5 Windowsill Gardening Hacks (Plus 6 Perfect Plants For Your Indoor Garden)
Just because you don’t have outdoor growing space doesn’t mean that you can’t have the vegetable garden of your dreams. Even if you do have an outdoor garden, you can still take advantage of a windowsill garden and keep the herbs and flowers you love close at hand.
Whether you live in an apartment or an old farmhouse, if you have a window you can grow a small garden indoors! Herbs are best suited to windowsill gardening, but small vegetables and tiny flowers can also thrive in an indoor garden.
Choose a sunny, south-facing window
Not all windows are created equal, so find a south or west-facing window for the most sun. Most vegetables prefer at least six hours of sun each day, but if you have four hours of sun you can still grow most herbs and leafy greens.
You can always supplement your windowsill garden with a grow light if your plants aren’t getting enough sun. Hang a fluorescent bulb in front of the window, or use an integrated system like this one and forgo the windowsill!
Use terracotta pots
Since your indoor plants won’t be getting as much sunlight or airflow as they would outside, it’s essential to pot them in the proper containers. Some perennial herbs, like oregano and rosemary, prefer drier soil–terracotta pots are perfect for these herbs, since clay dries out much faster than plastic, and pulls water away from the soil as it dries.
Make sure that your pots have good drainage, and that each has a saucer or tray underneath to catch excess water. You don’t want that water pooling up on your windowsill and rotting the wood or dripping into the floor!
Harvest and prune often
Herbs and greens are low-maintenance plants that are easy to grow, but there is some work involved. Harvest frequently so that the plants stay small, and cut them back with sharp, clean pruners if the plants start to get out of hand.
Many herbs and vegetables acquire a bitter flavor when the plants begin flowering. As soon as you see a bud, pinch it off to keep the plant in a vegetative state.
Water infrequently and fertilize regularly
Water your windowsill garden less often than you would water your outdoor garden. These plants aren’t exposed to as much light, so they’ll use less water. Allow the soil to dry out completely between waterings, or you might create an environment conducive to fungus gnats and root rot.
Indoor plants need a little more TLC than outdoor-grown plants. Pamper your windowsill garden by applying a balanced, water-soluble fertilizer every other week. Water your plants before you fertilize, and be sure to dilute the fertilizer to one-quarter of its original strength–or it might do more harm than good.
Choose the perfect plants for your windowsill garden
This may seem like stating the obvious, but it’s too crucial to go unmentioned–not everything thrives in the low light a windowsill provides. Sun-loving annuals like peppers and beans will surely struggle, but herbs and leafy greens will really thrive in a windowsill garden.
An aromatic herb that enhances everything from marinara sauce to fajitas, no culinary garden is complete without oregano close at hand. Greek Oregano is prized for its strong flavor and versatility in the kitchen.
Another culinary staple for any foodie, rosemary is a popular addition to soups, salads, and chicken. Ditch dry storebought herbs that have been sitting on shelves for who knows how long, and have fresh rosemary always at the ready.
Who doesn’t love the sweet scent of fresh basil? Used to flavor a wide variety of dishes and even to enhance cut flower bouquets, basil is an easy annual herb to grow form seed. Try growing Genovese Basil in your indoor garden this year and impress your family with delicious homemade pesto!
Want the flavor of onion without all the tears? Consider adding chives to your indoor garden. A hardy plant that can withstand a considerable amount of shade and water stress, chives are so very low-maintenance plants. Allow Chives to flower and add the fuzzy purple flowers to your salad!
Lettuces and other salad greens are perfect candidates for windowsill gardens. Alfresco Blend Lettuce is the perfect candidate for a container garden in a small space–harvest the baby leaves for a delicious bed of spring salad greens!
Yes, you read that right–there are diminutive species of tomatoes that grow less than a foot tall. Called the micro dwarfs, these miniature tomatoes are very much at home on a windowsill or coffee table indoors. Micro Tom is a favorite for its sweet red cherries that mature in as few as 55 days! Fresh tomatoes year-round? Sign me up!
Bonus tip: Let SmallGarden grow your plants for you
If you’re interested in starting your own windowsill garden, but aren’t sure where to start, the ēdn SmallGarden is perfect for you. This revolutionary growing system comes complete with a self-watering planter, LED lights, and pre-seeded pods with your favorite herbs, greens, and flowers. The planter can be automated via an app, so even the busiest folks can reap the rewards of homegrown food!
Take your edible garden inside with these five herbs and vegetables that thrive indoors in small spaces. Whether you have ten acres or an apartment in the city, fresh herbs and vegetables are well within your reach. Grow your favorite plants in a simple windowsill garden, and you’ll be surprised by how much food can come out of otherwise unusable space.