Do you want to have your own herb garden but feel that you’re lacking the space or the time? This simple DIY herb garden is designed to accommodate your busy schedule and limited space; it is easy to create and maintain, and it will yield homegrown herbs at a low cost while giving your home some charm. This garden is perfect for a kitchen windowsill as long as it gets adequate sunlight.
Average Completion Time: 10-15 minutes
- Mason Jars (preferably the 22 oz. wide mouth style because this allows for easier planting, harvesting, and watering)
- Rocks for drainage (you can buy these at any gardening store or find them yourself outdoors)
- Potting soil (“Nature’s Care Organic Potting Soil” can be found at many home care and gardening stores)
- Your choice of herb seeds (basil, parsley, chives, thyme, oregano and rosemary are all suitable choices)
- Sunlit windowsill
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Step 1: Gather Materials
Make sure to wash and rinse the mason jars and rocks you plan to use for your garden. Washing will rid of any contaminants, this is important if you plan to consume the herbs.
Step 2: Choose How Many Jars You Would Like to Use
Starting with a single jar will allow you to learn the gardening process and keep track of which seeds you are putting in each jar.
Step 3: Add Rocks
Fill the bottom of the Mason jar (1-2 in. deep) with clean rocks. Adding rocks for drainage will prevent overwatering of your plants.
Step 4: Add Potting Soil
Fill the Mason jar with soil almost to the top; you will need to leave some room as the seeds will need to be lightly covered with soil. If you intend to use these herbs for consumption, organic potting soil is recommended (but not required).
Step 5: Plant Preferred Herb Seeds
A good rule of thumb is to plant a pinch of seeds spread throughout each jar. Make sure to follow the instructions on the seed packet for planting depth, this is important for proper seed germination. In most cases, you will have to use your finger or a small tool (like a pencil) to create small holes (usually around ½ in. deep or less) in the soil in which you wish to plant the seeds.
Step 6: Water
Herbs often need to be watered every day or every other day. Follow the watering instructions, which are also included on the seed packet, here you will also find future watering instructions. Usually herb soil should be kept damp but not saturated and you should expect to water more in summer and spring when the sun is strongest and the herbs are growing rapidly. It is always best to use chlorine free room temperature water (collecting rainwater is one way to do this without paying for the water).
Step 7: Repeat Step 1-6
Create as many jars as you like; one for each type of herb you plan to grow. Leave the soil packets next to each jar to indicate which type of herb is growing in it; leaving the seed packets nearby is also a good reference for watering, harvesting and other care instructions.
Step 8: Wait
Place your jar(s) on the windowsill of your choice and wait for the sunlight, water, and soil nutrients to do their work. One thing to be aware of is that some herbs require fertilizing while others will not benefit from it. In addition, some plants require more watering while others can go without it for longer. Refer to the instructions on the seed packet for information specific to the herb(s) you are growing and for future care instructions.
Step 9: Done
Sit back and admire your new Windowsill Mason Jar Herb Garden. Usually under the right conditions herbs can be expected to emerge within 5 to 15 days. Although, it is different for each plant herbs can usually be harvested within a few months. It is normally best to harvest after the plant has a few shoots of leaves growing off each stem. Try to cut towards the top of the plant from new growth. As stated previously, it is often best to refer to the care instructions included on the seed packet for harvesting instructions specific to your herbs. Try to use your fresh grown herbs while cooking; oregano and basil make great additions to tomato sauce and on top of chicken if cut into small pieces, while rosemary goes especially well in garlic potatoes. Have fun and get creative, cooking always tastes better when you grow the spices!
This project will teach you the basics of gardening. It is intended to be very easy and accessible both from a material and construction standpoint. This garden will allow you to enjoy fresh herbs anytime. Nothing impresses a guest more than putting fresh grown oregano in their pizza or pasta sauce. Enjoy!