What do you do if you are an herb lover, but you don’t have space to plant your favorite herbs?
What can you do if you like to have your fresh herbs always within reach so you don’t have to run outside on a rainy day to get those few leaves for your favorite recipe? A windowsill garden might be the perfect solution to your dilemma.
What are the basic requirements for a windowsill garden? Well, they are quite similar to requirements for an outdoor garden, but on a slightly smaller scale:
1) You need a “plot” where you are going to plant your herbs. In this case, your “plot” is your windowsill. Make sure that your windowsill can carry the weight of the containers and pots.
Containers and pots can be quite heavy when filled with damp soil. Choose a windowsill which gets lots of sun and daylight. We’ll talk about the light requirements for the herbs in a bit.
2) The choice of the pots or containers – clay or plastic – doesn’t really matter as long as they have holes at the bottom to release excess moisture. In general, clay pots have the ability to absorb excess moisture.
That means less frequent watering. The size of the individual pots should be about 10-15cm (4-6 inch) in diameter. If you are planting more than one herb in a container, please consider spacing between the herbs. If the individual herbs don’t have enough space, they won’t thrive as successfully as you imagined.
3) Always choose good quality soil for your herbs to grow in so that they will be healthy and grow abundantly. If you are starting your windowsill garden from seeds, the recommendation is to use a soilless mix to prevent the development of soil born diseases.
The soil has to be light, loose and free draining. Herbs don’t like having their feet wet for too long. Their roots can rot very easily.
4) To grow your herbs successfully, make sure they get enough light. Herbs need at least 5 hours of light daily, so choose a South or Southwest facing window (opposite for the southern hemisphere!). Herbs love sun and daylight. Herbs don’t like the draft, so keep them away from it.
5) Water requirements have already been mentioned – just make sure your herbs are not over-watered. To check if the herb needs watering, simply stick your finger in the soil. You know what to do if the soil feels dry, right?
6) When trimming your herbs, make sure you don’t take too much. Never trim more than 2/3 of the plant; otherwise, your favorite herb won’t be able to recover.
Trimming is important to promote new growth and your herbs will become luscious. Frequent cutting will stop them from producing seeds.
The final and the most important requirement for your windowsill herb garden is the love and care you give to them. Make sure you spend some time with your herbs every day. As with any living organism, they like attention, too.
You won’t regret it, because you’ll be rewarded by having beautiful, fragrant and delicious herbs at your fingertips!
Jaime Wade is a passionate and dedicated herb gardening enthusiast whose burning desire is to encourage each and everyone to experience the joys and rewards of starting their own herb gardens.…