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Author Topic: Cat-safe kitchen window garden?  (Read 4331 times)
Siya
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« Topic Start: June 01, 2010, 06:40:18 pm »

I am thinking about getting a little kitchen herb garden going on my windowsill. I don't cook much, so they don't need to be tasty to eat — I'd mostly be drying them and sewing them into pillows and sachets and other crafty stuff — and I have two cats, one of whom will try almost everything (including several chunks of my shower curtain once) just to see what it tastes like, so I absolutely cannot risk growing anything poisonous to cats. All the places they can't get to are already full of amaryllis.

Do any of you have suggestions for yummy-smelling, reasonably sized (maybe around 12-15 inches at the tallest?) herbs that would do well in a window? The only one I have on the list so far is peppermint. Most of the other stuff I can think of would grow too big, I think, like lavender or rosemary, although I guess I could maybe keep them clipped back? Herbs that can be used in common spells (protection or health stuff mostly) would be a bonus, too.

Thank you!
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« Reply #1: June 01, 2010, 07:49:07 pm »

Do any of you have suggestions for yummy-smelling, reasonably sized (maybe around 12-15 inches at the tallest?) herbs that would do well in a window? The only one I have on the list so far is peppermint. Most of the other stuff I can think of would grow too big, I think, like lavender or rosemary, although I guess I could maybe keep them clipped back? Herbs that can be used in common spells (protection or health stuff mostly) would be a bonus, too.

Most perennial herbs can be "bonsai-ed".  Rosemary and lavender don't mind being trimmed.  Of greater concern is your light source.  How much sun will they get in the window (which direction does it face)?  Most Mediterranean perennial herbs need lots of sun (six hours of full sun daily), which is hard to get in a window.

Oh, and if you're growing peppermint, be sure to give it its own container.  It'll take over any shared space, especially in low-light conditions, which it tolerates better than many herbs.

Brina
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« Reply #2: June 02, 2010, 09:56:42 am »

Do any of you have suggestions for yummy-smelling, reasonably sized (maybe around 12-15 inches at the tallest?) herbs that would do well in a window?

Usually, you can look into pre-fabbed herb gardens with herbs that are made to be small for window sills. Out of my exp. I've grown basil, thyme, & rosemary (trimmed it a lot). Whenever I'm worrying about my animals eating plants, I tend to cover the area with chicken wire, or some other form of mesh, so that way they are less likely to get ahold of it.

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Siya
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« Reply #3: June 03, 2010, 05:50:21 pm »


Thank you both for the suggestions! Unfortunately, chicken wire really isn't an option — I'm in an apartment, and the only way to cover any of the windows would involve nails and things that would cost me part of my deposit.

It's an east-facing window and I'm in sunny California farm country, so they'd probably get some direct sunlight a good 4-5 hours a day in the summer and 2-3 in the winter, plus indirect sunlight for several hours as well. (My other windows are blocked by trees or shaded by a built-in overhang, so this one's really the only place for good sunlight.)

I'll definitely make sure the peppermint gets its own pot. Cheesy
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« Reply #4: June 03, 2010, 06:31:40 pm »


Thank you both for the suggestions! Unfortunately, chicken wire really isn't an option — I'm in an apartment, and the only way to cover any of the windows would involve nails and things that would cost me part of my deposit.


What about a removable screen? Or a cage of wire? Then you could put it wherever you want with no fasteners, and for the cage at least, weighting the bottom would make it hard to knock over for non-super-cats. We do the same sort of thing for our chickens.
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« Reply #5: June 03, 2010, 06:38:18 pm »

It's an east-facing window and I'm in sunny California farm country, so they'd probably get some direct sunlight a good 4-5 hours a day in the summer and 2-3 in the winter, plus indirect sunlight for several hours as well. (My other windows are blocked by trees or shaded by a built-in overhang, so this one's really the only place for good sunlight.)

Well, I say give it a go, but don't expect great performance in that location (unless you keep your house fairly warm, which can sometimes make up for low light conditions).  Let us know how it goes.  I'm sure you'll be able to do a lot more in your sunny clime than I can in my rainy one.  Wink

Brina
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Siya
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« Reply #6: June 03, 2010, 09:42:42 pm »

Well, I say give it a go, but don't expect great performance in that location (unless you keep your house fairly warm, which can sometimes make up for low light conditions).  Let us know how it goes.  I'm sure you'll be able to do a lot more in your sunny clime than I can in my rainy one.  Wink

Brina

Well, it gets around 105F here in the summer and I have a window a/c that is too expensive to run more than the hottest couple hours a day, so warm I can do. lol. I'll give it a go and see how it works. If it doesn't work, I'll just give them away or something.

I might try the cage thing, but getting cat-safe herbs would just be easier. Smiley I'll definitely keep the suggestion in mind if they are getting into them too often, though.
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« Reply #7: June 04, 2010, 06:22:32 pm »

Well, it gets around 105F here in the summer and I have a window a/c that is too expensive to run more than the hottest couple hours a day, so warm I can do. lol. I'll give it a go and see how it works. If it doesn't work, I'll just give them away or something.

I might try the cage thing, but getting cat-safe herbs would just be easier. Smiley I'll definitely keep the suggestion in mind if they are getting into them too often, though.

It would also prevent kitties from knocking things over as they nibble. You could try growing cat grass or catnip for them, so they leave the people-herbs alone.
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« Reply #8: June 04, 2010, 09:50:25 pm »

It would also prevent kitties from knocking things over as they nibble. You could try growing cat grass or catnip for them, so they leave the people-herbs alone.

Cat grass/nip was my first plan, but the vet nixed it. Sad (One of my kitties has IBD, and is on a very limited diet. I just don't want to risk her getting anything worse than an upset stomach should she munch a plant while I'm out one day.)
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« Reply #9: July 12, 2010, 04:28:32 am »

I am thinking about getting a little kitchen herb garden going on my windowsill. I don't cook much, so they don't need to be tasty to eat — I'd mostly be drying them and sewing them into pillows and sachets and other crafty stuff — and I have two cats, one of whom will try almost everything (including several chunks of my shower curtain once) just to see what it tastes like, so I absolutely cannot risk growing anything poisonous to cats. All the places they can't get to are already full of amaryllis.

Do any of you have suggestions for yummy-smelling, reasonably sized (maybe around 12-15 inches at the tallest?) herbs that would do well in a window? The only one I have on the list so far is peppermint. Most of the other stuff I can think of would grow too big, I think, like lavender or rosemary, although I guess I could maybe keep them clipped back? Herbs that can be used in common spells (protection or health stuff mostly) would be a bonus, too.

Thank you!

My cats are around my herb box, and they leave them alone.  Most herbs that are safe for people are also safe for kitties, but I always double check to make sure.  This site has some helpful info:
http://cat-care.suite101.com/article.cfm/plants_that_are_safe_for_cats
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