In winter it is a real challenge to keep the herbs on the windowsill permanently fresh, healthy and crisp. The biggest problem here is the current light conditions. Not only we gardeners suffer from the deprivation of sunlight. How you manage to cultivate herbs even in the dark months I want to tell you!
Tip 1: Let there be light!
So that herbs, and also all other plants, grow and photosynthesis can complete they need valuable light energy. But it does not help to turn on the living room lamp. Unfortunately, herbs cannot do anything with this kind of light. More than 50% of the required wavelength is already absorbed by our window panes. Since it is especially dull and dark now in winter and the amount of daylight is barely enough to even get going, a plant lamp is the most important tool to keep your herbs happy on the windowsill.
They need specific wavelengths and each one is responsible for a different process. Plants prefer wavelengths between 400-500 and 600-700 nanometers. To us, this spectrum of light can be seen as bluish and reddish. When buying a plant lamp, you should make sure that it is a lamp made for year-round lighting. This is because it has a perfectly matched light spectrum, it consists of white and red wavelengths. I can recommend these two plant lamps to you:
- Sunlite from venso*
- Plant lamp Relassy*
Tip 2: Get out of the pot
In order for your herbs to develop well on the windowsill, it is important to get them out of their plant pot after purchase and transfer them to a larger pot. Actually, the plastic pot in which the herbs are offered is only meant for you to transport them home without any problems. However, it is much too small for the root ball. Use a high-quality herb soil for repotting. This is also available in a practical 3 liter pack*. The soil should be fresh and not still lying around on the balcony from the summer. For your herbs it is an important source of nutrients – only with the optimal soil they will be able to develop into strong plants. “You are what you eat” applies to plants too 🙂
Tip 3: The right harvest of your herbs
Of course, such a dense green windowsill with many different herbs is nice to look at. But they are not ornamental plants but useful plants and that’s exactly what your herbs want to be – so use them! This may sound strange, but herbs only grow into lush healthy plants if they are harvested regularly and properly.
Basil, unfortunately, is often heavily massacred: Leaves are plucked off indiscriminately and entire shoots are cut off completely. Thus, the herb gives up the ghost pretty quickly. Instead, it wants to be harvested at the leaf axils, as you can see well in the photo. I cover this topic in detail in my online course, “Edibles for Indoors.” The chives want to be cut just above the bottom of the pot – the same goes for the parsley.
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