Bringing the Green Inside: Windowsill Gardens

With many gardens dormant during winter, it’s a great time to bring the green inside. Windowsill gardens lift the spirits and bring light into our lives even on the darkest days. We like to grow plants like aloe, thyme, oregano and rosemary that can be used to add flavor to a winter meal.

Here are some windowsill herbs we love having handy:

Thyme – for infusing into honey, adding to soup stocks or over roasted potatoes.

Aloe – to use on skin or to make juice.

Oregano – to flavor pasta and pizza sauces.

Rosemary – for adding to marinades, roasted veggies; it can also be used as an uplifting tea blend or stimulating hair oil.

Creating an indoor garden is simple. You can start from seed, or you can buy a small potted version from your local natural foods store or nursery that’s ready to go. We suggest using organic seeds or organic starts above conventional options. If starting from seed, you’ll want to check the back of the seed pack for specific planting instructions. It’s best to plant seeds like oregano and thyme in healthy organic potting soil and cover lightly with dirt. You can start the seeds in biodegradable pots or directly into your windowsill pot. Keep your seedlings consistently moist for the first few weeks of their life. You can simply put your finger in the dirt to see when they need more water. If the soil feels dry, add a little water. If it’s damp, you’re just fine.

After a few weeks the seeds should germinate, which basically means they’ll sprout. Then you’ll want to wait until the seedlings have a handful of leaves before transplanting them into your desired pot with extra potting soil. Note that much of a plant’s development depends on the amount of sunlight it receives, so sunny areas are the best. We like to make sure each of our pots have a saucer underneath to catch any excess water.

When spring is in full bloom, your herbs can be transplanted to an outdoor home garden. You can use the herbs we’ve suggested here, or you can try your hand at growing some of your favorite herbal allies. For more herbal gardening wisdom, we suggest Tammi Hartung’s book, Homegrown Herbs. Happy planting!

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