Window Herb Garden

by Kathleen
(Wisconsin)

A window herb garden is a wonderful way to watch something grow in any season. And end up having something to eat too. You can grow these as a group or at your own window.

I do group activities with elderly seniors on a campus in the Midwest, so our weather can get bad in the winter. And hot in the summer. Having a group window herb garden was a nice way to have a green thumb activity and bring a little of the outdoors in. You need a sunny window, and one that faces south is ideal. If you don't have a wide windowsill, you can put your containers on a long bench, table, or chest in front of a window. You can also use a kitchen counter by a window.

Various herbs are available from a nursery, or even order them online if you don't have a store nearby. Either small plants or seeds may be available. I think it's fun to watch them grow from scratch.

Our favorites are basil, thyme, sage, oregano, plus mint (which we can make tea from too). Cilantro and dill seem to be those that you either love or hate. Some herbs can get very tall and some spread out, so read packages well. Or ask the staff at the store, if you need help choosing which will best suit your project.

We like to use the long narrow type planters (at least a foot deep), and put several plants in each container. Be sure to read the directions for how close you should plant them from each other. Ask the store about the best soil or potting mix. Put a few inches of soil/mix in, then add your plants, then put some more soil around them. You don't want to press and compact the soil down too much. When planted, water the plants a little, but not too much where you over water them. The soil shouldn't get too soggy.

As with any vegetable or herb garden, if you're going to use fertilizer, get the kind for edibles. Fertilizing definitely helps the plants grow better. It's also healthy to cut and harvest the plants regularly too, which helps them grow out fuller. This is easy to do since you'll be eating a lot of what you cut!

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