How to Make a Windowsill Herb Garden

For as long as I can remember, my family has always had an herb garden within easy reach of the kitchen. Throughout our various moves in suburbia, there was always an oversized pot containing the essentials: cilantro, basil, thyme, mint, and rosemary- which eventually had to be transplanted because it had grown into a full-sized bush. However, living in an apartment without a balcony I had to get creative so that I could keep my favorite herbs on hand. Last year I learned how to make a windowsill herb garden, and this year I’m ready to share my experience and recreate this once again for Spring.

How to Make a Windowsill Herb GardenHow to Make a Windowsill Herb Garden

How to Make a Windowsill Herb GardenHow to Make a Windowsill Herb GardenHow to Make a Windowsill Herb Garden

How to Make a Windowsill Herb Garden

How to Make a Windowsill Herb GardenHow to Make a Windowsill Herb Garden

The first thing to note is that when it comes to plants even the hardiest of varieties seem to wither in my touch. I have a self-proclaimed “brown thumb” that I wished desperately could be greener. I will continue to blame the lack of sunlight I’ve had in my previous apartments as to the reason why I haven’t had success growing anything.

In 2017 I vowed to change my brown-thumbed fate by making a trip out to Pike’s Nursery and gather all of the supplies I’d need for successful indoor gardening. Truth be told this entire endeavor was inspired by this gold planter that I found, and I was determined to make an herb garden a reality. How hard could it be?

The first thing you must decide on is the type of herbs your garden will grow. I quickly reviewed my previous grocery receipts and noticed that basil, cilantro, and thyme had been purchased repeatedly so that is the variety I went with.

Be mindful of what your herbs growing needs are. Cilantro needs morning sunlight, basil wants full sun, and thyme likes bright light. They require different soil moistness, and some (thyme) will get so big they turn into a bush. These differences, while not deal breakers, do make it more difficult moderation of your herbs.

How to Make a Windowsill Herb Garden
  1. Make sure you have a sunny windowsill (at least 3 hours of light), where your herbs will survive. South facing windows are ideal.
  2. Purchase your favorite small herb plants (or seeds) from your local hardware store. I sourced mine from Pike's Nurseries .
  3. Make sure you have a planter that is at least 6 inches deep, I like this variety.
  4. Use soiless potting mix to avoid soil born disease. Make sure the mix is well draining.
  5. Start by putting 2-3 inch layer of potting mix at the bottom. You want light and well draining soil. If your herbs sit in wet soil, their roots can rot from over hydration.
  6. Carefully remove the herb from it's original pot by firmly gripping the base of the herb and slowly wiggling the plant out. Place your herb in it's new container and lightly loosen the roots.
  7. Fill in the holes between your herbs with potting mix, gently pressing the soil to compress the plants in. Leave about an inch at the top for watering.
  8. Water the plants immediately to help them settle into their new home.
Recipe Notes

Water your herbs sparingly. Herbs don't like to sit in wet soil and drain your saucer when excess water accumulates.
To test if your plants need water, poke your finger in the soil about 2 inches down, if the soil is wet don't water, if the soil is dry, lightly water.
Always try and water until the excess drains out (then remove excess water). If you repeatedly give your herbs water, a white salt film (looks like white mold) will accumulate on the top.
Feed your herbs every other month with a fertilizer, like this one, that is labeled for food consumption.
Try to avoid cutting your herbs until you see new growth. Once you do, you can clip about 1-2 inches from the herbs as needed.

The best thing about having a windowsill herb garden is that you will get months and months of use out of your well-tended garden for cocktails and other dishes. See some of my favorite herb cocktails here and my favorite thyme chicken recipe here for inspiration on starting your own windowsill herb garden. 

Author: Cynthia

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