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a home + living guide for the post-college, pre-parenthood, quasi-adult generation

04.15.2002

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other recent LOUNGE articles:
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Office Space
o Album-cover CD Box
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A Room of My Own
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Fight the Chaos
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Gallery-style Picture Hanging Tracks
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Sew What?
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Lazy Decorator's Bag of Tricks
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Home sweet homes
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Minor Makeover Miracles: Kitchen
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CD decor
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Home/work
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green scene growing an herb garden indoors 
by Flannery Higgins
| 1 2 3
continued from page 1

starting your windowsill herb garden
Growing herbs in container is fairly easy, even for a neophyte gardener. I started my herbs from seed in little clay pots using a soil-less seed-starting mixture. You can use yogurt cups or another creative recycled container, but remember that you should make a hole in the bottom for drainage. You will also want to put a few pebbles in the bottom to anchor the seed-starting mix and to keep it from escaping through the drain hole. Fill the containers about half full of soil, then use warm water to soak the soil thoroughly.

Now youíre ready to plant your seeds. Different seeds have different planting requirements, so youíll want to follow planting instructions that come with each seed packet. I normally put two or three seeds in each little pot and thin out the weaker ones later.

Once youíve finished sowing, cover your seeds with a plastic bag or with plastic wrap. This will keep the soil moist and will increase the speed of germination. I keep my seeds in a moist warm place out of the direct sun (normally my kitchen floor) before they germinate. Basil seeds sprout in just 3-5 days. Parsley seeds, however, can take up to three weeks to sprout.

When seeds sprout, remove the plastic wrap and place your seeds by a well-lighted window. I have a large windowsill, but found that I need to supplement the natural light with a fluorescent light to keep plants from getting thin and spindly. Herbs need a minimum of 5-6 hours of sunlight a day in order to flourish. Basically, youíll need to provide lots of light, water (be careful, however, not to drown the little seedlings), and plant food in order to keep your herbs healthy and thriving. After eight to twelve weeks you may want to transplant your herbs to larger (or cuter) pots to allow them to grow strong roots and to enable the leaves to better develop.

selecting herbs to grow
I use herbs mostly for cooking, but there are hundreds of varieties of herbs, and many can be used for making plant based medicines or for crafting. Choose the herbs that you like best, and definitely consider compact herbs. Dill, for example, is a wonderful herb, but it has a tendency to get huge, making it a less-than ideal herb to produce indoors.

Just canít decide what you want to grow, and looking for inspiration? Hereís whatís growing in my windowsill garden ...

don't stop: more this way!

 

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