Imagine simply walking up to your windowsill the next time you need thyme, mint, rosemary, oregano, chives, and other aromatic herbs for your cooking, baking, or tea time needs.
An indoor windowsill herb garden offers a wide array of benefits. They’re a convenient and economical way of adding flavour to your culinary creations, they can brighten up your space the way that only plant life can, and some also come with pleasant aromas that can make your home smell so good.
Setting up a windowsill herb garden is an incredibly easy and therapeutic project anyone can do. In this guide, we talk about everything you need to know about starting a windowsill garden and the exciting benefits in store for you.
Let’s get started!
Starting a Windowsill Herb Garden
1. Determine Where You Want to Grow Your Windowsill Garden
Since most herbs are usually used in the kitchen, it makes sense that many homeowners choose their kitchen windows. However, any sunny windowsill of an exterior window with enough space to accommodate potted plants will do. Select the best room in your home that gets the most natural light during the day.
Give your herbs everything they need to thrive. We recommend setting up your windowsill herb garden in a south or southwest-facing window that gets optimal sunlight even during winter.
As a preventive measure, consider placing a transparent waterproof cover or applying waterproof paint over your wooden windowsill to protect them from potential water damage. Even if your pots have trays, accidents may still happen when you are watering your plants.
2. Choose Which Herbs to Grow
Which herbs to plant on your windowsill also depends on where you are planning to use them. For herbal tea infusions or cooking purposes? Here are some of the best herbs to grow in your windowsill garden to give you an idea.
- Basil – Individual leaves can be used for pasta, sandwiches, salads, and more.
- Chives – This herb adds an onion-like kick to eggs, salads, and soups.
- Oregano – Just the herb you need within reach on your windowsill garden to add a fresh peppery hint to meat, casseroles, pizza, pasta, and soups.
- Parsley – Often used as a garnish, this herb can enhance the flavour of chicken, vegetable, and fish while also adding vitamin K.
- Thyme – The uses of thyme are nearly endless. From seasoning roasted meat to marinades, cocktails, and teas, you’ll never go wrong with this one.
- Mint – Add the freshness of mint to your lamb and poultry dishes, sauces, and salads. Oh, and a soothing cup of mint tea, anyone?
- Rosemary – This fragrant Mediterranean herb is not just a must for fine cuisine. It also helps in improving digestion and boosting circulation.
Take note of the specific plant care instructions of your chosen herbs, like sunlight and watering needs.
3. Get Optimal Potting Materials
If you bought potted herbs, they usually already come in a seedling bag (or a pot) with their own soil. All you need to do is transfer or repot them to their permanent container. If not, there are ready-made potting mixes that you can purchase for this purpose, or you can also create your own potting soil by following this recipe from Planet Natural:
- 1 part peat moss
- 1 part compost
- 1 part perlite
- 1 part topsoil
On the other hand, if you will grow your herbs from seeds, it is best to use a seed-starting mix instead of a potting mix. Like potting mixes, seed-starting mixes can be purchased in bags. You can also create your own using this recipe from HGTV.
- 4 parts compost
- 2 parts peat moss
- 1 part perlite
- 1 part vermiculite
Step 4 – Planting Your Herbs
When repotting plants, don’t forget to include the soil they came with to ensure that the roots are unharmed. Make sure to have the correct size for your plant pots, at least 6 inches in diameter, with a drainage tray or saucer.
When growing a windowsill herb garden from seeds, use a seed tray where the seeds can germinate and transfer later on to a larger pot. You can recycle egg cartons for this purpose. Remember to put a waterproof tray underneath to catch any water that might seep through.
Step 5 – Maintaining Your Windowsill Garden
Once you have your windowsill herb garden, it’s only a matter of watering the herbs on schedule, letting them get that sweet, sweet sunlight every day, and providing additional nutrients. Take note that the nutrients in a pot are limited. Fertilize regularly with your choice of organic fertilizer or compost to keep your windowsill herbs healthy.
The Best Windows For Your Windowsill Herb Garden
Low-E glass windows are not only going to help you save up on heating and cooling costs but are also perfect for keeping your windowsill herb garden thriving. Low-E coatings can block excessive UV rays from the sun, which can be destructive to plants.
Selecting the right window styles can add charm and character to your windowsill herb garden. Here are some of our favourites.
- An end vent slider vinyl window features a wide fixed window panel in the middle where your windowsill herb garden can rest undisturbed, basking in the sunlight.
- A double-hung window has a lower half that can be closed when the sun’s too intense, or it’s raining hard without compromising ventilation. A slider window can do the same, albeit in a different configuration.