Gardening does not have to be limited by space. Even the smallest of spaces can be used to grow your own vegetable, herb & salad crops. A bright windowsill is an ideal location not only to start your seeds & seedlings but it is also a great place to grow some crops all the way from seed to harvest
Windowsills are ideal because they offer a bright location where seeds can sprout & grow into strong seedlings. There are a few conditions to consider is you wish to turn your windowsill into a heaven of propagation, allowing you to grow all year round
- Light – Of course light is essential to growing seeds and that is why a windowsill is the best location in homes to grow seeds. Ideally choose a south or south east facing windowsill. Where light levels are poor seedling will grow tall and leggy
- Heat – Heat is also important & seeds will struggle to grow if the temperatures are not at or around 18 degrees Celsius. If the temperature is before that level the seedlings will struggles & can die if night-time temperatures fall below 10 degrees.
- Rotation – the issue with a window is that all the light the seeds and seedlings get will be from one side only, and never directly above the plants – this will mean the plants will lean in the direction of the window & sunlight as the strive to grow. To prevent a plant from bending too much it is important to turn your seedling regularly. Turn tray every 4 to 5 days, the constant turning will help to strengthen the plants even further
- Use a windowsill propagator – these handy little growing trays are ideal as they are longer and narrow to fit on a windowsill and they come with a lid allowing for the build up of heat and humidity inside the propagator. This in turn will regulate nighttime temperatures and improve growing conditions.
Below are a selection of seeds that you can easily grow on your windowsill all year round. The only difference between summer and winter is that winter sowings will be slow to grow and may need to be brought in away from the window in the evenings to keep warm
Alfalfa – these sprouting seedlings are a super source of vitamins. They are easy to grow & ideal in salads or as a dressing
Wheatgrass – Another sprouting seed – Wheatgrass can be grown in 2 weeks. Ideal for wheatgrass shots, high in vitamins & protein. Wheatgrass requires regular watering
Chick peas – Good in chilies or salads, chick peas are ideal for growing in a windowsill propagator
Pak choi – Big leafy salad plant. Pack choi is fast growing and can be harvested within 2 to 3 weeks from sowing seeds. Harvest by chopping away the leaves you want to eat and allow more to grow
Lentils – Another super food, lentils are quick and easy to sprout and should be harvested once they reach 2 inch in height