Windowsill Herb Gardening- A boon to small spaces and small timers

The word herb is defined in more than one ways. Botanists describe an herb as a small, seed bearing plant with fleshy parts, rather than woody parts. Herbs in its wider form include trees, shrubs, annuals, vines, and more primitive plants, such as ferns, mosses, algae, lichens, and fungi. They are not only valued for their flavor, fragrance and curing properties, but also find favour among commercial and industrial uses such as natural pesticides, oils, scents and dyes. Added to that, fresh herbs are a gastronomical delights and renowned for their aromas. This is why you should have a home herb garden even if it is a windowsill herb garden with small plantation.

Herbs grow great in pots and are perfect for patio gardens. They look awesome in window boxes. Use equal parts of compost, sterile soil and sand for soil mix. Add organic fertilizer to this mix and water the plant enough without making it soggy. Sunny environment and hot weather are favoured while the seeds are germinating. Window planters should be exposed to the sun. Use glow-lights indoors if it is clouded when the seeds are germinating.

The truth is that we cannot live without herbs, herbs are a necessary part of our culinary life and medicines. Here is a list of ten top herbs recommended for windowsill gardening:

Summer Savory
This wonder plant spreads 7 to 30 inches wide and grows 4 to 15 inches tall, lined with linear dark green leaves and whorls of lilac purple flowers. Summer savory boasts a warming, peppery scent and is used to season beans, meats and stuffings. Both leaves and flowers are used in cooking.

Sorrel is high in oxalic acid and famous for its tangy, slightly sour taste, nutrition and palate-cleansing. It is one of the most useful of pot herbs and easy to grow in full sun or partly-shaded area. It requires rich soil and grows to a height of 16 to 24 inches with 15 to 18 inches width. The large, arrow shaped leaves can be picked throughout spring.

Plain Leaf Parsley
Flat leaf parsley grows to 10 -12 inches and is specially developed for use in fresh seasoning. The large, bright green leaves can be harvested as needed and continues throughout winter if the winter is mild.

Thai Basil
Thai Basil is as gorgeous and delicate as it is delicious on the dinner plate. The sturdy stems of Basil plant support extra large, 4 inch long and 2 inch wide bright green leaves. A highly ornamental visual effect can be observed with clusters of short terminal racemes of purple flowers borne on the very top of the plant.

Italian Large Leaf Basil
This Genovese-type Basil is favoured in pesto an Italian cuisine. The dark green, shiny leaves grow up to 3 inches long on a 18 to 24 inches high and 12 to 15 inches wide plant.

Lemon Basil
This heirloom cultivar offers a tangy flavour of lemon and loves hot summers. Pluck the pink flowers to encourage more side shoots. It grows to 24 inches height and 24 inches width.

Cilantro Santo
This strong zesty annual herb is unmistakable for its fragrance. Though slow growing, it can be harvested for a long season. The seeds can be used as an alternative to coriander seeds.

The plant best grows in full sun in north and flowers liberally during spring. Depending on the climate, it can grow up to 30 inches tall with bright yellow blooms. Both petals and leaves are edible. It repels insects and is termed as companion plant for vegetables.

Fern Leaf Dill
Fern leaf Dill is a “MUST” if you love the tangy flavour of fresh Dill in fish and vegetable curries. It is just 18 inches high and perfect for kitchen windowsill. Its feathery leaves are so lush and tasty that

This herb has starry purple-blue flowers and is harvested for tea and other summer drinks.

Herbs give a magnificent look to the window sill either arranged in pots or a cascade in a hanging basket. Plenty or modest unobtrusive sun-light available in window sill is good and essential for a healthy and abundant growth. Herbs that bear flowers can also be planted to give a majestic look to the windows. Proximity to kitchen serves you with fresh culinary delights and if planted in a living room window sill fills the room with an aroma and fragrance.

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