Along with providing an ample supply of fresh herbs, a windowsill herb garden is also very aromatic and simple to start. To create this type of garden, you will first need to choose which herbs you want to plant, and what you will plant them in. After that, all you need is a sunny window, potting mix, water, and a little bit of patience.
Choosing which herbs you want to plant can be one of the hardest parts of starting a windowsill herb garden. Herbs such as basil, chives, oregano, parsley, thyme, and rosemary are very popular, considering they are used frequently and rather easy to grow. Mint also makes an aromatic addition to any kitchen garden.
After you have decided which herbs you want, you can purchase the seeds or individual plants. Seeds for a windowsill herb garden can be purchased at any nursery or large chain store. Some stores even sell herb-growing kits, which include everything you need to get started. Many nurseries also sell herbs that have already been started.
Herb pots are one of the most popular containers to grow herbs in. You can use any number of types of containers, though, for your windowsill herb garden. Most gardening experts recommend that the containers that you use should be at least 6 inches (15 cm) deep. There should also be holes in the bottom of the containers, to allow for drainage.
Like most other plants, herbs need plenty of light — at least five hours a day is the recommended minimum. A sunny window is usually best for your windowsill herb garden. In the northern hemisphere, this usually means that the window will be facing to the south or the southeast. A large windowsill is best, since there will be less chance that your herb pots will be knocked off. If necessary, you may have to build a shelf just below the window.
After the herbs, containers, and the window have been chosen, you can the plant your herbs. Soil-less potting mix is recommended, since ordinary soil or potting soil could possibly transfer disease to your herbs, damaging them. If you are planting seeds, three or four seeds should be planted in each small container. After germination, the smallest plants can be removed, leaving just one or two large healthy plants. To ensure that water does not spill out of the container, leave a little space between the top of the soil and the rim of the pot.
Caring for a windowsill herb garden is considered by many to be very simple. Watering should be done sparingly, since plants that are soaked in water are more susceptible to rotting. The soil should be kept moist, but not too wet. Also, you may choose to add an edible fertilizer to the water every month or two, to encourage quick, healthy growth. Pruning certain herbs regularly can also promote growth, causing them to grow larger and fuller.