Fresh herbs are delicious. They add that extra something to any dish. If you are constantly buying herbs, why not grow your own? It’s easy, and looks lovely on any kitchen windowsill.
Be creative when selecting your container. Old tins and buckets look great, and long wooden boxes are sleek and modern. Make your windowsill herb garden into kitchen décor!
You will need:
- A sunny windowsill
- Herb seedlings or seeds
- Potting mix
How to Grow a Windowsill Herb Garden:
1. Ensure all your containers are at least 15cm deep and have drainage holes. Herbs don’t like soil that is constantly moist. Old tins, ceramic and terracotta pots, and wooden boxes work well. If they don’t already have drainage holes, use and electric drill or hammer and nail to puncture the container. Remember to place a saucer or shallow dish beneath your container, so you don’t damage your windowsill.
2. Choose a variety of herbs. We recommend herbs that grow into neat bushes, rather than sporadically. Parsley, basil, chives, rosemary, mint and thyme all work well.
3. For seedlings, fill the container about halfway with potting mix. It’s best not to use soil from the garden, as it could retain too much water and not carry the correct nutrients. Gently remove the seedling from its pot, and separate the roots with care. Put the seedling into the new container, and fill the container with potting mix until it is about 2cm from the top. Carefully press the soil surrounding the seedling, and water generously.
4. For seeds, use a smaller container for sprouting. Empty egg cartons work well. Fill containers with moist potting mix (you can buy potting mix specifically for seedlings). Put 3 to 5 seeds in each container on the surface of the potting mix. Dust extra potting mix over the seeds, and gently press.
5. Cover the containers with a plastic bag, as this will keep the soil moist. Keep the plastic bag on and the soil moist until the seeds sprout. Then, remove the plastic bag and continue to grow until the seedlings are about 5cm tall. Follow instructions for planting out seedlings above. Note: Growing herbs from seeds requires much more care, and you won’t be able to use your fresh herbs for a few months. If you’re not an experienced gardener, it may be best to go for seedlings.
6. Don’t water your herbs too often. You can check to see whether or not your herbs are too wet or too dry by poking your finger into the soil. If it is damp, you are over watering. If it is dry and crumbly, you are under watering.
7. Give your herbs fertiliser once every two months, as fertiliser enhances the flavour of the herbs. Ensure the fertiliser is suitable for edible plants.
8. Once you notice new growth, you can use your herbs. Remember to never remove more than one third of the plants foliage, or it may struggle to grow back. We recommend trimming no more than 5cm off the ends of the plants at a time. This will encourage them to grow bushier.
Enjoy your fresh, homegrown herbs. Delicious!