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Window Box Herbs, a herb garden on your windowsill.


 
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James Kilkelly, was GPI.
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PostPosted: Wed Jun 11, 2008 11:56 am    Post subject: Window Box Herbs, a herb garden on your windowsill. Reply with quote

Window Box Herbs, a herb garden on your windowsill.
by GPI

With the vast quantity of wonderful plants available these days, many gardeners quickly run out planting space to accommodate all that takes their fancy. A garden full of trees and shrubs all competing for the scant available sunlight is a tough situation for the late-comers to the party, especially if those late-comers are your herbs. Most herbs need lots of sunlight, so where can you put them if space is limited?

How about on your windowsills within suitably secured decorative window boxes. When you think about it, it makes perfect sense on many levels, firstly, your herbs will be elevated to take advantage of the sunlight which streams in through your windows.

Position the window box to allow you open the window, then all you have to do is lean out to snip off fresh herb growth whenever you require it. And finally in winter when herbs tend to look a bit shabby, you can slide the container off your windowsill and move it to a frost-free area, something you cannot do with traditional patio herb patch.

. A window box herb garden before decorative gravel application., photo / picture / image.

What you need.
So, to grow herbs on your windowsill, here is what you will require....

(1) A window box, be it wooden, terracotta, or plastic, as long as it has drainage holes in its base.

(2) John Innes No. 3 compost, available bagged in most garden centres, this soil-based compost contains grit for drainage, and balanced nutrients to feed your herbs over an extended period.

(3) Rough drainage material such as gravel, broken terracotta or broken-up polystyrene.

(4) Some bubble wrap, reuse some from packaging you've received.

(5) A small bag of decorative gravel, shingle or slate.

(6) Most importantly, a selection of herbs, well watered before planting. Try to avoid tall quick growing herbs such as mint, unless you want the light through your window to be cut out. A selection of the most suitable herbs for your window box include basil, parsley, tarragon, oregano, chives, coriander, thyme, and trailing rosemary. More About these herbs can be found out by reading through topics in this section.... Herbs in Ireland.

How to put it together.
(1) Line the insides of your window box with bubble wrap to protect the herb roots from frost in winter, and to reduce your need to water in summer.

(2) Add a layer of the rough drainage material such as gravel, broken terracotta or broken-up polystyrene to the bottom of the window box. Opting for using broken-up polystyrene means the container will be lighter when you come to move it.

(3) Half-fill the box with the John Innes No. 3 compost, then start to arrange the herbs. You can place the plants in the window box while still in their pots to get an idea of what they will look like when planted. Alter their position until you are happy with them.

A sample plan to follow is to put trailing herbs such as thyme and trailing rosemary around the edges of the container, backed up by the more upright specimens such as basil, parsley, tarragon, oregano, chives, and coriander. Take care not put in too many herbs as they spread and grow quickly. Be led by the size of your window box, seeking advice from garden centre staff if needed.

(4) Happy with the plants position, remove the pots and hold the herbs in place as you fill in and firm around them with John Innes No. 3. Take your time and leave a 2-3cm (1 inch) gap from the top of the herbs compost to lip of the window box, which allows for watering.

(5) Place the box on the window sill and water it well, watering it after you put it up, rather than before is easier on your back as a water filled herb window box is weighty.

(6) Final touches, top the container with decorative gravel, shingle or slate to help retain moisture in hot weather and give the whole ensemble an attractive finish.

So job done, box planted, don't forget to water it regularly and apply a fortnightly liquid feed to promote lush usable growth. Enjoy your herbs and pick frequently to keep them actively growing.

Any queries or comments on Window Box Herbs, a herb garden on your windowsill, please post below.

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summerdays
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PostPosted: Tue Jul 14, 2009 7:20 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I have used garden boxes in the past to grow herbs and it's a really great idea, and if you leave the window open during the summer the wonderful smells from the herbs would float all over the house,I have also tried to grow chilli peppers and strawberry plants with varying degrees of success
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