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Creating a Useful Windowsill Herb Garden

 
 

Nothing beats having fresh herbs year round but unless you have a lot of space or a greenhouse, this dream can be limited.  Instead of fill your windowsill with pots, consider going up your window with an herb garden.  Want to learn more, continue reading this blog.

Building a Vertical Windowsill Herb Garden

Supplies

1 inch conduit twice the width of your window, which will make to vertical supports

2 sets of closet bar mounts

Tape measure

Permanent marker

Level

Pipe cutter

Screwdriver

Small galvanized buckets with handles

Awl

All-purpose potting soil

Trowel

Different types of herbs in seed, cutting and/or potted

Adhesive numbers and craft knife, optional

Steps

  1. Begin the process by first measuring the inside of your chosen window.
  2. Transfer this length to the 1 inch conduit minus 1/8 to ¼ of an inch.This is what is needed for the closet bar mounts.
  3. Mark this spot with a permanent marker.
  4. Using the pipe cutter, cut along this line.At this point, you should have two pieces of 1 inch conduit that are the same length.
  5. Decide where your two bars are going to hang inside the window.A good starting point is at thirds but keep in mind where the locks are on your window.You do not want to have to remove the bar to open the window.Once you have the location of the bars selected, start off with one set of the closet bar mounts.Take the closed-sided bar mount and attach it to the chosen location with the screws provided.
  6. Put one end of the cut conduit into the mounted closet bar mount.Use this bar to eyeball the location for the open-sided mount.Prior to screwing it in, use a level to make sure that the pipe is even.
  7. Once the bar is even, attach the open-sided mount to the other side with the provided screws.
  8. Repeat the process with the other conduit.
  9. Now that the vertical supports are done, the next step in this process is to prepare the galvanized pots.The first step in the process is to create drainage holes in the pots.This is easily done with an awl.To create proper drainage, make five to six holes in different locations in the bottom of the pot.Repeat with the remaining pots.
  10. Next, sterilize the pots by first filling a sink with water and a capful of bleach.Put each galvanized container in the sink, allow to soak for a few minutes and then scrub as needed.
  11. Repeat with all the pots.Rinse in clear water and allow to air dry.
  12. For each pot, place a paper coffee filter in the bottom.This coffee filter will act as drainage material.
  13. Add a good, all-purpose potting soil to each pot.How much you use will depend on what you are planting.If you are planting seeds then you need to fill up each pot that is going to be planted with seeds.For cuttings, you will also need to fill the pots up.On the other hand, if you are planting potted plants then fill the pots up half way.This will leave room for the root ball.Once the potted plant has been planted, continue to fill the pot up but do not fill all the way to the lip of the pot.To prevent water from going over the edge of the pot, make sure not to fill beyond a ½ inch from the top of the galvanized container.
  14. If you are not good at plant identification, you may want to consider adding adhesive numbers to the pots.But before you pull them out and start applying them, take a look at how you are going to arrange them.Once the design is laid out, you can make a chart that identifies your herbs.
  15. To test your garden design out, slide the pots onto the 1 inch conduit.Make sure to leave some space between the pots.This is very important to reduce the chances of developing a plant disease problem due to poor air circulation.
  16. Once you are pleased with the arrangement, you can begin to apply the adhesive numbers if you would like.To make applying these numbers easier, use a craft knife to adjust the numbers on the pots before securing them to the surface.

Now that you have your vertical windowsill herb garden done, sit down and admire your work.  While this garden is easy to take care of, below are a few tips that will make your windowsill herb garden a showpiece. 

Fertilizing

Plants like to be fed during the growing season.  Since most herbs are grown for their vegetation, a good fertilizer formulation to follow is one that is balanced.  An example would be a fertilizer formulation of 10-10-10 or one that is a little higher in nitrogen such as 20-10-10.

When it comes to what type of fertilizer you use is really up to you.  If you are a forgetful gardener then consider using a slow-release fertilizer.  On the other hand, if you are experienced, consider using a water soluble solution that you mix with water.

Encourage Growth

To encourage plant growth of your herbs, you will need to harvest often.  During the spring and summer, herb growth is thick and lush but during the fall and winter this growth will become leggy.  The best approach is to harvest your herbs.  This simple process will encourage the plant to send out side shoots, which will create a bushy plant. 

Another habit to get into when it comes to this type of planter is to rotate the pots around.  No, I am not really talking about mixing them up on the bar but instead what I am referring to is turning the pots around.  This will help in creating an even growth pattern and will allow all the sides of the herbs to get sunlight.  

Watering

When it comes to watering, the technique really is the same for any other potted plant.  Prior to watering though, make sure to do the old finger test before pulling out the watering can.  What is the finger test?  Well, the test simply consists of sticking your finger in the soil and pulling it straight out.  If your finger comes up covered in soil then you do not need to water.  On the other hand, if your finger comes up dry then you need to water.

To reduce the chances of developing a bacterial or fungus problem, make sure to water in the morning.  Doing this task in the morning gives the foliage time to dry before nightfall.


 

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