- Where to start – choose plants, select containers
- Arrangement of trellises
- Organization of lighting
- Practical tips for beginners
Many people believe that growing greenery and vegetables will definitely need a personal plot. However, mini-vegetable gardens on the windowsill are becoming more common. Some varieties of vegetables bear fruit excellently in a city apartment. The main thing is to choose the right plants and provide care.
Where to start – choose plants, select containers
Growing pumpkin, squash or root vegetables in an apartment is quite difficult. For full maturation, they need a large area, which is difficult to place on a windowsill. But you can easily grow on the window:
- greens (onions, dill, parsley);
- Chinese cabbage;
- spices (basil, mint, coriander).
When choosing cucumbers, choose hybrids or those varieties that do not require cross-pollination, for example: Zozulya, Emerald Stream. Tomatoes try to choose low-growing varieties up to 40 cm tall with medium-sized fruits up to 50 g. Balcony Miracle, Pearl and Bonsai will be good choices. Peppers can be grown decorative, sweet, pungent. Please note that placing hot and sweet peppers next to each other will result in bitter peppers. It is better that they grow on different windowsills. The technology of forcing green onions is known to everyone, but know that by planting it even in a small container with soil, you will increase your yield and get rid of the characteristic unpleasant odor.
When choosing containers for plants, consider:
- small flat containers can be used for herbs and spices;
- for other vegetables, choose a container at the rate of 5 liters per plant, otherwise you will get luxurious greens without fruits.
Before starting work, plan your windowsill space. Think over what containers, in what quantity you can place on it.
Additional space can be obtained thanks to a multi-level landing, which can be achieved using furniture brackets. When arranging a vegetable garden on the windowsill, do not get carried away. Do not forget that plants need free space, and you need sunlight to illuminate the room in which you plan to create mini-beds.
To prepare containers for planting plants, you need to lay drainage material on the bottom: pebbles, expanded clay, fine gravel, with a layer of at least 1 cm.To grow vegetables, two-thirds of the container is covered with earth. You can buy the soil at the store, or you can prepare it yourself. To do this, mix 50% peat, 30% sawdust and 20% ordinary earth..
Arrangement of trellises
Cucumbers and tomatoes are small only at the initial stage of their growth. Over time, they will require more and more lighting, power and space. After the beginning of fruiting, it will be more and more difficult for their branches and stems to keep the ripening crop. To prevent the death of plants, you need to take care in advance of arranging trellises for vegetable crops growing on the windowsill, which can be:
- vertical for liana tomatoes and cucumbers;
- horizontal for determinate tomatoes, peppers.
To tighten the vertical trellises, fasten rings, hooks or other fasteners to which you can tie the twine on the upper slope of the window. Fasteners can be installed directly on the slope or on a special rail attached to it.
The rail must be properly sanded, painted to match the slopes, and securely fixed with dowels. In the future, it will be an excellent solution for organizing lighting of a mini-garden..
One end of the twine is tied to the fasteners, the other is not tightly tied around the stem. It is not necessary to stretch the twine too much, over time it will stretch under the weight of the plant. Otherwise, you risk damaging its stem..
To equip horizontal trellises, you will need 2 strips fixed on vertical slopes. The lower fasteners are mounted at a height of 300 mm, and then a few more fasteners with a 200 mm pitch. A string is tightly pulled between them, to which the stems of plants are subsequently tied.
Organization of lighting
Winter differs from summer not only in low temperature, but also in a very short daylight hours, therefore, without organizing lighting, your garden on the windowsill will not bring the desired result. Modern manufacturers offer a wide range of lighting sources. To choose the best option, you need to navigate their merits and demerits:
- Incandescent lamps should not be considered as a backlight, since a relatively small luminous flux is accompanied by a high energy intensity.
- A halogen lamp works on the principle of an incandescent lamp and differs from it by the presence of inert gases in the bulb. The energy intensity is just as large, while the luminous flux is not much more. This option is also not suitable.
- The fluorescent lamp does not heat up much, therefore it has a low energy consumption. Two lamps with a total power of 40 watts are capable of providing light for a miniature garden bed 1.5×1.5 meters. However, they contain mercury and can therefore be hazardous if damaged..
- LED lights will be the best option for plant lighting. They practically do not get warm, they are very difficult to break. For your windowsill, a 25-watt lamp will suffice. You can choose special LED plant light.
Practical tips for beginners
In addition to lighting, caring for a vegetable garden on a windowsill requires:
Good quality soil for the garden. In addition to useful ingredients, the soil needs to be disinfected. This can be done in different ways, for example, spill it with a light pink solution of potassium permanganate, freeze it on the balcony or fry it in the oven for an hour at a temperature of 100 degrees.
Indoor vegetables need constant moisture. It’s easy to achieve. Place small containers of water between the plants, spray them daily or install a humidifier.
When choosing plants for your indoor garden, pay attention to the packaging. Many early ripening varieties that are resistant to adverse conditions are labeled “For Home”. Not all plants that grow well in the country will also feel good on the windowsill..
Before planting seeds in the soil, you need to soak them, and plant them already hatched. Various stimulants, for example, “Amulet” or “Epin”, will help to ensure their harmonious development. Thanks to their use, the efficiency of your beds will significantly increase..
Nutrition is one of the important components of caring for indoor vegetables. Since the amount of soil in pots and boxes is very small, they constantly need feeding throughout their lives. You can use universal fertilizers, as well as specialized fertilizers for certain types of vegetables. Recently, a large number of biological fertilizers have appeared that can be successfully used on miniature beds, for example, “Biohumus”, “Biocin”.