Gardening is a summer hobby that many enjoy, but most apartment-dwellers don’t realize that they can get in on the fun with! All you need is one or two sunny windows at Stonegate to get started.
What Herbs Should I Grow?
For a windowsill garden, it’s best to stick to herbs that won’t quickly outgrow and get out of control, especially when you’re first starting out! Kitchen staples such as basil, rosemary, thyme, and parsley will get you started. Remember – starting with seeds is less expensive, however, they require more attention and may take months before you are able to reap the benefits.
How to Manage Your Plants:
1) Start with your containers. You have a couple of options here. You can opt to plant multiple plants in a large container that is at least 6-12 inches deep. Or, you can use individual pots that are at least 6 inches for each plant. If you’re starting with seeds, you can use any small container, and transport the plants into larger containers once they are between 2 – 4 inches tall. Finally, you’ll want to ensure that your containers have drainage holes and are sitting on a saucer or similar dish that will hold the drainage water.
2) When transporting your plants to a new container, be sure to use potting mix instead of garden soil, which makes it more difficult for the water to pass through after time. You’ll want to create a 2-3 inch layer of potting mix at the bottom of your container, before gently loosening the roots to flare out your plant, and gently place it into the new container. Finish filling in the container with potting mix, leaving just an inch or so free at the top for water. Water your plant immediately after transporting it to its new container.
3) Take care not to overwater your plants. The best way to test whether or not your plant needs to be watered is to gently poke your finger into the soil. If the soil is dry an inch or two into the container, give it some water. Watering slowly is best; you’ll want to watch the bottom of the container, and stop watering once water starts to leave the container and drain into the saucer below.
4) To encourage growth, you’ll want to snip on occasion. Snipping the tips off of basil, rosemary, and similar plants will encourage the plant to branch more. With your cilantro and parsley – which are bushier – you can remove entire stems from the outer edge of the plant to encourage new growth.
Once you’ve started your herb garden, you’ll be able to use the herbs as soon as you see new growth! Don’t let apartment living stop you this summer; impress your friends with your green thumb and some great meals made with fresh herbs!