Herbs to Grow on a Sunny Kitchen Windowsill
For those who live in a flat, apartment or upper-level townhouse, there are many ways to grow your own selection of kitchen herbs if you have a sunny window.
When you live in a flat, apartment or upper-level townhouse, you don't have the luxury of being able to plant up a kitchen herb garden that lets you pick fresh herbs as and when you need them. But you can set up a kitchen herb garden quite easily if you have a sunny window and there are plenty of herbs that will flourish in this setting as long as it is not full sun all day and they are regularly watered.
Setting up a kitchen herb garden on a sunny windowsill - or on a hanging shelf system that is placed in front of the window - offers everyone an opportunity to grow their favourite herbs used for cooking and there is nothing nicer than picking your own grown herbs and watching them replenish and grow.
What Herbs Can You Grow?
Any herb that appreciates a bit of full sun throughout the day will enjoy a spot on your kitchen windowsill. Pop into your garden centre and select those herbs that are your favourites, asking for advice on what these herbs like and how you should care for them. To assist with your selection, we have included some of the most common herbs that everyone uses for cooking or in their home, so that you can pick the ones you like for your kitchen windowsill.
Rosemary - This beautifully scented plant loves a sunny spot and will thrive on a kitchen windowsill. A wonderful accompaniment with lamb and other Eastern foods, there are so many ways to incorporate freshly picked rosemary into cooked meals. Plant in rich potting soil and constantly nip off the top of stems to prevent straggly growth. When it gets too big for the pot, find a place to transplant in the garden or a larger pot on a balcony.
Basil - There are quite a few varieties of basil, but they all love a sunny spot and will grow well on a kitchen windowsill. This is a versatile herb that loves tomatoes and Italian food, so be sure to add this plant if you love this style of cooking. Easy to grow, simply pick off a leaf or two and add this fresh herb to your salads and cooked meals.
Thyme - Another herb that is wonderful for all types of cooking is thyme. Add to your kitchen windowsill and pick off fresh stems when you need them. In fact, this herb will grow bushier if you constantly remove the straggly stems, so feel free to add to all your stews, soups, and savoury dishes. You can also add the freshness of thyme to potato dishes and your bread mixes for a subtle Mediterranean flavour.
Chives - Use snippets of stems to flavour salads and soups, or add them to gravy and sauces. Chives add a burst of fresh flavour and you can cut them fresh and sprinkle over the favourite foods before serving. Chives have a subtle onion flavour that goes well when sprinkled on an omelette, fish dishes and over the top of baked or mashed potatoes.
Parsley - Best when fresh, parsley is another versatile kitchen herb that can be used in a variety of meals, in salads, or as a dressing. Parsley also loves Italian foods, so sprinkle liberally over tomatoes, in salads and when cooking with garlic. Parsley also provides antioxidant properties and helps your body fight against chronic diseases, so use liberally where you can.
How to Plant your Kitchen Herbs
- Pretty Pots
When purchasing your herbs they will be displayed in cheap plastic pots that won't really look nice on your kitchen windowsill. Shop for pretty pots in colours that will look good in your kitchen and allow the plant roots to flourish.
Do buy pots that have drainage in the base and pop them onto a tray that will prevent water from damaging your windowsill. You can also recycle glass jars and food cans to grow your kitchen herbs but do make sure the containers are large enough and only water when necessary.
- Soil Type
Use a quality potting soil for your kitchen herbs and have some organic fertilizer on hand to give the plants a boost every 2 to 3 months.
Most herbs need at least 6 hours of sunlight per day to flourish, so choose a windowsill that receives morning or afternoon sunshine.
During the summer months, your kitchen herbs will require more watering than during the cooler months. Check the soil with your finger and only water when needed.
These herbs require regular pruning, so feel free to pick fresh herbs as often as you need them. If you don't use them a lot, prune them to keep them compact and bushy. Any cutting or prunings you have can be dried for later use.
Most herbs love a sunny spot but always check on the tag or label before buying herbs for your kitchen windowsill. Even a small selection of herbs on your windowsill will add a freshness to the kitchen, plus most herbs are aromatic and will scent the air. Herbs are wonderful for planting in containers and will provide you with an ongoing supply of fresh herbs for all your culinary needs.
There are plenty more herb types that you can grow in small pots on a sunny windowsill, so ask at your local garden centre what they can recommend and keep in mind that it is far cheaper to start your herb collection with seeds rather than seedlings.