Windowsill Garden — myths and reality
To harvest their own greens, herbs and even vegetables on the window sill — the idea is very tempting. And inevitably — associated with myths, misconceptions, and stories of disappointments. Today, the growing greens on the balcony or in the kitchen is not just popular and fashionable. But before you can sow lettuce, parsley and mint in pots, it is worth soberly assess their capabilities. To achieve the harvest from the garden on the windowsill is possible only with the provision of ideal conditions. First and foremost — the correct lighting. The article dispelling the myths about growing greens and vegetables at home and «paint» a real picture of the garden on the windowsill.
Myth 1. Vegetables and herbs are easy to grow at home all year round
Fashion, which began with a natural desire even in the winter to eat fresh, self-grown herbs and vegetables, for many turned into a real disappointment. Transferred in the autumn in pots from the garden or sown directly in the premises of herbs and greens is rapid growth and the long-awaited harvest, look like faint resemblance to their relatives in the garden. Windowsill Garden — myths and reality
Even the greens, which has successfully grown during the summer on the balcony, with the arrival of winter suffering, in the sky, losing leaves. And if you don’t wither at all, with the arrival of spring comes to life again, and after pruning happy and flowering, and harvest.
The reason for the «winter crisis» home garden very simple – underestimation of the task. Plants in pots, boxes and containers really can be grown indoors. But we need to realize that to achieve such a desired result, even the most unpretentious kinds of salads and herbs have to provide everything necessary for a normal active growing season.
And here lies the main problem with vegetable gardens on window sills. Their owners don’t realize that the vegetables and herbs in the house for the harvest will need a combination of all of the same conditions as in the beds:
- bright lighting and long light day;
- heat stable;
- fresh air;
- fill all the necessary nutrients;
- enough moisture;
- timely formation.
The task of recreating the summer on a windowsill far from trivial. It is no accident that in the West for growing herbs and greens at home began to use an unattended installation with climate control. It is a kind of decorative vertical mini-greenhouse.
To provide all necessary plants indoors in the fall and winter, really, the only «robots». Or those who are willing to spend a lot of time and effort to getting not-so-impressive yield. Because of the limited acreage means a limited harvest. Herbs and vegetables from the window sill is nice and useful, but a very small addition to the diet.
Myth 2. Herbs and vegetables grow anywhere indoors
Proper placement is the key to success in growing herbs and vegetables at home. For growing a vegetable garden will only fit a heated, glassed-in loggias, balconies and window sills with adequate lighting levels on the southern, South-Eastern and South-Western Windows. Even in the summer on the East or West window, the plants will lack illumination and require artificial lighting. And what can we say about the winter! Windowsill Garden — myths and reality
The placement on the windowsill, inside the rooms is simply unacceptable, with the exception of automated climatic systems in special showcases.
For home gardens choose rooms with high humidity. Pots with greenery, usually placed in the kitchen not only for aesthetic reasons.
Myth 3. Lighting on the southern windowsill is enough
Growing indoor vegetable garden, especially in winter or autumn, requires more than just choosing the most bright window. For normal development of even green, not to mention vegetables, and requires intense light and longer daylight hours.
The plants develop normally, they need a light day with a duration of at least 12 hours, and ideally up to 14 hours. And to provide it only with supplementary lighting. Installation fitolamp necessary not only during the cold seasons, but in cloudy days. And not do without it even on the South window.
Ideal conditions for growth to ensure only professional installations, but for the most simple herbs and young grasses usually measures a simple supplementary lighting is sufficient.
Myth 4. Any room temperature suitable
Herbs and vegetables in pots and containers for normal growth and development require stable temperatures (at least 15 degrees for salads, and +18 for vegetables), with the difference between day and night indicators at least 3 degrees.
Room temperature is good, but not always. Vegetables prefer temperatures from +22 to +25 °C. however, even for salads invalid drafts and sharp temperature swings, low humidity. And ventilate the room regularly need! That is, in the winter you need to constantly protect the plants during the ventilation, so they are not affected by streams of cold air.
Myth 5. To grow on the windowsill can be anything you want
In container culture, regardless of the location of the plants, you can grow quite a small list of vegetables and herbs – hardy, undemanding and well adapted to the limited amount of soil.
