Thursday, November 14, 2013

Windowsill Herb Gardening - Get the Basics Right

Opting windowsill for herb gardening is beneficial in many ways. The primary reason being, the plants will get long hours of sun-light for photo-synthesis. A window facing south or south-east can work well for your windowsill herb garden. Take care not to scorch the herbs in the summer heat in tropical environment. Water the plants adequately in summer to avoid dehydration and cracks in the soil. Herbs may not have the right sunlight during winter and monsoon and there are chances of soil erosion during heavy downpour. Glow lights indoors may help to resolve the problem. The herbs may also need to be saved from dry, cold winter wind.

Windowsill Basics

The windowsill should be big enough to hold several 8 inches pots. Too many tiny pots are not practical and good for growth or harvesting unless you are planning to plant for ambiance and looks only. Nowadays, pots in a wide range of sizes starting from 4 to 12 inches specially meant for windowsill gardening are available. If you don't have windowsill itself, you can purchase a windowsill plant shelf. These shelves are designed to hold three or four pots and hook easily to the window. Avoid placing the herb containers beside a heat vent. The heat vent will cause the soil to dry out quickly.

Soil Mix and Choice of herbs 

Adding fertilizers or organic compost to the window pots is very essential due to the fact that the soil nutrients get used up and the herbs cannot pull any more nutrients from the soil as the roots are confined to the space in the pot unlike outdoor garden plants. However, they are saved from the pests, weeds, snails that easily spread outdoors in the ground. Almost all culinary herbs can be grown in window pots. Herbs like Parsley, Chives, Rosemary, Fennel, Aloe Vera or Sage are very adaptable for windowsill gardening. You can just clip them and put them fresh in a simmering pot whenever you need.

Harvesting the Herbs

After around six to ten weeks when the herbs have fully blossomed, pluck the leaves from the bottom. You should never pick the young leaves. Leave at least two third of plant un-plucked. Pruning as a rule will expedite the growth. While a windowsill herb garden is known for low maintenance, it is wise to check the plants for water, sun and nutrients.

Herbs have long been revered for both their medicinal and culinary value. They are excellent for treating cold, cough and insomnia. They add flavor and zest to dinner. A window sill herb garden is a terrific experience to utilize your leisure in growing healing or culinary herbs. More exciting is to use the fresh spices and herbs from the window in your recipes. If you are an avid cook, you will relish and experiment the herbs with various dishes. The windowsill can present a good combination of herbs with flowers or vegetables with alluring zephyr that makes you relax after an overworked and tiresome office day. The aroma from the windowsill is forever soothing and the delicate fragrance is pleasant to the nerves. Put your flowers and herbs at close proximity to attract as much wildlife to the windowsill garden, you may eventually see rare species of butterflies, birds and cherish the sight in a bright sunny morning or a cozy evening.

The author S. Naik is interested in herbs since childhood and has been reading and growing herbs for more than a decade. Her passion has resulted in contributing articles to her website - which provides useful information and tips on growing herbs. Windowsill herb gardening is a viable option for cultivating herbs due to un-hindered sunlight and easy to grow culinary herbs at home.

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