Do you like fresh herbs, but hate how much they cost at the grocery store? Here is a great idea- take these matters into your own hands with a thrifty herb window gardening! The thing about this window garden idea is you alway have herbs on hand for gourmet additions to your meals. I got the idea to begin window gardening from my mom’s kind of fresh cooking!
Mom is not strictly vegetarian, but she is a very healthy and largely vegan cook. She uses tons of ginger, garlic and fresh produce as a rule. She also drinks healthy teas with ginger and turmeric, daily for health regimen. These can tend to be well worth it, but pricey. So I have thought of a way to make her a SUSTAINABLE supply of ginger, garlic and herbs. I researched these items and found that they are quite friendly to indoor gardening. So, this is how the idea was born; based in sustainability and health. The potential financial savings are worth such an effort, if one calculates the costs of gourmet herbs in the supermarket verses growing through window gardening.
Thrifty Herb Window Gardening: What, Why, and How
What is Window Gardening?
Window gardening is basically indoor container gardening that takes advantage of natural light from your windows to get you through the winter with fresh crops. There are a variety of small plants and herbs which are great for using in cooking which also grow quite easily in small pots in your window sill! Window gardening is good news for the thrifty gourmet cook.
Window Gardening is perfect for almost anyone, but especially if you:
- You want affordable herbs
- You have a window or two that give you 4-6 hours of light
- You have a desire to cook fresh foods that taste wonderlicious
- You have a outdoor garden, but miss having fresh food in the winter
- You have no garden and no time to garden, so a few pots inside is all you could afford to do in terms of growing anything
- You want to make a piece of progress toward food self-sufficiency
- You are a city-dweller with little to no area for outdoor gardening
- You love ginger root in cooking, use it regularly and would enjoy the money savings which growing your own ginger would have to offer
- Indoor plants will improve the quality of the air in your home
- Like to grow space efficient edible plants
Benefits of Herb Window Gardening
Growing your kitchen garden indoors has incredible convenience and practicality to offer, in addition to the savings, the flavors, the beauty and health of your home! You will wonder why you haven’t been doing this forever! It is so sensible and so practical, you are going to love it! Bonus benefits include have plants to filter your indoor air for you and just being plain pretty!
Possible Window Gardening Crops
Here are some of the things that are possible to grow indoors, many of which will produce year round, or close to it:
- Ginger (This is said to be a very good plant to grow indoors, low-light tolerant.)
- Turmeric (Another root, very lovely in tea and cooking, very healthy.)
- Garlic (Can root old garlic.)
Materials You Will Need To Start Window Gardening:
Potting Soil (make sure you get soil mixed for potting, it will include perlite which keeps it from getting algae and funkiness going on in it.) Growing indoors is not a place to use regular topsoil or garden soil, get the soil made especially for this purpose.
Worm Castings – This is optional, you can use what ever soil amendment which you find suitable to your liking. I happen to love worm castings, they are rich, light, nutritious and give the plants a boost from the get.
Mixing Can – Use an aluminum or plastic trash can. Get a great big one if you can, since you can use it to store extra soil which you will find handy for adding to pots or for use when repotting things.
Small shovel or hand held shovel for turning and mixing your soil prior to use in a pot.
Pots, boxes or containers to grow your plants in. Lets face it, this can be as low budget as you want it to be or it can be artsy as you want it to be. You can use a half-cut milk jug or any recycled container which will fit your herb plant. Some examples of re-purposed containers; large plastic pickle jar, water bottles, even coffee cans. Or you can buy some pretty pottery for your herbs, or something in between can be used. What I used was some horizontally long plastic window planters. These are good for me because Ginger is a root plant which likes to grow horizontally.
Plants – Get small herb starts which are often sold in nice grocery stores, health food stores, nurseries, Lowe’s Building Centers, Walmart or Farmer’s Markets.
How To Begin Herb Window Gardening
Gather your supplies. A few days ago, I got my soil, worm castings and several small herb plants. I got Basil, Cilantro, Sage, and Parsley. My garden already had some Rosemary, Thyme and Oregano.
I prepared window garden pots for my new plants. I also prepared pots to bring my outdoor garden plants inside so they won’t die in the winter cold.
I mixed my soil and my worm casting in my mixing can.
I filled the bottom of each pot with a bit of gravel for drainage(optional).
I shoveled each pot almost full of mixed soil.
I made room in the soil for the roots of the plants and then filled in the hole with more soil pressing firmly to expel any air trapped around the roots.
I then gave them window garden a good watering to help the roots take hold. This way I “saved” my outdoor patio plants from going to waste, and added some new ones, creating in one afternoon, a nice little indoor gourmet herb window garden for enjoying in all seasons.
What do you think about window gardening? I hope this article did a lot to tell you what window gardening is and to inspire you about the benefits and possibilities of window gardening as well as how to get started. Do you think you will give herb window gardening a try? What is your favorite benefit?
‘Build houses and live in them; and plant gardens and eat their produce.’ Jeremiah 29:5