Gardening 101: Windowsill Herb Gardens

The summer outdoor growing season may be winding down, but your gardening adventure doesn’t have to end. Growing herb gardens on your windowsill is a way to keep your garden thumb green and add a touch of color and flavor to your plate. Herbs do well in Wyoming because they grow well in cool climates, can survive cold winters, and like lots of sunshine. There are five keys to success when it comes to growing an herb garden – light, temperature, water, fertilizer, and insect and disease control.

  1. Light
  • Most herbs need a lot of light, so choose a south, west, or east window for your windowsill garden. Herbs do best with about 8 hours of sunlight a day.
  • Too much light can cause plants to wilt. If this happens, plants may show browning on the edges of the leaves. Move plants a few inches away from the window or place a thin curtain between the window and the plant.
  1. Temperature
  • Most herbs adapt to temperatures in homes.
  • Avoid placing herbs near doors with extreme temperatures, places where the wind comes in, or areas where they could be damaged from people and pets coming in and out.
  1. Water
  • Plant herbs in well-drained soil, such as a growing mixture from a garden story.
  • Herbs prefer consistent moisture. Be careful not to overwater or make the soil soggy. This will lead to root rot.
  • Water plants as soon as the soil becomes dry.
  1. Fertilizer
  • Fertilizer helps supply plants with additional nutrients.
  • There are different types of fertilizers that can be purchased and used. Be sure to follow the directions carefully.
  1. Insect & Disease Control
  • The most common plant pests are aphids, whiteflies, mealy bugs, and spider mites.
  • If pests appear, rinse off leaves in the sink to help remove them.
  • Big infestations may mean the plant needs to be thrown away.

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Herbs for your windowsill garden:

Perennials (return year after year)

  • Chives
  • Lavender
  • Mint
  • Thyme

Annuals (replant every year)

  • Basil
  • Cilantro/coriander
  • Dill
  • Oregano
  • Rosemary

For more on growing herbs in containers, visit our Container Gardening article.

Happy gardening!

Information summarized from UW Extension publications by Katie Shockley, Writer/Editor, University of Wyoming Extension Communications & Technology.

The summer outdoor growing season may be winding down, but your gardening adventure doesn’t have to end. Growing herb gardens on your windowsill is a way to keep your garden thumb green and add a touch of color and flavor to your plate. Herbs do well in Wyoming because they grow well in cool climates, can survive cold winters, and like lots of sunshine. There are five keys to success when it comes to growing an herb garden – light, temperature, water, fertilizer, and insect and disease control.

  1. Light
  • Most herbs need a lot of light, so choose a south, west, or east window for your windowsill garden. Herbs do best with about 8 hours of sunlight a day.
  • Too much light can cause plants to wilt. If this happens, plants may show browning on the edges of the leaves. Move plants a few inches away from the window or place a thin curtain between the window and the plant.
  1. Temperature
  • Most herbs adapt to temperatures in homes.
  • Avoid placing herbs near doors with extreme temperatures, places where the wind comes in, or areas where they could be damaged from people and pets coming in and out.
  1. Water
  • Plant herbs in well-drained soil, such as a growing mixture from a garden story.
  • Herbs prefer consistent moisture. Be careful not to overwater or make the soil soggy. This will lead to root rot.
  • Water plants as soon as the soil becomes dry.
  1. Fertilizer
  • Fertilizer helps supply plants with additional nutrients.
  • There are different types of fertilizers that can be purchased and used. Be sure to follow the directions carefully.
  1. Insect & Disease Control
  • The most common plant pests are aphids, whiteflies, mealy bugs, and spider mites.
  • If pests appear, rinse off leaves in the sink to help remove them.
  • Big infestations may mean the plant needs to be thrown away.

Herbs for your windowsill garden:

Perennials (return year after year)

  • Chives
  • Lavender
  • Mint
  • Thyme

Annuals (replant every year)

  • Basil
  • Cilantro/coriander
  • Dill
  • Oregano
  • Rosemary

For more on growing herbs in containers, visit our Container Gardening article.

Happy gardening!

Information summarized from UW Extension publications by Katie Shockley, Writer/Editor, University of Wyoming Extension Communications & Technology.

Additional Resources

Learn more about growing herbs with these resources from the University of Wyoming Extension:

Next up: Summer Squash + a Recipe [Coming August 21]

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This material was funded by USDA’s Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program – SNAP. This institution is an equal opportunity provider. This material was funded by USDA’s Expanded Food and Nutrition Education Program-EFNEP. USDA is an equal opportunity provider and employer.

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