Creating a Windowsill Herb Garden: A Beginner’s Guide

Wouldn’t it be nice to garnish homecooked pizza or pasta with homegrown herbs? If that appeals – either to your inner culinary god or goddess or your internal gardening guru – you’ll want to learn all about creating a herb garden at home.

Thanks to this week’s blog post, you can get started easily and cheaply. Read on…

Which herbs should I grow?

There are lots of herbs which are absolutely ideal for beginner gardeners to grow – and David Domoney offers eight you can try nurturing from home.

A British horticulturist and TV presenter, David is a Fellow of the Chartered Institute of Horticulture; a decorated garden designer and the mastermind behind a host of UK gardening contests.

Amongst the eight ideal starter herbs to grow, David suggests sage, oregano and mint. The latter, he says, can be grown from seed. However, it is often different from the parent plant, he adds.

“I’d advise buying young plants from the garden centre instead,” says David, “Bear in mind that mint spreads easily, so plant it in pots to contain the roots and stop it taking over. Keep it in full sun or partial shade and pinch out any flower buds to encourage more leaf growth.”

Once you’ve grown a good batch of mint, you can use it in anything from mint tea to water – a leaf or two of mint and some strawberries, added to a jug of iced water, make a refreshing drink all summer long. You could also use it to garnish your lamb – or your favourite pasta dish, like this one.

What should I bear in mind when growing herbs at home?

There’s a site that’s absolutely bursting with advice about growing a herb garden at home – and that’s How to Culinary Herb Garden.

This article offers 10 tips on nurturing a herb garden from home, with the top tips being:

  • Provide strong light for your indoor herb garden
  • Maintain a temperature of between 15 and 21 degrees celsius
  • Water infrequently and slowly
  • Select the best herb pots for your indoor herbs
  • Grow each herb in a separate pot.

Should I use a fertiliser to feed my herbs?

As well as watering your herbs, you may want to consider using a fertiliser to help them along. The Planet Natural site has some suggestions, but it’s always worth asking fellow gardeners to tell you what worked best for their herb garden.

When should you start growing a herb garden?

So, you’ve bought your plant pots and soil and identified a good spot to grow your herbs from scratch. But when’s the best time to start?

The RHS website says you can grow ‘herbs such as basil, chives and parsley under glass with or without heat from January to early April. Additionally, as soil conditions allow, you can sow seed of chervil, coriander and dill, directly into the soil outdoors from March onwards.’

What you’re looking for is plenty of natural light which is, of course, easier to achieve in the warmer months, especially here in the UK.

Will you be giving a homegrown herb garden a go? If so, you may be able to enjoy a delicious garnish for your pasta in no time at all.

Until next time…