Windowsill Gardening

What’s better in the winter than a windowsill project that not only gives you something to do, but makes your food taste better?  Try growing herbs indoors!  And the fragrance in great, too….

How to Start Herbs From Seeds or Cuttings

Many herbs start well from seeds–particularly basil, chives, parsley, dill, and cilantro.  For a few herbs, like rosemary, lavender, mint and oregano, they take longer from seeds so it may be best to start cuttings from ones in your yard late summer.

The first thing you need is sun.  Most of our favorite culinary herbs are sun-lovers.  A south or south-west window is best.  If necessary, supplement with a grow light in the middle of the winter when the days are shortest.  Your herbs are going to want about 14 hours of bright light.  If your seedings start “leaning” toward the window, it’s a signal that they want more light so, if already using a grow light, try leaving it on another hour or two a day.

How to Plant Seedlings or Rooted Cuttings

All of your seedlings or rooted cuttings definitely need to go into pots with drainage holes!  Water when the top of the soil is dry to the touch, just not so dry the plant begins to wilt. And, remember, with all plants grown indoors keep them away from heat registers and drafty doors.

Harvesting Herbs

When harvesting herbs, try to take off no more than 30 per cent at a time so you leave enough foliage to perform photosynthesis to feed the rest of the plant.  If you are growing cilantro, once you cut it, it may not produce more leaves so you might want to plant more than one pot.

Be Patient and Enjoy the Delightful Aromas

Do remember that, in the winter when days are short and sunlight weak, that the growth will not be quite as much as if they were grown in the yard midsummer. but the smell is fresh and delightful and just a pinch or two can really wake up a dish.


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