With a little herb cultivation on the windowsill, you can enjoy freshly harvested and self-grown herbs all year round. Most herbs can be grown indoors - including popular herbs such as parsley, dill, and basil. Provide them with water, nutrition, and light, and they will flourish!
For indoor cultivation, fast-growing herbs are the best choice. Although, most herbs can be grown indoors.
Basil wants a lot of light and loves heat, making it especially suited to grow indoors. Parsley is a slow starter, but still popular to grow indoors. Dill is a very popular herb that can also be grown indoors.
Other good options are rosemary, thyme, sage, and oregano, who thrive in well-drained soil. Chives, peppermint, lemon balm, coriander, and Danish chervil, on the other hand, want both a little more moisture and nutrition but are also suitable for indoor cultivation.
Parsley comes in different varieties. Which one is your favorite? Photo: Annika Christensen
To get started, you need a cultivation through. Choose a cultivation trough that has drainage holes, meaning holes that allow excess water to drain away. That way, the soil does not get too wet. With that being said, make sure that your cultivation trough is placed on something that can collect the excess water. Otherwise, the excess water will drip on the window sill. By growing your herb in troughs with proper drainage and - until they have grown - with a lid that retains some moisture but also lets in oxygen, the chances of a successful cultivation increase.
When growing in small containers, it is important that the soil is well-drained. If the soil feels heavy and a little too compact, you can mix it up with Perlite. This porous material can also help retain moisture. Clay pots, on the other hand, are more decorative but dry out quickly. If you grow herbs in a clay pot, water your herbs a little extra.
Herbs grow well in normal room temperature, but remember to be careful with radiators. Window sills that stand just above radiators can be a little tricky to grow on, as the heat from the radiator dries out the soil. It can also be so hot that the roots of the plants are damaged.
In order for herbs to be able to grow well indoors, they need enough light. Make sure they get as much natural light as possible, preferably in a south-facing window. North-facing windows often get too dark. Darkness and cold signal that it is time for the herbs to rest, but by providing them with grow lights, you can harvest your herbs repeatedly, all year long.
Fill your cultivation trough with soil up to 1 cm from the edge. Prepare the soil for seeds by watering until the soil is moistened.
Distribute the seeds evenly over the surface. Press down the seeds, to ensure that they have proper contact with the soil. Cover with a thin layer of soil.
Shower the seeds with water every other day. Preferably use a spray bottle, to distribute the water evenly and carefully. If you are using lids or mini-greenhouses, remove them when the shoots are 2-3 cm high. Shower the shots for a few more days. After that, start watering with a watering can.
If the leaves start to turn yellow, it may be a sign that your herbs want more nutrition. It could also be because they are a little too wet. If the soil is filled with water, the roots do not get enough oxygen and are also at risk of rotting. This makes it harder for the plant to absorb nutrients and the leaves may turn yellow. Always check if the soil is dry before watering.
Clay pots are decorative and keep the soil well-drained, but sometimes too well-drained. Make sure that your herbs do not dry out.
All herbs grow at different speeds, but this is when and how you can harvest the most popular herbs; parsley, dill, and basil.
Harvest parsley after 5-7 weeks from sowing, dill after 4-5 weeks. For both herbs, leave 2-3 cm of the stem and new shoots will grow. Continue to shower the plants a few times after harvest and feel free to add some liquid plant nutrients when watering. Both parsley and dill grown in this way can yield up to three harvests per crop round.
Basil can begin to be harvested after 4-5 weeks. Top just above the other pair of leaves and new shoots will grow. Shower the plants a few times after harvest and feel free to add some liquid plant nutrients when watering. The basil yields up to three harvests per cultivation round.