Grow your own herbs with a window sill, plenty of light and a little imagination
The Grow Your Own movement isn’t just a trend. It’s the way people have fed themselves, through good times and bad, for millennia. However, if you are a green thumb novice, creating a window herb garden is a wonderful way to add character to your cooking and spice to everyday life.
If you are a beginner, you should keep in mind that there are a few basics to creating a successful window herb garden. To pull off the vignette you definitely need a windowsill, or window adjacent location that is exposed to at least 5 hours of light (though 8 hours is better). Here are excellent lighting tips.
You will also need to ensure that the space is warm. The containers in which you choose to plant your herbs must have excellent drainage to ensure they are moist, but not drowning in water. Finally, don’t skimp on the potting soil. Its light texture provides your herbs’ roots with much needed aeration.
Even the well-seasoned green thumb knows that understanding the optimum growing times for herbs will make your gardening décor a much more therapeutic activity. In the spring planting season, start things off with rosemary, thyme and sage. When summer heats up, try lush basil. In the warm weather it will produce enough leaves for several batches of pesto. As the temperature cools, if your window garden is outside, consider bringing it indoors, or take cuttings and replant to smaller containers indoors. However, hardy herbs like chives, dill and parsley handle cool temperatures just fine. Winter is admittedly a challenging time for herbs left outdoors. Once the first frost hits, you can pretty much kiss everything but your thyme, rosemary and sage goodbye. They will be brown, but still fine to eat.
Once you’ve established what you want to plant in your window herb garden, you will need to create a vignette that naturally fits into your kitchen’s décor scheme. The options are only limited to your imagination, however here are a few easy ideas to put your concept in motion:
- Hang light tin pots, or mason jars on a metal tension rod in front of the window. It can be easily switched indoors or outdoors depending on the season.
- If your window is generously inset, consider adding glass shelves. They will showcase your herb garden without obstructing your view of the outdoors.
- For a low-slung window, place a collection of herbs in clay pots on a rustic table, or bench made from reclaimed barn board.
- If you only have a small amount of floor space, but a big window, plant several herb varietals in a single pot. Terracotta is a classic style for a Mediterranean kitchen, while unfinished concrete planters give off a cool urban vibe.
If you’ve got the ambition, but are short on space, a window herb garden is a kitchen décor feature that will add beauty to your home and deliver nourishment to your family.