- What containers can be used for growing
- Common agricultural techniques
- We grow greens
- Growing herbs
- Growing leafy vegetables
In the cold season, when the body is so lacking in vitamins, leafy vegetables and fresh aromatic herbs will come to your aid. Let’s figure out how to grow a crop of these healthy plants on the windowsill in winter..
Buying fresh vegetables at any time of the year is not a problem now. However, when acquiring beautiful-looking cucumbers or tomatoes, parsley, coriander or dill, it must be remembered that, due to the high content of nitrates, they can be harmful to health, and the price for them in winter “bites”. In addition, at this time, store-bought vegetables have neither taste nor aroma. If you want to pamper yourself with vitamin salads and dishes with the addition of leafy vegetables and herbs at any time of the year, you can organize a small vegetable garden on a windowsill or on a heated loggia. Cucumbers, tomatoes, hot and sweet peppers and even eggplant are grown in the apartment. And growing greens and leafy vegetables in the winter on the window in the kitchen is not at all a problem..
What containers can be used for growing
Small beds can be organized using the household’s wooden or plastic trays, crates, ceramic or plastic pots, and clay or plastic bowls. The only condition in this case is the presence of holes at the bottom of the tank for water drain.
Boxes can be made yourself from pine or spruce boards. The optimal dimensions of the boxes are as follows: length – 40 … 50 cm, width – 20 … 30 cm, height – 12 … 15 cm.For manufacturing, you can use a board with a thickness of 1 to 1.5 cm. It should be noted that it is not recommended to make boxes from furniture leftovers, since high humidity will contribute to the delamination of the coating, and harmful substances can get into the ground, and therefore into the plants.
Common agricultural techniques
To get a good harvest of greens and leafy vegetables, you must follow the rules listed below:
- At the bottom of any container used, it is imperative to put drainage, which is used as expanded clay, fine gravel or broken brick.
- It is not recommended to use garden soil for growing greenery on the windowsill, as it can be infested with pests that will destroy your entire already small crop. It is better to purchase a special substrate in the store, especially since it already contains all the components necessary for the growth and development of plants..
- It must be remembered that plants need light for normal growth, so containers should be placed on the southwest, southeast or south windows. In the middle of winter, when daylight hours are very short, it will be good to organize additional lighting. For this, fluorescent lamps are used, which are suspended at a height of 50-60 cm from your beds.
- Greens and leafy vegetables should be watered regularly as the soil dries up. For irrigation, use settled tap water. It must be remembered that crops growing in clay pots require more water than plants growing in plastic. The beds on the south windows need to be watered more often than on the east or southwest.
- Crops growing on the windowsill need regular feeding – once every 1.5–2 weeks. To do this, you can use the usual universal fertilizer for indoor flowers..
- When organizing a vegetable garden on a windowsill, remember that the air temperature near the window is always lower than in the room. Therefore, when there are severe frosts on the street, it is advisable to remove the beds from the window. This will help prevent root rot at lower temperatures. The optimum temperature for growing green crops on the windowsill is 18-20 degrees.
We grow greens
Of all the variety of greenery on the windowsill, the easiest way to grow dill, parsley, green onions and celery.
Dill is an unpretentious plant, does not require special care when growing. It is sown in boxes separately or together with other greens scattered, lightly sprinkled with earth. Seedlings appear within one and a half to two weeks, and you can taste fresh herbs in about a month.
Parsley can be grown on a windowsill in a variety of ways. Before frost, together with a lump of earth, they dig out several bushes of plants in the garden and transplant them into a suitable container..
Parsley can be sown with seeds, but there is a problem here. The essential oils contained in the seeds greatly slow down the germination of this crop. Soaking will help speed up germination – the seeds are placed in several layers of gauze before sowing and kept for half an hour under a stream of warm running water, then soaked for a day.
Parsley is demanding on light and soil moisture. Watering such beds is necessary as they dry up, avoiding waterlogging of the soil. After the emergence of seedlings, the bed must be thinned out, leaving the strongest plants at a distance of 3-4 cm from each other.
You can also grow parsley on the windowsill by forcing root crops. To do this, it is necessary to select several short but thick roots (at least two centimeters in diameter), preferably with well-developed petioles. The roots need to be planted in well-moistened ground at a distance of 2-3 cm from each other, and leave four to five centimeters between the rows. Until the petioles germinate, the container is kept in a cool place and watered moderately, after the appearance of greens, they are transferred to the windowsill. In this way, the first harvest can be obtained in 25-30 days. The most suitable varieties of parsley for growing on the windowsill, which give a lot of greenery, include: Yielding, Sugar, Bordovskaya.
