A Herbal window box is a great alternative to pot gardening. This attractive container can either be planted indoors or out. The range of colors available nicely complement your green colored herb collection. Not suited for all food contact though. If you intend to move the herb plants around and have very young children then this is not a good idea.
What’s so great about herb window boxes? Firstly they are extremely easy to take care of. They don’t require soil, sunlight or any fertilizer; it is simply a matter of watering them from time to time. As most of the herbs do not like wet feet, they won’t thrive in containers that get heavy moisture.
A good herb window box mix will have some basic herbs such as dill, mint, parsley, marjoram and basil. There are others such as sage, thyme and oregano. Some perennial herbs such as Rosemary, chives, chervil and lavender. And of course there are many exotic herbs that are worth adding to your pot mixture.
In addition to being easy to take care of herb window boxes are also very good when it comes to providing culinary herbs for the kitchen. These are especially popular for cooking with fresh herbs rather than dried herb varieties. A popular edible herb for the kitchen is thyme. It has a delightful nutty flavor and goes great with fish, meats and lots of cheese. Thyme is excellent as a seasoning for stews, soups and chili.
John Innes is another great cookbook author and his book, Cookery House, which was originally published in 1820 is highly recommended. It contains hundreds of recipes that demonstrate the various uses of herbs. One recipe called “A Vegetable Peel” demonstrates how to finely chop vegetables, add butter and then slowly peel off all the skin and seeds of the vegetables. It is one of the best instructions for growing young seedlings in jars. The best container for growing young seedlings is a John Innes container.
Many people are familiar with basil and therefore there is a nice herb window box for them. Most people are familiar with the flavor of thyme. It goes good with meat and cheese and is an added flavor to many dishes. In fact, thyme is often added at the end of cooking because it has a strong aroma. Many people like to put thyme on top of cooked pasta or used in sauces and soups.
An important herb container for growing herbs is the pot in which you plant them. You can choose between hanging baskets, window boxes and pots. All have their advantages and disadvantages. Hanging baskets and window boxes both provide attractive containers for your herbs but hanging baskets require pruning so they can be moved from one window box to another and window boxes have only leaves so you will need to remove them for feeding your plants.
Hanging baskets and windowsills are not just suitable for planting fresh herbs but for drying your herbs as well. Drying your herbs is easy once you learn the technique. Just leave your herbs outdoors during the day and when it gets dark bring them inside to dry. After that you can store them in your kitchen or in your yard where they will remain dry and also protected from harsh weather conditions.
Pots are more convenient but require more maintenance. These are best suited for small scale gardening such as for beginners. If you are thinking of expanding your herb garden using this method, you should purchase pots that have drainage holes at the bottom. This way your plants can easily drain water and the soil.
If you are just starting out on your herb gardening project, then your best option would be to go with herbs that do not need much attention. Some examples of such herbs are basil and mint. You can plant herbs right in your kitchen by installing a window box or a pot. If you are just going to start with culinary herbs then you should go with ones that do not need much care. Basil and parsley are two herbs you can consider.
Before you plant anything, be sure to check the herb garden soil. Make sure you use potting mix that is for your size of herb plants. Most professional gardeners will tell you that the best potting mix to get started is one that has some sand or perlite mixed into it. Sand or permit allows the soil to drain better, therefore less water is lost.