Some people may think that it is rather strange to prepare a salad that was made with vegetables and herbs that were harvested from a windowsill herb garden. They may feel that safe and healthy food can only come from packaged and mass-produced ingredients that have been safely engulfed in plastic. However, in reality, you can prepare a delicious and nutritious meal using sprigs of chives and other delicious herbs that have been taken from a windowsill herb garden. Here, we discuss some of the ways in which you can create your very own windowsill herb garden.
Picking the Right Window
To begin, you will need the right type of window so that sufficient sunlight can enter. You will also need some seedlings and herb seeds before you set them in. Location is also important, as you will want to pick a location where you will be able to enjoy the beauty as well as the scents of your beautiful herb garden. Moreover, you will need seedling plants, seeds, pots, and soil, and you can make your life easier by selecting a herb garden kit. Of course, you can also opt to select each component individually if you want a windowsill herb garden that is truly one of a kind.
Picking a Windowsill Herb Garden Kit
There are many kits currently available on the market, and most are pretty easy to set up. For instance, you can choose a small, self-contained unit that will fit on virtually any window setting. There are also much larger window boxes that are designed for outdoor use. There are also eco-friendly options that are not only handmade but are also made with bamboo material that is 100% leak proof. From seeds and soil wafers to cutting edge drainage materials, you will have everything you need to get your windowsill herb garden started.
You can also choose a convertible herb pot set that comes equipped with a waterproof tray and a built-in reservoir so that you don’t have to worry about water spillover. Some kits will also include silicone pots that can actually be expanded as your plants continue to grow: This means that they will have ample room for root development.
There are also long and narrow kits that come in many different colours, such as black, white, red, gray, brown, and violet. Some top of the line herb garden kits will include an ingenious self-watering feature so that you don’t have to worry about upkeep as much. That is, certain kits on the market are made with a special granular material that is made with pumice and lava stone. The water is basically wicked through the system so that your plants get the water that they require.
Seeds vs Herb Seedlings
If you feel that you would be better off with a windowsill herb garden that has been built from scratch then there are several things that you need to consider. For instance, you may have a green thumb and enjoy growing herbs from the seeds. Considering windowsill gardens tend to be a lot smaller than conventional gardens you can plant the seeds into the pots that you will utilize for the mature plants.
However, if a quick harvest is your number one priority then transplanting seedlings comes highly recommended. It is important to note that some herb seeds can take up to a month to germinate, and additional several weeks to be ready for harvest. In fact, rosemary and other such perennial herbs will take a full growing season until you can use them for cooking purposes, so we would recommend that you buy young plants so that you will be able to enjoy them much sooner.
Also, it is imperative that you allow the seedlings to settle in nicely after you have transplanted them. Failure to do so may lead to shock that can harm the plants. Newly planted herbs should also never be exposed to changes in the environment or extreme temperatures as well.
How to Mix and Fertilize the Soil
You have many potting mixes to choose from on the market, and they will all perform well with your herbs. However, some are simply better than others, so you should look for a mix that drains well. As such, potting mixes that contain perlite are highly recommended. Perlite looks like a bean bag filling and consists of little white pellets. As an added bonus, perlite will also help prevent the soil from packing down.
In regards to fertilizer, newbies will often add too much, in the hopes that it will somehow help their plants grow quicker or healthier. In reality, too much fertilizer will lead to a decrease in the production oils that give herbs their amazing aroma and taste. Too much fertilizer will also burn your plants, so the general rule of thumb is to use half the amount of fertilizer that you would use on garden plants on container plants. Also, herb gardens respond well to fertilizers that are seaweed or fish based.
Sunlight is Key
Certain herbs, such as thyme, mint, sage, and rosemary actually require a lot of sunlight in order to grow properly. As such, when you are growing your herbs in your windowsill garden ensure that the location you select has southern exposure. There should also be very little to no overhang from the eaves of your home. However, if you live in an area with minimum sun exposure, then cilantro, tarragon, chives, and parsley are great options; as they will grow with only three hours of sunlight per day.
If you would like to learn more about the best window options for your windowsill herb garden then please visit our website or give us a call at 587-408-3181 for a consultation. NorthTech Windows and Doors specializes in the sale and installation of signature windows and doors that are energy efficient, highly functional, and aesthetically appealing.