On the windowsill in good light and the control conditions without problems grow only the most hardy herbs – parsley, dill, Basil, fennel, coriander, Melissa, tarragon. Mint, marjoram, chamomile and other «tea» plants can wither in the winter even with supplementary lighting.
Onions on the greens is easy to grow even in hydroponics or just in the water and is well suited for window sills. Windowsill Garden — myths and reality
With salads all the more difficult to spread only the leaf and spicy salads, which is better to use and collect very young. There are special mixes for growing baby salads. No problems in any soil yield delicious sprouts watercress, arugula, mung bean and chicory. On the mini-greens can be sown on the window sill and spinach.
If you want to join the range is green, think about growing microcline – germinating seeds of radishes, beets, beans, sunflower.
From root crops you can grow mini carrots and a full crop ripening and moisture loving radishes.
The easiest way not to be mistaken with a choice of vegetables. Should focus on a range of balcony types – plants, who have a special balcony or potted varieties. To try, you can grow tomatoes, cucumbers, peppers (especially spicy edible and decorative, which can be considered also a full potted plant). However, choosing varieties that need to stay self-pollinated, early, low-growing, hardy and growing well in partial shade varieties. Dwarf and miniature options perfect.
Grows well in pots strawberries, but she will need very bright lighting.
The chances of success is easier when growing new plants from seed and not buying or transplanting into pots of Mature plants. Seedlings are better adapted to the windowsill, while Mature plants will require conditions similar to the previous one and will inevitably wither.
Do not have to bring it to the garden. Give the crop and fruit plants – citrus, pomegranates, laurels, pineapples and even coffee.
Myth 6. You can use any pot and soil
For growing herbs and vegetables choose a shallow, wide containers, spacious, with a large number of drainage holes, with minimal risk of water stagnation. At the bottom be sure lay the drain with the height of about one third of the pot.
The substrate is more important! For greens and vegetables do not use any soil, but nutritious, coarse, loose soil with a complex composition, containing leaf, turf soil and turf with additional, not giving densifying additives. Perlite, coarse sand, vermiculite – ideal Supplement in addition to charcoal, and sphagnum moss and coconut fiber. It is necessary to evaluate prospects for the use of hydroponics.
For greens it is better to provide, and the upper drainage, which reduces the risk of waterlogging to a minimum.
Myth 7. Sowing on the windowsill all the same seeding in the garden
To get a crop of greens and herbs at home, you need to sow the seeds thickly, with small distances so that the young plants completely filled the space of the pot and formed a dense cushion.
For vegetables it is better to prefer individual sowing, sowing from 2-3 seed in the pot and then removing the weaker shoots. For each species should be very strictly observe all the rules of planting.
Myth 8. Garden on the windowsill requires minimal maintenance
To bring a crop on the windowsill may only flawless care:
- The glaze should be very careful. Not even the most water-loving grass will not survive complete drought no loss of decoration. But the dampness is not an option. Water-loving salads watered so that the moisture content was stable, but not excessive. The top layer of soil dry out between waterings. The best fit not the most abundant but frequent watering.
- Feeding contribute regularly, but in small concentrations, so as to maintain the supply of nutrients in the soil stable. It is necessary to use a special fertilizer for fruiting plants. Growth stimulants, organic fertilizers are allowed only in the form of biological products with controlled characteristics.
- Plants need time to pinch back, sagusa and not allowing them to stretch out.
- Clean leaves, soil, and containers must be flawless.
And most importantly – for herbs and vegetables on the windowsill need to watch, noticing the slightest problem, and in order to respond appropriately.
Dear readers! We hope that our article will allow you to realistically assess your chances of success in the organization of the garden on the windowsill. The easiest way for beginners to try their hand in this hobby with the arrival of spring. If you have window sills South orientation and you follow our advices about the choice of crops for a home garden, then you have all the chances of success.
But the «garden on the windowsill in the winter — no worries» — a utopia. Start to grow herbs and vegetables in the winter, the house is only for those who have a positive experience of growing these crops in the open field and can provide your garden light, temperature, and care is needed by plants. That is, «no worries» — fail. Windowsill Garden — myths and reality
The correct solutions to you!