Monday, April 8, 2013

Vegetable Gardening on Window Sills? Yikes!!!

I mentioned how easy it is to garden on the cheap, yesterday, but I feel the need to show you how easy it is.


I also just want to show off.

I bought all of this year's seeds with the knowledge that they may end up as container plants, since our lease runs out at the end of May.  The reality is that I may end up with no more than a balcony for my vegetables... or worse, a few window sills.


This means I have to think in terms of a small area and a large harvest.

Double Yikes!

We'll see what happens at that point, but in the meantime, I have an explosion of plants, and I love it.

The thing is this: as long as you have plastic deli or produce containers, a drive to grow your own vegetables, and enough dirt to do it, you can very easily start seeds on a window sill... even in South Central Minnesota

Dreary view through a window: brown grass, snow piles in shady areas, dark surroundings

...where many days are cloudy and you can still find snow n shady spots in April.

No, really!  

You've seen my wheat grass and the strawberry container that held two types of peppers.  The peppers have since been moved to a window sill in my daughter's room (west facing).  I also have two cucumber plants in containers on a south facing window sill in my bedroom.

The big "plant zone", though, is the spare bedroom.  I have two window sills loaded with mini greenhouses made from plastic containers, as well as some plants that have migrated to pots.

Rectangular, clear container with yellow sticker, square container hanging over window sill edge, and small cup holding two leggy sprouts.

In the container with the yellow sticker we have broccoli, kale, and buttercrunch lettuce.  

Two of each of these sprouts, for a grand total of 6 sprouting jiffy pellets.  The doughnut container next to it houses my 3 jalapenos, along with an assortment of ragtag plants that are taking longer to sprout than others. 

The cup at the end holds two tomatillos.  

Unfortunately, they're way too leggy.  I'll be replanting them soon in hopes of strengthening the stems.  Their problem is a lack of light.  They belong in warm, sunny climates, after all!

Oh, well.  You win some, and you lose some, right?

In a line: tomato sprout in pot, rectangular clear plastic container, tomato sprouts in two more pots.  Larger pot with a tomato cage holding three pea plants sits on a box just behind the sill.

The window sill above holds my 3 heirloom tomato plants, as well as a plastic container full of bok choy and some marigolds for my daughter's garden.

Unfortunately, I have no talent for flowers, so I have doubts that any of the marjoram seeds will ever sprout...

And then there's the peas.  

Three different plants, growing strong in one pot.  I've already had to give them something to climb on!

The reason so much can be done in the window sill, even when sun isn't particularly strong, is that I'm using the plastic containers as mini greenhouses.  The air inside the containers is warmer than the surrounding area, so it jump-starts germination. 

Less evaporation occurs during this sensitive time, also.  This means constantly moist soil at a time when this is crucial.


The lesson here?  Window sill planting can produce quite a bit in a small area. It just requires some creative problem solving.

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