Thursday, October 17, 2013

Windowsill Herb Garden - Easy Access to Your Favorite Home-Grown Herbs

It's relatively easy to grow any herb in a pot on a windowsill, but some are better suited for your windowsill herb garden than others are. If you do raise herbs inside, you need to keep them trimmed and compact.

If you have wide windowsills, your windows are ideal places to put your herbs. You will want to place them on the sunny side of the house, preferably where the sun will shine directly on the plants for several hours of the day. If you do not have windows that are sunny, use fluorescent lights to compensate. You will need 4" diameter pots in which to plant seedlings or seeds and fill them with a good grade of potting soil.

Clay or plastic pots work well for containers. Any pot needs to drain well to keep the roots from remaining in water for too long because that may cause disease. You can use a long tray in lieu of the individual pots, but it will need a vessel underneath to catch water that drains out of the container when the plants are watered.

Recommended fertilizers for interior herbs are compost tea and seaweed spray. Fertilize only once every 6 to 8 weeks during the growing season, and only water when the soil feels dry to the touch on the top. When plant growth begins to slow for the winter months, stop using the fertilizers.

What are some of the better plants to grow in a small area?

Italian oregano is compact in size for indoor gardening and has a wonderful flavor.

Logee's blue rosemary is medium sized plant with bluish green foliage. It's a good choice because of its fungus repellent nature.

Miniature basil is much more disease resistant than other varieties, and the small leaves are very tender.
Globe basil is another small leaf variety that is good indoors, and it is spicier than other basils.

English and lemon thyme are perennials that grow to about fifteen inches in height and will thrive and thicken as you clip the leaves.

Curly leaf parsley is the usual garnish served with meals, and it has a peppery flavor used subtly to enhance the flavor of food.

Bay laurel is another excellent indoor choice. This is the source of the bay leaf used in cooking.
Chives are easy to grow indoors, and it is great for beginning gardeners. They are often used for flavoring salads or vegetables.

Everyone is familiar with the smell of mint. It works well in a container because you can control its tendency to spread. You can use it in soups, salads, and teas. The two basic types are chocolate and orange.
Sage and marjoram are two more excellent culinary herbs for your windowsill.

These are not the only herbs that you may want in your windowsill herb garden, but they are probably the most common. The indoor herb garden gives you an easy access to your plants.
Michael G. Caden is a long-time herb garden enthusiast.

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