Herb ( General )

Ideally herbs are meant to be grown in full sun, in well-drained soil. However, that doesnít mean you canít grow them on your windowsill. You just need to adjust your expectations.

Donít expect them to act like perennials. Treat them like any other flowering pot plant that you buy for the house and discard when it has finished flowering.

The same applies to herbs. Use them and when they start looking sickly, turf them out and buy a new pot. It doesnít mean you have failed as a gardener.

The reason why such herbs have a limited lifespan is that the windowsill pots are actually too small for sustainable growth and they are probably not getting enough light. It is also possible that the air may be too hot or steamy and that the temperature changes are too extreme.

Try grouping the herbs close together so that the transpiration from the massed leaves creates some humidity. Itís also an idea to stand the pots on a layer of gravel as this helps retain moisture and keeps them cool without the plants becoming waterlogged.

Their life can also be extended by feeding with a liquid plant food at half the strength. Also, donít over water. Once a week should be enough.

Keep the soil feeling slightly damp, but not sodden or bone dry. Check that they arenít sitting in a saucer of water. This causes the roots to rot and the plant to die very quickly.

When harvesting collect small quantities at a time and always leave two growth points on the twig for re-shooting. Instead of cutting at random rather use the opportunity to pinch out or prune the plant to encourage bushiness

Once picked handle the herbs as little as possible because the subtle nuances of flavour are lost if handled or allowed to wilt.