Young and coffee in varying degrees, Kat also says stuff @ThoroughlyMode
Published November 26th 2010
Even if you live in the tiniest of apartments you can still have a garden – it just needs to be a correspondingly tiny garden: a window box sized garden.
You don't even have to have a large windowsill, as long as you select the right sort of box your little garden will be just as happy sprouting on the counter, or anywhere else where there's plenty of sunlight.
Flowers look and smell nice, but so do herbs, and they have the added advantage of improving the flavour of your cooking, so this window box gardener recommends them over their more colourful floral cousins.
Before you select your crop, or plants, there are a few other things you need:
A window box or plant pot that fits your space: One with holes on the bottom that sits on a tray is best because you don't need to water it as frequently. If you find the perfect pot and it doesn't have holes then you need to line the bottom of it with pebbles to keep the excess water away from your plant's roots.
Dirt: Choose speciality vegetable potting mix or mix your regular potting compost mix with a courser mix for healthiest results.
Water, and a place to make some mess or else a garbage bag to make a mess on.
When it's time to select your plants it's a good idea to choose herbs that you're most likely to use. Mint is good if you cook lamb or else drink a lot of Pimms or mint tea, chocolate mint, or apple mint are event better if you bake. If you love cooking Italian food then it's gotta be basil, oregano and rosemary – which will also make your kitchen smell delicious. If you like a stir-fry then growing your own lemongrass and Vietnamese coriander will save you quite a bit of money, and if you cook a lot of fish then dill, chives and parsley will be most useful.
Basil, chives, dill and oregano can be grown from seeds, which is cheaper, but the rewards are less instantaneous. Seeding time for most herbs is between March and April. When you go down to the garden centre to make your selection look for the dwarf varieties of each herb – these ones have been specially grown to thrive in pots or window boxes.
Raising plants can be a stressful business. If your herbs start too look droopy then it's most likely they're not getting the right balance of water and sunshine. Only water them when the soil is dry, and remember that one of the advantages of having a window box garden is that you can always move it around and try out different positions to see if you plants do better with in a different spot. West facing windows are usually perfect if you have one. If you're really nervous about keeping your garden alive then in this window box gardener's experience mint and thyme are the easiest to please.
When you're potting your herbs fill the bottoms of the pot they're going into with your compost mix, then slide the herbs, and the soil surrounding them, out of their old pots and gently loosen the roots round the edges if they look tangled, then put them into the new pots and fill the gaps and an inch above the herb's original soil with more compost.
This is the best thing to do instead of going out and buying herbs, you can have them at your window or at your backyard if you do not have a window sill. My grandmother has these back in my country and it always smells so nice and fresh when you open the window. They are very good for food and when you pick them straight from otuside, it gives you the feeling of being back home in your country and you get nostalgic, but happy you can experience some of the same things here.
By Lil Uni Girl - senior reviewer Saturday, 1st of January @ 06:12 am
I'm sure you'll be able to taste the difference. Just make sure you plant the herbs that you use most... My parsley is over-running the tomato plant next to it...