Windowsill gardening

So on my birthday I got a lot of seeds and gardening tools. Because for two years now I have been growing vegetables and herbs in my windowsill, but it always sort of happend. I got plants or seeds from friends and family and then grew them. Regardless of seasons, which made me lose a lot of plants, as wel as overwhelmed me with plants that suddenly grew very well. So this winter I did a little research on when plants actualy should be grown and started doing so in february. Some of the seeds I got could be planted this early already, and since I start with the seeding inside, I don’t have to concern myself with frost or too much rain. Plus, it gives a very nice effect to have your windowsill filled with seedlings in the spring.

Windowsill garden with names
My windowsill garden

The Bare Necessities

So first of all, I obviously need a lot of pots for all the different plants. Luckily in most secondhandstores these are very cheap and easy to come by. I tried make it look a bit uniform by sticking to certain colours (beige, red and black) however this didn’t really work anymore after I got some plants with pots as gifts. These were all different kind of colours so now it a big mash of different coloured pots.

So eventough I started with growing new plants in februari, ofcourse I already had plants in my windowsill. I still had some tomatoplants from last year, that didn’t give me tomato and kept growing all through the winter. Even when one of the cats had almost completly eaten it, it grew back. Tomato plants are supposed to  only last for a year, but these keep growing. I’m very interesed at what these plants will or will not do this summer. I also still had some basil plants, that I grew from some cuttings. Eventhough one of them is doing well, I don’t know whether the other two will survive. I also started growing Lavander in the middle of winter, just to see whether it would. And I want some lavender plants in my chickencoop. I wanted to see whether I could grow them myself, and then plant in the coop in spring/summer. They haven’t really done much, as you can imagine, so I will probably have to buy big ones later this season.

With the new plants, I start with planting the seeds in a little culture box, that fits in my windowsill. When the seedlings are big enough to be replanted I do so, depending on whether they can handle the outside weather, they either stay inside, or go outside. This early in the season only few plants can handle the outside weather here, so most of them have to stay inside. I do have a greenhouse box in the garden, so plants that are a bit more robust could also go there.

New Plants

So in februari I started my adventure with planting parsley, radishes, red onions, lettuce and green greens in the culture box. The photo at the top shows the seedlings after only a few days. The lettuce and radish grow rather fast. The parsey took a bit longer, but eventually overtook the other two in size. The only ones, who still havn’t made an appearance are the red onions. Since the cultivation is 15-20 days, and it has been almost seven weeks now, I will reseed those soon. The lettuce needed to be replanted very soon, because they grew so fast. Since they can stand a little cold, I’ve put them in a planter on the terrace. Because I’m not sure whether the frost is completly gone already, I’ve put a foil over them to keep them warm. You can buy special foil for lettuce in several gardenstores, but kitchen foil with holes for water and air also works fine for me. I also planted some new seeds of lettuce directly outside. Mainly because I wanted to see wether that would work and the chickens will love eating the lettuce anyway.

Lettuce seedlings under foil
As you can see, the new seeds are growing well

When replanting any plant, remember that they will stop growing for a while, because they are busy readjusting their roots. After a week they are ready to start growing their leaves again. Espescially with seedlings I always take care to damage the plants as less as possible, but with replanting it is very likely some leaves will not survive. As well as that some plants don’t survive this as well, most of the time this is due to root damage so be carefull with those.

So the lettuce was replanted outside, the radish was replanted to give it more room, the red onions were a no show, that left the parsely and the green greens. I decided to let them stay in the culture box a while longer, untill I figured out what to do with them.  With the replanting done, at that time, I had more space to plant new seeds. In the beginning of March I planted Thyme, Rosemary and Chives. So far only the chives have given me a little seedling.

IMG_20170316_114337762_HDR
Nothing much, so far. (Don’t mind the cat)

Next week I can finally start growing my favorites: Pepper, carrots and more tomato’s. I also need to support the big tomato plant I have now already, and want to put the parsley in the greenhouse box. I’ve already put some more non-edible plants outside to give me more space on my windowsill.

Difference between a garden and windowsill

  • Plants grow towards the light, commonly known, which makes me have to turn the plants around a lot to get somewhat straigh plant. Where in a garden they would get light from all around (mostly) and thus grow straight, my plants grow towards the window and left unchecked will fall over, and produce less veggies.
  • Because inside your house it is warmer and the tempature constant, your plants will grow faster. However in a garden the plants have more space to grow, generally. When I early on plant a plant in pot that’s to small, it will give me less produce or even die, where in a garden they take the room they need.
  • In a garden, but outside generally, when it rains you don’t have to water the plants, which can mean less work for you. Inside they need water everyday, especially seedlings. However this also means you can regulate the water always, where outside you can’t stop the rain just because your plants are drowning.
  • Generally speaking, inside you have a smaller chance that your beloved plants will be eaten by snails or plagued by pests. However helpfull bees, that are necessay for fertilization with some plants, are also absent.
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