I just got a text from my sister saying, "I want to keep herbs in pots on my window sill in the kitchen so could you write a blog telling me what to plant and when? In the summer I'll move it to the back porch. Thanks."
I wrote back, "How much sun do you get there?"
She wrote back, "A lot through the back bay window. It's Southern exposure."
Perfect - here is your post, Kacy!
Growing Herbs in Your Window
This is a perfect year in Utah to grow herbs in your window. Shoot - it's so sunny that you can even grow lettuce successfully. I have been growing fresh basil since around October in my window, and made a huge batch of pesto (sorry, Kristen - I didn't mean to make you jealous) in November. I cut it back pretty hard when I made the pesto, and a few weeks later it looks like this:
I am a bit of a basil freak. We usually make homemade pizza on Saturday nights (we use The Pioneer Woman's dough recipe and substitute about 3/4 whole wheat) and cut fresh basil leaves off each week. We also use it in pasta, and when I ate eggs I cut it up and put it in eggs. It's also fantastic on french bread with tomatoes and fresh mozzarella.
Behind the basil you can see my little jar of green onions growing. We just recently chopped up a bunch for Spicy Thai Noodles, which my husband informed me I could make for him every day for the rest of his life. Then I just rinsed out the roots and put the jar back in the window. They will grow back in about a week or so for more green onions. I now only have to buy green onions about every 3 months or so and that is just to get fresh roots.
It is warm enough right now that you could pretty much grow lettuce from a seed in your windowsill. Last year I put spinach in mine and just kept cutting off of it through the Spring. You could probably also get away from cilantro because it is warm, but not hot enough to make it bolt like it does in the summertime. I'm guessing that dill would be great right now as well as mint if you have a big enough pot. Lettuces are generally Spring/Fall crops and take about 8 weeks to grow, but keep picking off the outside leaves and it will keep filling out.
When you move your plants, do it a little bit at a time, because the leaves will need to harden off or they will die. I don't recommend putting plants in the soil until June 1st unless you have a square foot garden with some sort of greenhouse capability.
Last, but not least - if you have more than 8 hours of sun coming through a window, it is possible to grow tomatoes if you have a tomato plant. I don't recommend ever growing them from seed, but it isn't long now before Home Depot gets enthusiastic and starts putting out tomato plants. As long as you have a way to support them, you should be successful.
But my recommendation right now is to go to Harmon's if you are in Utah, get a basil plant, transplant it, and water it 1-2 times a week as needed. Get some green onions and put them in a jar of water after you use the tops. Then keep using them as they grow back. If you are a green onion freak and like them on a lot of things, do it with a few jars so that you have a consistent supply.
And one last last thing - Fall and Winter is a good time for growing kale. It is a cool weather crop so it works best when it doesn't get too hot. You can grow them from seed in your window, just make sure you support the plant as the leaves grow bigger.
I take requests - what else would you have me write about?