Window Box Herb Gardening (Google / Chef Paz)

Read at : Google Alert – gardning

http://www.thecookingadventuresofchefpaz.com/2008/09/15/window-box-herb-gardening/

Window Box Herb Gardening

While Paz has been recovering from surgery, she’s been dreaming about a garden in her window.  In the city, it’s a challenge to maintain any type of garden. The wind, heat, car exhaust, and even the noise test the resilience of the most hardy plants – and often test the patience of the gardener, too. But if your apartment has a sunny window sill, you can grow some of the same herbs I plant in my garden, indoors in pots, or outside in a window box.

There are a few secrets to successful window sill gardening. Most important, choose herbs that don’t grow too wide or tall. Don’t overwater if your herbs are growing indoors; on the other hand, herbs growing in a box outside your window need frequent water, to compensate for evaporation from the wind. Most herbs benefit from frequent snipping, but never cut more than one-third of the foliage at a time.

Chives, basil, parsley, rosemary and thyme are good choices. They’re easy to grow, and a small amount added to a recipe will have a big flavor impact. Paz can grow her favorite cilantro, too. Don’t forget about mint; invasive by nature, mint can only invade as far as the confines of your window box or flower pot, and no farther. You can try interesting varieties, like chocolate or pineapple mint. Nasturtiums, which you can start from seed, add color to your window garden, and to your salads.

In my herb garden, flat-leaf parsley is definitely the star of the show this year. I started with nine plants, purchased from our local organic gardening center, and set in the ground in late May. After a slow first month, the parsley really took off. Now I’m harvesting every day, trying to keep up with the late-season growth spurt.

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Published by

Willem Van Cotthem

Honorary Professor of Botany, University of Ghent (Belgium). Scientific Consultant for Desertification and Sustainable Development.