Kitchen Sink Herb Garden
Do you want some year-round fresh herbs in your kitchen but you’re too lazy to go outside or worse – trek to the grocery store? Read on to see how I created a custom ledge for my kitchen sink window sill and used it to grow an herb garden.
Time: 2(ish) hours
- Metal connectors
- 1″ x 2″ x 8″ oak
- Planters (I found a pack of 8 for under $14)
- Spray paint
- Alphabet stickers
- Saran Wrap
- Coffee filters
- I do not have a green thumb! I should have used more soil so there was more room for growth. Fortunately, because the herbs are within arms length of the faucet I’m pretty good about remembering to water them.
- If you’re going to label the planters I’d recommend labeling them on both sides. My herbs are starting to lean towards the sunlight and when I rotate them I can no longer see the labels.
- Decorate the planters before you actually plant anything! Sometimes my common sense lags behind my eagerness to cross another project off my list.
Step 1: Build a Ledge
The ledge sits on top of the windowsill so all I needed was a flat ledge and two legs to hold up the other side.
I used three side by side boards for the actual ledge. Pocket holes are way beyond my woodworking abilities so I used metal brace plates as connectors. I sawed two of the corners at an angle to fit around the window trim and hacked a piece out of the center to make room for the faucet. I used two screws on each side to attach the feet. It took a lot of trial and error to get the ledge to fit into the space but I got through it without maiming myself.
I opted to paint the ledge gray because I happened to have dark gray primer and light gray paint lying around.
Step 2*: Decorate the Planters
The main point of decorating the planters was to distinguish each herb by name because there was a 0% chance I’d be able to differentiate them once planted. I’m a hit-or-miss cook without using cilantro, lemon balm and parsley interchangeably so I didn’t want to take any chances. First I spray painted the inside of each planter dark gray and painted the outside white.
Once the paint had dried I used a sharpie to label each one. This would have been pretty straightforward if I had decent handwriting but I know my artistic limits and writing neatly is beyond them. I printed out the name of each herb onto a sheet of paper, covered the back of each name in pencil, positioned the name where I wanted it on the planter and traced over it using the sharpie with the cap on. After that the name was on the planter in pencil and all I had to do was write over it with the sharpie.
*When I decorated the planters (step 2) I had already planted the herbs (step 3). I don’t recommend that approach.
Step 3: Soak and Plant the Seeds
I used parsley, cilantro, basil, oregano, lemon balm and sage seeds. All but the lemon balm needed to be soaked for 8-10 hours before planting.
I placed a coffee filter in each planter to keep the soil from dropping out the bottom of the planter and then filled the planters about 2/3 of the way with soil. If I had it to do over again I would fill the planters more. Next I dropped in the seeds by simply pouring the water and seeds out of the containers they were soaking in and onto the soil. I’m sure there’s a better approach to planting seeds which ensures that they’re spaced evenly but I was going for speed over precision.
I added a thin layer of soil over the top and a little more water and then I covered them up with Saran Wrap. As soon as I saw the first sign of growth I removed the Saran Wrap and placed them on the window sill where they would get more sunlight.
Step 4: Sit Back, Relax and Try Not to Kill The Herbs
I’ve been watering them about every other day and much to my surprise and amazement they are all growing! Oregano and Lemon Balm are the weakest links but there’s actually some sprouts in there that you can’t see in the photo.
This photo is four weeks from the day they were planted. I plan to update this post every month or so in case anyone is interested in watching the rise and fall of my attempted herb garden.