Herbs: Grow Your Own, Man
September is a great time of year to start a windowsill herb garden. Not only are these plants attractive and aromatic, you'll be able to add fresh-picked flavor to your meals all winter long. After the jump, eight great herbs for windowsill gardening plus tips on keeping them happy.
Miniature Basil, Globe Basil
What Basil loves: Lots of sun, warmth, and weekly updates of ABC's All My Children. Insider tip: Start basil from seeds in four-inch containers. Transfer seedlings to pots placed in a South-facing window (direct sun).
What Bay loves: Plenty of air circulation and adequate space in pot to remain healthy. Bay needs to decompress for at least 30 minutes after arriving home from work before hearing about your day. If Bay is watching the game, forget about it. Insider tip: Place the pot in an east or west-facing window (indirect sun).
What Chives love: Bright sunny windows and Broadway show tunes (particularly Rodger's and Hammerstein) Insider tip: Breath mints. Lots of breath mints.
What Oregano loves: The Godfather I and II. We're not even going to talk about III. South-facing windows. Insider tip: Start with a tip cutting from a mature plant.
Regular Curly Leaf Parsley
What Parsley loves: Parsley likes full sun so place in a south-facing window for best results. Insider tip: Your lucky numbers are 10, 18, 27, 41, 45, 50.
Logee Blue Rosemary
What Rosemary loves: It grows best in a south-facing window. Insider tip: Start with a cutting of rosemary and keep in water until it roots then transfer to pot and soil.
What Sage loves: Sage needs a lot of sun and occasional reassurance that its ass does not look big in that pot. Insider tip: The best indoor sage plants come from outdoor sage tip cuttings
English Thyme, Lemon Thyme
What Thyme loves: Grows best in full sun, but thyme will do fine in an East or West-facing window too. Insider tip: You can start growing thyme indoors either by rooting a soft tip cutting from an outdoor plant or, if the outdoor plant is in a pot, you can just bring the pot inside. "Outdoor Thyme" becomes "Indoor Thyme" instantly. We know. Amazing, right?
Watering and Pottery
Herbs like to be watered but don't do well with "wet feet." For this reason, clay pots are preferable to plastic for their drainage advantages. To improve drainage even further, add sand or vermiculite to soil. Only water when the top of the container feels dry.
SuccessfulHerbGardeningSecrets.com recommends combining two parts commercial potting soil with one part perlite, or three parts soil with one part sand.
Rooting a Cutting
Cut off a 4-inch section, measured back from the tip. Strip off the lower leaves and stick the stem into moist, soilless mix, such as perlite or vermiculite. Cover with glass or clear plastic to keep the growing moist. Transfer to pot with soil once cutting has sprouted roots.
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