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Easy Container and Windowsill Gardens for the Not-so-green Thumb

I live in an apartment, but all my life I dreamed then when I grew up, I’d grow a perfect little cutting garden. I’d want a few flowers for clipping and popping in bud vases, a few herbs for snipping for the final garnish to my homemade meals (and, okay, sometimes to our take out, too), and possibly a few butterfly attracting greens to keep our windowsill feeling happy and well-loved.  I’d like for it not to take up too much space–just what little space I have there on the terrace (okay, fire escape) out the living room window. And I really need for it to be easy. Easy to purchase, easy to pot up, easy to water, easy to care for, easy to harvest.

My grandpa has a gorgeous little garden to the side of his home in southern Oregon where he grows everything from squash to artichokes, but let’s not get carried away here. I’d be happy with a little chive plant.

After the jump, some inspiring windowsill gardens to get you ready for the growing season, and a few helpful hints as well!

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  • Windowsill And Container Gardening Tips 1 of 21
    Windowsill And Container Gardening Tips
    Windowsill gardens can take on many forms. From herbs for seasoning, to simple vegetables. Over the following slides I'll be sharing a few tips and tricks for starting your own.
    Image via Apartment Therapy
  • Start With Water 2 of 21
    Start With Water
    Did you know you can start your own container garden with just your favorite herbs and a glass of water? Most container gardens do best this way, instead of starting by seed. Simply cover the root ball in water and be sure to change the water weekly.
    Image via Apartment Therapy
  • Ready To Repot 3 of 21
    Ready To Repot
    Your cuttings will eventually need to be repotted in some good-quality potting soil to really thrive. Because water encourages thin, delicate roots, you'll need to be very careful when you move your plants into earth.
    Image via Apartment Therapy
  • Keep Moist! 4 of 21
    Keep Moist!
    Be sure to keep your freshly potted herbs very moist during those first weeks, while the roots have a chance to toughen up to their new surroundings. Once they've been established, water only when the soil appears dry.
    Image via Apartment Therapy
  • Your Best Bets 5 of 21
    Your Best Bets
    Some non-herb plants that should thrive in your sunny windowsill include: Purple Passion Plant, Wandering Jew, Angelwing Begonia, Swedish Ivy, and Gardenia. (Gardenia smells amazing, just saying.)
    Image via The Vintage Wren
  • Or Choose A Giant Pot 6 of 21
    Or Choose A Giant Pot
    If your windowsill isn't up to the task of supporting a few pots of plants, consider a giant galvanized steel pot filled with whatever your heart desires? Just make sure there is plenty of room above for some bushy plants!
    Image via The Vintage Wren
  • Herbs Herbs Herbs 7 of 21
    Herbs Herbs Herbs
    For beginners, planting herbs is definitely the way to go. Herbs are hardy, they smell delicious, and they are especially adept at growing indoors.
    Image via Remodelista
  • Herbal Tips 8 of 21
    Herbal Tips
    If you're planning to combine two or more herbs into the same pot, make sure to do your research: different herbs require different amounts of water to thrive. Keep the thirsty herbs separate from the rest and you should have no problem keeping everyone happy.
    Image via Restoration Hardware
  • More On Herbs 9 of 21
    More On Herbs
    Be aware of what your climate preferences in your home will do to an indoor herb. For instance, an overly-warm or dry apartment will lead to brown tips on the leaves of your rosemary (though those should be just as tasty and aromatic).
    Image via The Weekend Homemaker
  • Sun Lovers 10 of 21
    Sun Lovers
    Be sure to twist your pots a few times a month to avoid plant tan lines. (Rather, to encourage even growth.)
    Image via Design Sponge
  • How About Vegetables? 11 of 21
    How About Vegetables?
    Certain vegetables are well-suited to growing indoors, such as cherry tomatoes, carrots, celery, radishes, and spinach. Expect that the flavor of indoor-grown vegetables will be slightly diminished from their outdoor counterparts's.
    Image via Design Sponge
  • Favorite Herbs For Cooking 12 of 21
    Favorite Herbs For Cooking
    The most common herbs for planting indoors include chives, basil, oregano, parsley, mint, and lavender. When choosing which to plant, keep in mind the flavors you prefer to cook with (as well as the scent profile of mixing them together in your home!).
    Image via Love The Garden
  • Edit Edit Edit 13 of 21
    Edit Edit Edit
    Perhaps to a novice gardener it seems counterproductive, but the key to a healthy plant is snipping, cutting, and slicing. A little bit here for dinner, a little there for a bud vase, and your plant will reward you by growing taller, bushier, and happier.
    Image via Gardening Experts
  • Don’t Forget Your Pets! 14 of 21
    Don't Forget Your Pets!
    Do try not to plant anything that is especially harmful when ingested if you have small animals or people in your home. In that spirit, why not plant some catnip? Or other delightful grasses for your pets to gnaw on?
    Image via Maya Made
  • The Last-minute Cutting Garden 15 of 21
    The Last-minute Cutting Garden
    Stalks of green onion make the perfect "toss in a jar with water" container garden. Your onions will stay fresher longer, and you'll have something green and pretty to gaze at while making dinner.
    Image via What Grace Cooked
  • Fertilizer? 16 of 21
    Fertilizer?
    Sometimes a plant needs more than just sunshine, water, and your impressive Frank Sinatra warbling to keep it healthy. In this case, consider some fertilizer, or nutrient-boosted soils. Miraclegro has always done the trick for me.
    Image via Green Your Way
  • Pack It Loosely 17 of 21
    Pack It Loosely
    Another trick I learned while working one summer at a garden shop in my hometown: there IS such a thing as packing your plants in too tightly. I used to always marvel watching the owner of the garden shop toss plants in soil all willy nilly, but a plant is much happier that way than when carefully wedged in soil and smooshed into place.
    Image via Epicurious
  • Egg Shells 18 of 21
    Egg Shells
    In case you're interested in starting by seedling, do try this adorable egg-crate DIY using, yes, egg shells.
    DIY via Roy Joy
  • Use Technology 19 of 21
    Use Technology
    There are even windowsill kits you can purchase to simplify your windowsill gardener's life.
    Learn more on Apartment Therapy
  • With Dirt Comes … 20 of 21
    With Dirt Comes ...
    Bugs. Yep, sometimes, it's true. Some bugs are good, but most are not. Read up on your soil and plants of choice to see what you're up against and plan accordingly.
    Image via Apartent Gardening Project
  • Good Luck! 21 of 21
    Good Luck!
    Now is the time to start planning for your own container garden! Good luck, happy sunshine, and don't forget your watering can!
    Image via Apartment Therapy

Tips from the great Better Homes and Gardens blog.

MORE ON BABBLE:

10 Simple Household Items for Organization
Kitchen Herb Gardening: 5 Best Herbs to Grow for Spring
15 Ways to Organize a Small Home or Apartment
16 Ways to Organize Kids’ Rooms
Fresh Ideas for Outdoor Play

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