“The kitchen is like my art studio. Iʼm really into creating my own recipes using fresh ingredients, but because of my space limitations, I donʼt have a garden to pull from. What should I do?” ~Karen Jackson, Culver City, CA
If your idea of a kitchen involves a space designed for the true home chef, instant access to fresh herbs should be a part of the plan.
Whether youʼre designing a new kitchen or doing a remodel, center one of the primary food prep counters on a window. Not only is it a joy to cook in natural light, the window makes it easy to grow herbs that are right within reach.
Youʼve got a few options for growing kitchen herbs. One is a big planter on the patio bursting with easy-to grow herbs like oregano, mint and rosemary. In most climates, those three are foolproof. If you donʼt want to step outside, miniature countertop pots will serve you well, although you need enough light to keep them alive and plenty of space so your counters wonʼt get cluttered.
Weʼre big fans of the window box solution for culinary herbs. So long as you have a sunny spot, install window boxes right outside your kitchen window. Plant them up with the herbs you like to cook with most, and add one like sweet marjoram that you havenʼt tried before, to expand your palette.
Try this at home:
You donʼt need to have any experience as a gardener to successfully grow an herb window box.
- Good light is a must. Choose a window that gets 6 to 8 hours of sun each day.
- Select a window box that matches your home. Windowbox.com has an amazing range of styles, materials and sizes. One thing to look for in a windowbox: good drainage. Water should not pool in the bottom of the box, because herbs donʼt like “wet feet” (roots soaking in mud).
- Choose the right growing medium. Soil is fine for planting beds, but anorganic soil-less mix made especially for containers is best for a window box.
- Keep it interesting! Plant the herbs you like to cook with most, and add one like sweet marjoram that you havenʼt tried before, to expand your palette. The Cookʼs Garden has a great selection of herb plants and seeds.
For tips on caring for your window box herb garden, click here.