Kitchen Herbs for the Windowsill

A sunny windowsill in the kitchen is a great place to put a windowsill herb garden kit and grow a variety of herbs that can be used in the food created there. These can be started with seeds or young plants, but it will take longer to get usable herbs if starting with seeds. Once they are grown enough, trimming what is needed for dishes will be unlikely to exhaust the plant but will help it to continue growing indefinitely.

Starting with Seeds

Potting soil that fills the pot to just about an inch below the edge is the perfect starting point. Put a few seeds in gently, water thoroughly, and cover with a piece of plastic wrap. This helps to keep the moisture in until the seeds begin to grow. When the seedlings pop up, take off the plastic. Then the plants can be thinned or transplanted into more pots, depending on how many herb plants of that type are desired. Keep the plants in a sunny window to help them grow or have a shelf with growing lights if a window is not available.

Starting with Young Plants

It is obviously going to be easier to begin with young plants that have already begun to grow. These often come in small pots that are already ready to set into a windowsill or on a convenient shelf. They usually just need to be watered a bit to thrive.

Window Lighting

The cardinal direction a window faces will determine how much sunlight is likely to be available to plants. A south-facing window will have the most daylight – up to eight hours. In a west-facing window, herbs will have stronger sunlight in the afternoon, but it will not last as many hours; it can also burn some plants because of its strength. An east-facing window will get sunlight only in the morning, and it is weaker light. If the chosen window does not provide enough sunlight for the chosen herbs, a grow light with a daylight bulb can substitute for the sun quite nicely.

Choosing Herbs

Most cooks have certain herbs they use pretty much every day. These are a good place to start. The most common herbs to plant in a windowsill garden are basil, chives, mint, oregano, parsley, rosemary, sage, and thyme, but there are many others that can be grown in the kitchen.

Some herbs grow nicely together; if they need the same amount of sun and water, they can usually be combined in a properly sized pot to limit how many pots sit on the windowsill. For example, basil, parsley, and thyme can be combined in a pot, as can rosemary, tarragon, and chives. A windowsill herb planter set may suggest ways to combine herbs in the planters.

Things to Consider

Make sure the pots or planters have enough space for the plants to build a root system and thrive. A pot that is too small will result in a plant that is weak and spindly.

Some herbs do not play well with others. Mint, for example, will take over whatever container it is put into, so it is not good to try to plant other herbs in with it, as it will choke them out. Coriander is another that tends to do this. These and plants like them should be put into their own pots rather than planted with other plants.

Add a bit of fertilizer or compost to the soil monthly.

Do not overwater; plants do not like staying soggy. Water just when the soil is dry, and just until it is wet.

When considering which herbs to grow, remember that windowsill gardens will likely need smaller plants. Some herbs may grow to amazing heights and these may not be the best option for the kitchen windowsill.

If the window does not get enough sun, the plants could lack flavor. This is not a good thing for an herb! If a window that gets enough sun is not available, use a grow light to provide the extra needed illumination.

The more you use your herbs, the better they will grow, as long as the plant is never trimmed more than 1/3. Cutting off more than one-third of the plant’s leaves can cause it to be stressed and not grow well.

Some plants will go to seed in a few months; to continue having these herbs, it will be necessary to plant new plants. Examples of these are basil and dill.

Resources

1. Windowsill Herb Planter Boxes

These plastic self-watering planters are perfect for growing herbs in the kitchen. Fill with potting soil and add whichever herb seeds or plants are desired.

2. Window Garden Kit – 10 Culinary Herbs

This growing kit contains 44 pieces, including herb cups, drip trays, and seeds for the following herbs: arugula, basil, chervil, chives, cilantro, dill, fennel, garlic chives, oregano, and parsley.

3. Self-Watering Planter Window Box

This rectangular planter is excellent for placing in a windowsill. It comes with soil disks that expand to fill it, but the soil does not contain nutrients, so a bit of fertilizer is a good idea if using its disks instead of potting soil. A water level indicator aids in knowing when to add more water.

4. Self-Watering Rectangular Herb Garden Planter

A large reservoir means it is not necessary to water as often when planting herbs in this windowsill planter. Its plain color should fit with pretty much any décor.

5. Herb Garden Kit

This kit is handmade in the USA. The planters are made with cedar and are put together by hand. Five herbs are included: basil, cilantro, dill, oregano, and parsley. The kit includes soil and instructions for planting, as well as plant markers made of slate and a piece of chalk to write on them.

6. 9 Herb Window Garden Kit

This kit contains 34 pieces to set up a beautiful and functional herb garden on the kitchen windowsill. 9 reusable pots can be filled with the compact soil disks that expand when water is added and already contain fertilizer. The included seeds can then be planted in the pots and marked with the bamboo markers. The included herbs are basil, chives, cilantro, dill, mustard, oregano, parsley, sage, and thyme.

7. Windowsill Herb Garden Kit

This handy little herb garden includes non-GMO heirloom seeds and herb pots in which to plant them. Compressed soil disks provide the soil for the pots, and the seeds include basil, chives, cilantro, dill, lavender, oregano, parsley, rosemary, sage, and thyme.