How to Start a Window Herb Garden


Herb gardens are a simple way to start growing edible plants for daily use in the kitchen. Growing the herbs in the window keeps them close at hand. Whether you have no space outdoors or just wish to keep your herbs nearby, most herbs do well growing in containers. Use any container you have on hand--including planter boxes or small pots. Many herbs that would otherwise go dormant in winter outside will continue to produce indoors, even once the weather gets cold.

Step 1

Fill small seed starting pots with sterilized potting soil. Fill the pots to within 1 inch of the rim.

Step 2

Soak the soil with warm water, watering until it comes out the bottom drainage holes to ensure even soil moisture. Place pots on a drip tray before watering.

Step 3

Sow seeds in groups of three in the center of each pot. Sow the seeds to a depth twice that of their width. Sow small, fine seeds on the soil surface and cover with quarter inch of soil.

Step 4

Cover the pots with plastic wrap. Place in a warm, 70 to 75 degree Fahrenheit location to germinate. This takes seven to 14 days for most herb varieties.

Step 5

Remove plastic wrap once sprouts emerge from the soil. Move the pots to a south- or south-east facing sunny window sill. Keep the soil moist at all times.

Step 6

Choose the healthiest seedling to remain in each pot once they seedlings have four sets of leaves. Cut off the other seedlings at the soil surface with scissors.

Step 7

Dig up the herbs and transplant to a window box or 5-inch-diameter pot once the roots are visible in the drainage holes. Plant in the new pot to the same depth the herb was in the old pot. Space plants 6 to 8 inches apart in window boxes.

Step 8

Apply a half strength balanced liquid houseplant fertilizer once a month. Add fertilizer at the same time as you regularly water.

Tips and Warnings

  • Do not plant mint with other herbs in a window box. It will quickly over come and choke out other plants. In winter or if you don't have a suitable window, provide enough light or the plants will die. Place a fluorescent light 2 inches above the plants for 12 hours a day.

Things You'll Need

  • Pots
  • Potting soil
  • Plastic wrap
  • Scissors
  • Fertilizer


  • Rutgers Cooperative Extension
Keywords: windowsill garden, growing herbs, kitchen herb garden

About this Author

Jenny Harrington has been a freelance writer since 2006. Her published articles have appeared in various print and online publications. Previously, she owned her own business, selling handmade items online, wholesale and at crafts fairs. Harrington's specialties include small business information, crafting, decorating and gardening.