Grow On Your Windowsill? Why?
Winter is cold, damp and grey so doesn’t always inspire outdoor gardening, especially if you have to try and get the kids out with you.
Well I’m here to tell you it doesn’t all have to stop at the onset on winter. There are simple ways to extend your season like using a cloche, or a greenhouse, even a cold frame can help keep your plants away from the chill for a little longer.
You could also try your hand at winter sowing in containers. Using soda bottles and milk jugs as mini greenhouse environments can be made so easily and give your seedlings a cosy environment to grow in weeks earlier than if you so straight in the ground.
You can find out how to do this in more detail here
But it’s still a big ask to get all your winter kit on to head out to the garden on horrible wet, windy days so what do you do then?
Well you grow indoors of course! Obviously not everything can grow indoors unless you have lots of room for a field of potatoes??
But salads, herbs and a few ‘special bits’ will grow happily indoors. If you have a spare windowsill or shelf near a window you can still grow. This is also an amazing way to get kids involved too so let’s take a look at how to grow on your windowsill.
Learning To Grow On Your Windowsill…
It’s a wonderful way to get a jump on spring and get your seeds sown earlier so you can stagger your harvests and varieties you grow.
Make a start by collecting some pots from around your house to use as small seed starting pots. You can find lots of ideas here
If you can’t decide what to grow, have a look through some seed catalogues or visit your garden centre and search through seed packets.
Writing down what your family eats can help you decide what you will get the most benefit from growing. You can get the “What We Eat” planning wheel to remind you of the veg you eat everyday.
Just download our FREE simple steps to planning your first veg patch guide
This Freebie gives you an instant plan by looking at
- what areas you have to grow,
- what conditions you can provide,
- what you should try to grow
- what seeds to sow, where, how, when.
So, if your a total beginner like I was Grab your free guide here.
6 Ways To Grow On Your Windowsill
Winter Salads Grow On Your Windowsill
With a family of 5, it’s taken a mammoth effort to get them all to try, let alone like salad leaves. Now though, they do seem to enjoy a few green leaves on their plate which really helps to bulk out a plate and add a tasty crunch to meals.
Buying a lettuce from the shops seems a daily occurrence as it doesn’t last very long and a plate full of iceberg is just plain boring.
But sowing your own salads on the windowsill can give you a mass on colour, taste, and nutritious food really quite quickly.
If you had lettuce growing at the tale end of last year you could simple lift a few plants and repot them onto the windowsill which would continue to crop fresh leaves over the winter. (Something to keep in mind for this Autumn)
If you don’t have room indoors, you can use a coldframe outside in a sheltered spot, it can also be put over your salad area in the autumn to keep plants producing for longer outdoors.
You can make your own mini bottle cloche if your windowsills are a bit drafty too by simple cutting a soda bottle in half and placing it over the top of the pot your growing in.
Sowing salads on your windowsill is very simple. Use cut and come again salad varieties which need less space than a head of lettuce, and will regrow 4 or 5 times to crop again and again.
It grows so quickly, and is a great option, you can cut handfuls of leaves at a time then let it regrow, or you can pick individual leaves whenever you need them. It also means you can sow various pots of lettuce leaves and rotate through them to give the used one time to regrow.
Sprouting Seeds On Your Windowsill
You don’t need to be a gardener to produce something nutritious and tasty for your table, even big chefs are reaping the benefits of sprouting seeds.
Simply taking …
–your favourite seeds, think lettuce, spinach, beans, beetroot or even brassicas like broccoli or cabbage
-and a little water and very quickly you can have a seriously tasty kick to your food.
Adding your seeds to a jar with a few holes in the top and add alittle fresh water. Shake the seeds through the jar and the drain using the holes.
Put your jar somewhere warm. Repeat this shaking and draining each day and within a few days you will have sprouted seeds you can add to salads, sandwiches, omelettes and so much more.
You can start a new jar whenever you like. Keeping more than one going so your never without sprouted seeds.
Microgreens Will Grow On Your Windowsill
In a similar way to sprouting seeds, microgreens add alot to your meals for very little investment in time and effort. Remember growing cress at school? It’s the same thing but can be so much more. Find our cress heads here
What are micro greens?
Micro greens are simply the seedlings of herbs and vegetables. Instead of allowing the plant to reach full size before harvesting, micro greens are grown for less time and harvested when they’re still seedlings which means they are packet with nutrients and flavour that would usually be spread through the rest of the adult plant but by eating them as micro greens your getting all that flavour and goodness in lots of tiny leaves.
They are super quick to grow too, microgreens only take 7 to 10 days to get to eating size. They can be sown regularly to give a continuous supply of tasty food to your plate.
Kids love growing microgreens too. Grown in a pot the kids can draw faces on, let the kids practice ‘cutting the hair’ once they’re ready to harvest.
Herbs Will Grow On Your Windowsill
Herbs can be large plants and really need the space out doors but there is things you can do to have fresh herbs growing indoors until the outdoor plants start growing again.
The easiest way to ensure herbs through the colder months is to buy them from the supermarket. Once home, split the plant up into smaller sections and grow them on in pots on the windowsill.
In autumn however, if you have larger herbs like oregano, rosemary and mint, you can take cuttings to pot on the windowsill.
Mint especially will sprout roots incredibly easily in n a glass of water. Once the roots sprout, just pot up the cutting and your good to go.
Most of these herbs can be hardened off and planted in the garden once your outdoor herbs are in full swing when the weather improves.
Your Left-Overs Will Grow On Your Windowsill
Another fab activity for growing indoors in to try growing your left-over kitchen scraps. There are so many things you can give new life to and have on your plate to eat again.
I explain this is great detail in this post here. Things like;
- Potato skins will regrow to give you a meal of small potatoes.
- Cabbage, lettuce and celery stumps will all regrow in a bowl of water.
- Carrot tops will grow lush green leaves perfect for adding to salads.
Take a look and see what you can regrow to add flavour and spice to your plate.
A Soda Bottle Salad Bar Will Grow On Your Windowsill
Using old soda bottles on their side can make a fantastic soda bottle salad bar. Simply cut off the side of the bottle and lay it down on its side. Make a few holes in the base then fill with compost.
Once full, sow salad leaves into the soil and simply place on your windowsill to grow. You can sow another one each week then rotate harvesting them.
If you use cut and come again types of lettuce, you can crop many times after harvesting. Simply start using the next planter while that one regrows.
Ok so hopefully that has given you food for thought. Growing on your windowsills is a simple and quick way to learn to grow your own crops on a small scale to help you build confidence in growing vegetables while staying cosy indoors.
Remember to download your copy of our simple planning guide then leave us a comment below and tell us what you’re looking forward to growing.