Spring has arrived in Central Texas, and with warmer weather comes a flurry of preparations for spring planting. However, not everyone has a garden bed or yard to plant in. Don’t worry; it’s possible to have a spring garden indoors. Grow your own indoor herbs to add flavor to your meals and a fresh aroma to your home or office. Herbs also make for beautiful windowsill decorations!
There’s no need to buy special indoor growing lights because herbs will grow just fine in a bright window with plenty of sunshine. Place herbs in a sunny spot near a window that faces south or southwest to get at least 6 hours of sun a day. Use a well-draining potting soil and add compost. Be sure to use a saucer or drain pan under the pot to catch water and protect your surface. Here are 5 of our favorite herbs for windowsill growing, plus tips for how to keep the herbs happy and healthy:
Basil: Start from seed and bury seeds approximately ¼ to ½ inch beneath the surface plant in a pot with well-drained soil. Cover the seeds with a fine layer of compost or soil, but do not pack the soil down. Place near a south-facing window for lots of sun and warmth. It prefers indoor temperatures in the 70’s F. Fertilize the soil about once a month.
Rosemary: Use a plant cutting. Snip several 2 ½ inch recently grown stems from a rosemary plant. Remove the bottom set of leaves from your cuttings and dip the bottom of each cutting in water to moisten. Although rosemary thrives in dry soil, do not let the soil dry out completely, so water thoroughly and deeply, without letting the soil become too soggy.
Oregano: Use a plant cutting from an outdoor oregano plant, taking note to bury only the root ball and not the main stems, as they may rot. Keep pot in front of a south-facing window. Water regularly but not excessively, and let the soil slightly dry between watering. Trim regularly to keep the plant compact and producing leaves. Add a natural fertilizer or compost.
Parsley: Start from seed and plant in a container no less than six inches deep. Use a well-draining potting soil and bury the seeds approximately ¼ to ½ inch beneath the surface, cover with a light layer of compost or soil, and water deeply. Keep the soil moist as the seeds germinate and establish a regular watering schedule. Parsley likes full sun, so be sure the pot sits in front of a south-facing window.
Thyme: Use a plant cutting from a mature plant (although it can also be readily grown from seed). Plant the root ball or seed in a pot, and place near a south-facing window with plenty of sun. Water regularly, but similar to the oregano, let the soil slightly dry between watering. Add fertilizer or compost. Thyme is a hardy plant and can thrive in temperatures from the 50’s up to the 80’s F.