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Herbs for a Window Sill Garden

Herbs for a Window Sill Garden

Kitchen Herbs are super easy to grow if you have some light and will save you a fortune

At home or at work, potting some herbs and having live plants can add a new dimension to your food and immediately enhance your reputation as both a gardener and gourmet chef. Many culinary herbs make wonderful potted plants and all you need is a balcony or in a sunny window. Or you can plant them outside on a patio or along the sides of a walkway, any place you have some empty space needing a wee bit of decoration.

If you are an amateur, you can easily buy small plants at your local market and simply pot them into your favourite pot. Just make sure your pot has drainage! Those beautiful pictures of herbs in jars and tins will have your plant waterlogged and dead within a week or two.  Water your herbs, ensuring about 25 percent of the water seeps through. Water again once you see they are dry at the top.

Herbs that require around 6 hours sun per day

Rosemary is a hardy herb, very tolerant of high temperatures, intense sunlight and serious neglect. Rosemary is an excellent pest deterrent so it is a must have in your garden or among your pots.  There is an upright rosemary which also makes a very attractive hedge and low growing, prostrate rosemary. 

Thyme is also tolerant of hot, dry locations, is very easy to grow and used extensively in cooking, particularly Italian flavoured cooking.

Basilis a must have herb for your small potted garden as it is wonderfully aromatic and versatile. It is easy to grow - requiring a little sun each day and good water.

Oregano or marjoramare very similar herbs two similar herbs and make excellent ground cover or just to spill out over the sides of your pots. Oregano is a favourite Italian herb and along with basil, often found on pizza. You can easily grow your own in a pot and add a fresh flavour to your slices any time of year.

Other sun loving plants

Anise, Borage, Calendula, Caraway, Catnip, Coriander, Dill, Fennel, Lavender, Sage, Tarragon and Yarrow.

Herbs that will be fine with some shade

Mint - Spearmint, Peppermint, Vietnamese and Common Mint. Mints are beautiful, smell divine and are easy to grow as long as you keep them watered. They do tend to be aggressive however, squeezing out other plants. They are best planted by themselves and kept contained.

Chives - Garlic and onion are very common, very pretty and very hardy. Society garlic seems to grow and flower best while being completely ignored. Chives can be added to salads, sandwiches, soups - anything where onion or garlic works, but you might like a slightly more delicate taste.  If you plant them in a pot, be sure to thin out the bulbs periodically to allow them room to grow. 

Chili peppers are very tough and breeds like  Apache and Prairie Fire grow on plants no more than 20-30 cm tall so they are perfect as potted plants for the kitchen window or for the top of the wall surrounding your garden. The fruits are small as well, but sometimes the smallest chilies can be the most potent. 

Other semi shade plants

Aloe, Chamomile, Chervil, Garlic, Lemon Balm, Nasturtium and Parsley. 

See also: Grow a Herb Garden with Saved Kitchen Water.

Image: Oliver Hoffmann/Shutterstock

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