It is very easy to grow green onions on the windowsill. This can be done by simply placing the onion in a container of clean water. But this must be done so that its bottom barely touches the surface of the water, otherwise the bulb may rot. To accelerate growth, before planting, the bulbs can be poured with hot water and kept for 12 hours, then remove the husk, cut off the upper tail and place in a container for germination. With this method of growing, it is necessary to change the water every 1-2 days and rinse the containers regularly, otherwise an unpleasant odor will appear.
Green onions can be grown on a windowsill and in a box of soil. When planting, the bulbs should not be deeply buried. Until the first greenery appears, the containers are kept warm, then rearranged on the windowsill. Onions, like dill, are not very picky about light, so the beds can be placed in light shade. It should be noted that the first onion feathers that appear should not be broken off, otherwise the growth of greenery will stop.
Celery is grown in the same way as parsley – either by forcing root crops or from seeds. When distilling this culture from root crops, it is necessary to select roots with a diameter of at least 5 cm with well-developed petioles. If the root crop is longer than the height of your container, the lower part can be trimmed or planted with sloped roots. They care for celery in the same way as for parsley, that is, they provide good lighting and optimal watering.
Of the aromatic herbs for growing on the windowsill, watercress, basil, mint and lemon balm are most often used..
Watercress is considered the fastest growing crop; after sowing seeds in moist soil, seedlings appear in 4–5 days. This plant is undemanding to lighting, it can be grown in the shaded corners of the windowsill, on the north or north-east windows. Seeds are planted 1 cm deep and watered well. The first crop can be harvested in 2–3 weeks. For a vegetable garden on a windowsill, such varieties of watercress as Broadleaf, Curly and Pepper are best suited.
The easiest way to grow basil on the windowsill is by transplanting a ready-made bush from the garden, since the seeds of this plant sprout extremely hard. Basil is quite picky about light and does not react well to temperature changes, so containers with this culture should be placed on the southern windows. Watering the beds with basil is necessary as the topsoil dries up. Waterlogging is bad for the well-being of the plant..
Mint and lemon balm are grown on the windowsill in two ways – by sowing seeds or transplanting bushes from the garden. Seeds should be planted in shallow, well-moistened soil. These crops are demanding for watering and lighting. With sufficient soil moisture, seedlings appear quickly, after which containers with mint and lemon balm are transferred to well-lit southern or southeastern windows.
Growing leafy vegetables
From leafy vegetables for a vegetable garden on a windowsill, various varieties of lettuce and Chinese cabbage are best suited.
Lettuce is a cold-resistant culture, therefore, it can be grown in an apartment on well-insulated loggias or balconies. For such beds, early ripening varieties of lettuce are best suited: Odessa, Red Creed, Lollo Bionda and others..
Lettuce seeds are planted in a well-moistened soil to a depth of 0.5 cm, seedlings appear in 3-5 days. The first crop, depending on the variety, can be harvested in 4–5 weeks. This culture is very demanding for watering and lighting. It is necessary to water the salad abundantly, and in the winter months, additional lighting of the beds with fluorescent lamps is required.
You can also grow Chinese cabbage on the windowsill in winter. The seeds of this culture are planted to a depth of 0.5–1 cm in grooves at a distance of six to eight centimeters, 3-4 cm are left between the seeds. The crops are well watered and placed in a warm place for germination. After the first shoots have appeared, the containers are rearranged to the window. Peking cabbage belongs to crops of short daylight hours, therefore it tolerates light shading well and does not need additional lighting in the winter months. It is necessary to water the cabbage bed sparingly, when the soil is already well dry. It is necessary to use early ripening varieties of Peking cabbage for growing on the windowsill, the harvest of which can be harvested after 25-30 days after the first shoots appear.
As you can see, it is easy to grow greens on the windowsill in winter and early spring, and even a novice gardener can do it. Of course, you will not get a large harvest, due to the fact that under such conditions it will not be possible to allocate a lot of space for the garden. However, with a minimum of effort and adherence to simple recommendations, you can provide seven vitamins at exactly the time when they are especially needed..