WINTER HERB GARDENING

 

The winter months can leave gardeners longing for warmer weather and the opportunity to dig in the soil. The absence of homegrown goodness also leaves a void. But there is hope. Consider growing herbs in your kitchen windowsill. If you are new to gardening, starting with a windowsill herb garden is a great way to cultivate your green thumb.  
Some herbs are easier to grow indoors than others. Among those: chives, oregano, parsley, rosemary, sage, tarragon and thyme.  After you decide what you want to grow it’s time to choose a pot. Size matters. 4-inch pots are optimum for growing and will fit nicely on a windowsill. Get creative with your container to add a decorative touch. Old coffee cans, tea tins, cups or a traditional terra cotta pot make great containers for growing your herbs.
Good potting mix is important. Herbs require excellent drainage in order to thrive. A quality potting mix is adequate, but it will help to add equal parts of sand, peat moss and perlite for optimum results. Location, location, location. A south or south-west facing window is preferable, although east or west facing windows will do. Adjustments may need to be made in watering or temperature if the light is low. Your herb garden requires at least four hours of full sunlight.
When it comes to watering the finger test is you best bet. Test the soil before watering. When the top of the soil is dry that’s your cue. Overwatering will damage your garden. It could be a few days up to a week before it may need a drink. In order for your herbs to thrive it’s important to rotate them in the window and clip them regularly. Clipping the herbs will promote new growth. February is primetime for herb gardens that have been growing all winter. That is when the sunlight is at its brightest during the winter months. By April you may move your plants outdoors or keep them indoors for convenience.
In addition to growing culinary herbs, you may want to consider herbs that will delight your senses. Lemon balm, lavender, and chamomile are excellent choices to make a dried sachet or sent a warm bath to soak in.
A windowsill herb garden offers convenience and the great taste of homegrown you can’t get in the store. It can also satisfy your need to grow during the long, cold winter.


 

Michelle Rauch
Gardening Enthusiast


Posted on 2014-02-06 by Michelle Rauch
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