Growing a few pots of herbs on the kitchen windowsill during winter is welcomed by both gardeners and cooks. Herbs add freshness to cooked dishes and their unique fragrances bring a little bit of summer indoors during the cold, dark winter months.
An all-purpose culinary herb, parsley (Petroselinum crispum) can be easily grown indoors during winter. About three weeks before the average date of your first fall frost, dig up your parsley from your garden and pot it up in a 6- to 8-inch pot. Cut off about one-third of its leaves, water well and bring it indoors when a killing frost is predicted. Put it on a south-facing windowsill, ideally one without a curtain. Keep your parsley moist and do not allow the soil to dry out. It will grow slowly throughout the winter and may be planted outdoors again the following spring.
A tender, woody perennial herb, rosemary (Rosmarinus officinalis) has tiny pinelike needles with a scent that is reminiscent of pine. Rosemary will only survive outdoors in frost-free areas. Because it is so slow growing, it is often potted up and overwintered indoors. Dig it up and plant in an 8- to 12-inch pot (depending on the plant's size) about three to four weeks prior to the average date of your first fall frost and bring indoors prior to the first frost. Grow indoors in a south-facing windowsill. Water when the surface of the soil is dry to the touch. Do not allow a potted rosemary plant to dry out completely; to do so is almost always fatal.
One of the hardiest culinary herbs, chives (Allium schoenoprasum) are a welcome herb for indoor growing during wintertime. Dig up a clump appropriate to the size of the pot in which they will be planted anytime before the ground freezes. Grow indoors in a sunny south- or west-facing windowsill. Chives will "keep" well in a pot and do not need to be cut back prior to digging. Snip off one or two leaves as you need them.