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Plant a Windowsill Herb Garden

When fall comes around, anyone with a green thumb is saddened when they bring in the last harvest from their garden. But there is a cure for these winter blues – a windowsill herb garden.

Sunlight

Your herbs are going to need at least 6 hours of sunlight, so hopefully you have a windowsill that faces the south or southwest. Ideally the windowsill isn’t drafty, and has plenty of room for all your plants!

Picking Your Herbs

Some herbs grow indoors better than others. Here is a small list of the herbs that will be the most fruitful on a windowsill:

  • Basil
  • Lavender
  • Mint
  • Rosemary
  • Parsley
  • Thyme
  • Chives

From Seed

Growing your herbs from seed is a much less expensive route to take, but it will also require a lot more time and attention for these to grow. You can start growing seeds in a small container, but when they become 2-4 inches tall you should move them to a bigger pot.

Potted Plants

If you buy potted plants you’ll most likely have to transplant them to a larger container. You can buy long pots for multiple plants, or for individual plants get pots that are 6 inches wide and at least six inches deep. Make sure the pots can drain, and there’s a saucer underneath them.

Soil

You might be able to use soil from your outdoor garden in these pots, but only if you haven’t been using the soil year in and year out. If so, buy soilless potting mix.

Transplanting

Whether you’re starting from seed or bought seedlings in pots, you’re going to have to transplant each plant. Start by putting 2-3 inches of potting mix into the bottom of the pot, then gently remove the herb from it’s container and carefully loosen the roots. Finally, fill in the rest of the pot with the potting mix, making it firm but not too compact. Leave an inch of room at the top for when you water.

Watering

You should water herb plants sparingly. To test if the plants need water poke a finger an inch or two into the soil. If it’s dry, it needs water. If not, let it be. Try and water the plant until the excess water drains through the bottom. This is better for the plant, and prevents salt build-up in the soil. For the sake of your windowsill be sure to drain the saucer when you’re done.

Fertilizer

You can buy fertilizer that is specifically labeled for food, but we don’t recommend it. This can increase productivity, but at the same time your herbs will lose a lot of flavor.

Using Your Herbs

A general rule of thumb is that you can start using your herbs when you see new growth. When you prune off about 2-3 inches of the tips of limbs off you’ll encourage your plant to branch out and be more productive. Keep in mind that you should never trim more than 1/3 of the plant’s foliage. This will add stress to the plant, and possibly cause it to wither.

Enjoy Delicious Food!

Using fresh herbs in your cooking, especially during the winter, is extremely satisfying. Not only will your food be delicious, but in a small way you’re helping the environment by using organic methods to grow food. At Go Green, we believe organic solutions are the preferred solutions. Happy cooking!

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