An herb garden is a handy way to have fresh herbs ready for use in your favorite recipes. Moreover, an herb garden adds a cheery touch to your kitchen décor and is great for the air in your house.
Herb gardens are not hard to plant or maintain. Here are some tips:
Many herbs grow well in a windowsill garden. The window should get lots of natural or artificial light. Otherwise, your plants will be spindly and not flavorful. Turn pots regularly so they get even amounts of sun.
Buy herbs in small pots or start them from seed. Good choices are: basil, rosemary, chives, thyme, parsley, peppermint, cilantro, or lavender. You want plants that don’t grow too high or require more space than your windowsill offers.
Plant herbs in a long tray or in individual pots. The containers should be two to four inches tall. Fill with two to three inches of potting soil. Keep soil damp but not moist. Watering from the bottom up avoids overwatering and water regularly.
Fertilize with fertilizer for edibles every other month. Start with half strength and gradually increase.
Once plants are thriving, start to use them. Snip them and store herbs in fridge or air dry for future use. Never snip until the herb is six inches tall and cut only a third of its height.
If plants look ill, they may need more water or more sun.
You can use interesting “repurposed” container as pots for your windowsill herb garden. Be creative. Mason jars are great containers. Use those old bowls or coffee mugs or just make sure containers are large enough and allow for proper drainage.
Most herbs respond to any container as long as they have room to drain and to grow.
You can bring herbs inside for the winter and use them in a windowsill herb garden. However, be careful what you bring in. These plants may contain diseases or pests they have acquired outdoors.
In the spring, you might move your windowsill herb garden outside to a patio pot or an herb garden.
You can combine herbs in a single pot as long as the herbs you use have the same moisture, light, and fertilizer needs.
Try making your own herb fertilizer. Nettles, comfrey, yellow dock, burdock, horsetail, and chickweed make good fertilizer. Chop them up and add to the soil or dry them for future use.
Try making your own potting soil. Combine peat moss, vermiculite or perlite, sand, and shredded bark or compost for a pure effective potting material.
Think about adding natural substances to enrich your herb garden soil.
If your herb garden gets overcrowded snip off some plants or transplant them.
Consider an indoor window box for your herbs. Herbs that live well together and look attractive include chives, parsley, and tarragon. Add a few nasturtiums for color, variety and to use as edible garnishes for dishes.
A window herb garden will at beauty and practical cooking materials to your kitchen.