Friday, October 31, 2014

DIY Window Sill Herb Garden

   

herb garden cover

Love cooking with fresh herbs? Tired of always having to spend money on them only to have half of them go bad before you can use them all? Want to keep a little bit of "green" in your life with the cold weather coming? The answer to all of the questions (even if you have never asked them) is YES!


Yes! Even if you don't usually cook with fresh herbs, there's no time to start like the present. They are easy to use and is one of the simplest ways to elevate your meals. Yes! Fresh herbs in the store sometimes cost just as much as an entire bottle of dried herbs. The flavors really accentuate the dish, but recipes usually never call for the entire package of fresh herbs and before you have the chance to use the rest they have usually gone moldy and spoiled. Yes! By the time we have reached the middle of winter (for some of us the longing for Spring comes much sooner) we are dying to have some kind of living green life to look at. A fresh herb garden is just the ticket to liven up your meals, lighten up your wallet, and help you to last until Spring returns. Follow these simple steps to build your own DIY Window Herb Garden. It's also a great project to let the kids help with!




Step 1: Gather Your Supplies

DIY Windowsil Herb Garden  
  • Potting soil
  • mixture of small rocks
  • fresh herbs you want to pot
  • 12 oz. Mason jars - one for each type of herb you are planting.
  • 12 oz. Mason jars (lids optional)
  • Tags for jars (optional)
  • Twine for labels (optional)
Potting Soil - I used Miracle Grow Moisture Control potting mix. This is a great soil for indoor potted plants because it helps guard against damage that comes from both over watering or under watering your herbs.

  Small Rocks - I used a simple mix of decorative rocks that I purchased at the store. I wanted to add just a little bit of extra charm because I plan on looking at my herbs everyday at my kitchen window. You could also use small marbles, pieces of shells, or even shredded charcoal. The trick is to fill the bottom with a barrier that will help prevent your herbs from sitting in water logged soil.

  Fresh Herbs - There's really not a fresh herb I don't like, or one that I won't use. Typically most fresh herbs do just fine potted indoors. My suggestions are herbs like Rosemary, Basil, Mint, and Dill, among others. I planted parsley and cilantro because I had some on hand that I was growing outside and needed to bring in before the frost hit. Herbs like Parsley and Cilantro you typically have to use a lot of in recipes (and they are also on the cheaper end of herbs you buy at the grocery story). You can certainly plant these, but I recommend herbs like rosemary because recipes do not require you to harvest as much, which allows you time to grow more verses having to re-pot a whole new plant.

  Mason Jars - I love mason jars! I use them for so many things in my home. One is to pot plants in. You can certainly use any type of water proof pot. I love not only the look of the mason jars - but also the durability, which is why I chose to use them.

  Optional Items - You can choose to make name tag labels for your herbs - or simply go without. I can tell my herbs by looking at them - but the tags make them look a little cuter. My kids are getting to the age where they are desperately wanting to learn to cook like Mom so the labels help my kids learn which herb is which. I simply attached them to each jar with some twine and twisted down the ring of the lid to hold them in place.

Step 2: Add Rocks To The Mason Jar

DIY Herb Garden   To create a nice barrier, I measured out 1/2 cups of decorative rocks in a mixture of colors. The kids all had fun adding their rocks to their jars - I think it had a lot to do with the fun noise they make when the kids drop them in.

Step 3: Add A Small Layer Of Soil

Herb Garden 4

Almost time for planting! Add a small layer of soil over your rocks. Table spoons make great little shovels for the kids and fit perfectly inside the mason jars.

Step 4: Cut/Label/Tie your Herb Tags (Optional)

Herb Garden 5

You can use any size or color card stock for the labels on your herb garden. I had a manila folder on hand and that worked perfectly! Want to make the perfect circle? Use the lid on a gallon of milk and trace around it. Then simply cut out the circles, add a whole with a hole punch, and write the name of the herb you are using on the label. Loop a piece of twine through the whole and secure it by screwing the metal ring from the lid of the mason jar over the twine.
  Herb Garden 8

Step 5: Add Herbs & Top With Soil

Finally, place one type of herb into each mason jar that you have prepared and fill the jar with soil, tamping it down firmly as you go. Give each one a good drink of water - the rule is to go around the top of the pot twice. Place your jars in the window sill and enjoy your fresh herbs for months, even years to come! Check daily for water and give it a fresh drink when the soil feels dry to the touch. Keep add to your collection with a new variety from time to time - or make up some extras to share with a friend or even a one of your children's teachers. There are so many things to love about having (and sharing) your very own Window Sill Herb Garden!    

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