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Tips For Windowsill Gardening
Johann Erickson

Believe it or not, keeping the green of Spring in you life year-round, is easier than you think. While it’s great fun to get outside and start planting that vegetable or flower garden, many people keep the freshness in their life even during the winter, by starting windowsill gardens.

Of all plants that are easiest to grow indoors, herbs are at the top of the list. Not only are they green and decorative, they’re also delicious. And when grown in the kitchen, they’re just a step away from the pot of spaghetti sauce or the stew that’s cooking for dinner.

It’s possible to purchase commercial kits that contain seeds for a variety of herbs, as well as a plastic seed bed with a clear hood. These kits usually include a growing medium, and sometimes may also have small pots for transplanting the seeds to once they are growing. Alternatively, you can use a clear, hard plastic box that you bought donuts in, and create you own little “greenhouse”, purchasing only the seeds you want, and buying small pots and growing medium in the quantity you’ll need.

How you set up your “garden” depends greatly on the space of your windowsill. It may only be wide enough to hold small pots once the plants are established. But if you want more room for the seedling boxes, or a sturdy and safe place for your growing plants, consider fixing a wooden shelf under the sill. These can often be found at craft stores or fairs, in the unfinished wood, so that you can paint or varnish them as you please. Many also come with the hooks for mugs and cups, so they’re a great addition to kitchen décor.

If you can get one that has a small railing around the edge of the shelf, that’s all the better, as it keeps pots from accidentally sliding off if someone bumps the shelf.

Although the kitchen is a desirable spot, your plants will do best in a window that has at least six hours of sunlight a day, to keep the growth cycle moving along. This could be an east or south window. West windows tend to have the hottest sun, which may not be good for tender young plants, especially in Spring or Summer. If the window area tends to be extremely cold during winter nights, you may want to put the plants down on a cupboard or table until the sun comes back up.

Be careful of your watering habits, since plants in pots do not lose their water into the earth around them like they would in a garden. Water only when the soil is beginning to dry. But remember also, that your house does not have the same humidity as an outdoor garden, and in winter particularly, indoor heating systems dry out the air. Mist your plants in winter, to keep leaves from drying out, and to prevent the proliferation of certain pests.

Herbs are by no means the only “garden” plant that can be grown indoors year-round. Some annuals and even a few perennials can be grown successfully, given the right soil and temperature conditions. If you have the space, then decorative urns make a wonderful impromptu garden that will yield everything from tomatoes, to spinach, to beans! Give it a try, and see what grows inside your home this year.

About the Author

Johann Erickson is the owner of Online Discount Mart and TV Products 4 Less.

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