
稺ill fit on your windowsill
稨ave adequate space to be able to accommodate your potting mix.

Type of Soil
Soil-less potting mixes are considered a better option for a windowsill herb garden as they ensure good drainage and are less susceptible to soil borne diseases. A good tip is to top the potting mix with mulch such as leaves, straw or compost as this helps the potting mix retain its moisture and has the advantage of adding good nutrients.

Ensure that you leave an inch of space at the top for watering and place a saucer or a plate under each of the containers. Herbs like sage, oregano, thyme and marjoram prefer a slightly drier soil between watering whereas herbs with lush green leaves like basil and parsley should never go dry.

Use a water soluble fertilizer every four to six weeks in your windowsill herb garden so that you get luxuriant herbs. As a natural fertilizer you can even give “tea” to your herbs at every four or five day interval. To make this tea, put some household compost in a bucket of water for a period of one week, then take the liquid, dilute it 50/50 with more water and pour a little in your windowsill herb garden. Not only will the herbs appear fresh, they will get great nutrition which is easily absorbed by their roots and cells.

Do not forget to regularly trim the herbs on your windowsill herb garden and turn them often so that every side gets sufficient light. Avoid using pesticides as these herbs will be picked for cooking, instead regularly inspect for mites and insects and if necessary use a spray of soap water to get rid of any pests.

Whether you use your herbs as the secret ingredients of your haute cuisine or you are just a gardening enthusiast, your windowsill herb garden is guaranteed to spice up your daily life!

Comments are closed.