Window sill garden ideas

Want to grow FRESH & ORGANIC vegetables but short of space? No problem, you can even do this near your kitchen window. Just learn about the Windowsill Vegetable Gardening and 11 best vegetables you can grow there!

So what if you don’t have a big outdoor space to grow your own food, you can also grow your own fresh and organic vegetables in a small space– on your windowsill. Improvise and act, get some window boxes, hanging baskets or make some cool DIY containers.

Also Read: Windowsill Herb Garden

It’s fun and exciting and you’ll be successful if you care about a few things: Your window must receive minimum 4-5 hours of sunlight, you should fertilize your plants correctly and the balance in watering must be maintained (avoiding both overwatering and underwatering).

Also Read: How to Water Container Plants

1. Green Onions

Fresh green onions can be a wonderful and delicious addition to your salad bowls and sandwiches. In a small space like a windowsill, you can get enough harvest. You can even grow green onions in water. See the tutorial! If you want, you can try to grow onions, too. Also, vertically in plastic bottles. Check out this post.

A Tip: If you’re growing green onions in water, replace the water every day.

2. Loose Leaf Lettuce

After green onions growing lettuce is one of the easiest things in the windowsill gardening! It doesn’t require a sunny window, a few hours of sunlight is enough, if not, you can also use artificial light. And the best part is you can make decorative arrangements, combining red or green leaf lettuces in the same pot or choosing variegated ones.

A Tip: Wide-shallow containers are sufficient and provide you small crop. Learn how to grow lettuce in a pot here.

3. Tomatoes

Growing tomatoes on a windowsill is easy if it is sunny. A great way to grow and enjoy fresh, organic, juicy tomatoes indoors. For best results, choose dwarf varieties (cherry tomatoes, are perfect). Also, some varieties that grow well on windowsill include Early Salad, Red Cushion, Pretty Patio, and Tiny Tim.

Also Read: How to Grow So Many Tomatoes in So Little Space

A Tip: Cherry tomatoes don’t require a big deep pot, you can use a small to medium sized container. If you like to grow them in hanging baskets near your windows, it is possible too. Learn how to do this here.

4. Spinach

You can have your own spinach and you don’t need a big yard for this. You can grow it on a windowsill if it receives only a few hours of sun. Here’s the helpful guide on growing spinach in containers.

A Tip: Keep the soil slightly moist and provide shallow but wide planter, a 6 inches deep pot would be sufficient.

5. Chillies

Exotic, hot, spicy, and colorful– You can grow chilies on your kitchen windowsill. But only if it is sunny and warm. Also, the pot you use should be at least 8-10 inches deep. It’s fun and you’ll love your plants once they’ll start to flower and fruit. You can make your curry recipes spicier this way.

Also Read: How to Grow Banana Peppers

A Tip: Provide as much sun as possible and keep your eyes on pests.

6. Carrots

Growing carrot on a windowsill is possible and you can expect a decent homegrown harvest in small pots or window boxes. Carrot plants need regular watering, otherwise, the roots (carrots) will dry out and crack. Growing this root vegetable in containers is easy and it doesn’t take much space too. Read this to learn how to grow carrots in containers.

A Tip: Choose smaller varieties.

7. Sprouts

The healthiest stuff you can grow– Almost anywhere in your home, also on the windowsill. It is such a rewarding experience as they grow easily and quickly. All you need is a quart jar, a few tablespoons of sprouting seeds and water. In a week, you’ll have a jar full of healthy delicate sprouts that you can sprinkle on salads, add to sandwiches or toss into soups for a delicious and healthful twist on your favorite recipes.

A Tip: Just read these two articles– here and here.

8. Garlic

No need to teach you about the GARLIC glories! Let’s come to the point– Garlic will grow happily on your windowsill. To grow it, buy some fresh garlic from a grocery store. Plant a large, unpeeled clove with the pointed side up, in well-draining soil. Keep the soil moist and in a few days, you should see a green shoot. You can use its leaves in many recipes in place of garlic, will taste delicious. To harvest the leaves, cut them off with a sharp scissor, only a few inches at a time. When the leaves dry, dig up the soil to harvest the garlic bulbs.

A Tip: Choose at least 6 inches deep pot.

9. Microgreens

A big bowl of green leaves can be a prime source of vitamins A, C, K and folic acid. And microgreens (aka seedlings of herbs and vegetables) maybe even more nutrient-rich and tasty than the mature ones. Here is everything about growing microgreens.

A Tip: To grow microgreens you will need seeds of various greens and a wide but shallow tray.

10. Radishes

Radishes grow so fast and require little care and don’t mind the small pots. Plus, there leaves are also edible and you can prepare delicious exotic recipes from them. They need sunny windowsill and a moist soil.

A Tip: Ensure the pots you use have sufficient drainage holes and the potting soil must be well-drained and rich in organic matter.

11. Beans and Peas

Both the beans and peas can be grown on windowsills if there is space. Pole beans if planted in window boxes can be trained and supported by tying a string or wire from the planter to the window frame.

A Tip: Dwarf and bushier bean varieties and peas don’t require any special support, thus more suitable for windowsill gardening.

By Tina Jepson

Windowsill gardens help you maximize your space and bring the beauty and bounty of a traditional outdoor garden indoors.

You only need a few things to create the perfect windowsill garden. When planning your windowsill garden, it’s best to place it on a south-facing window with a decent-sized sill. Any window that gets direct sunlight for at least half of the day will work.

Once you have the basics down, it’s time to get started. Here are seven tips to help you create a perfect windowsill garden.


1. Plan Necessities

Since space is limited in a windowsill garden, take time to figure out exactly what you want, or perhaps need, to grow. The easiest way to do this is to simply take an inventory of what you frequently eat. If you love to add herbs and fresh greens to your meals, then start here.

Some of the best plants to grow on your windowsill are ones that don’t get too big, such as root vegetables (carrots, garlic), herbs (mint, cilantro, rosemary), and salad greens (arugula, green leaf).


2. Use Your Leftovers

Sure, you can purchase some seeds and easily grow your plants from scratch, but you also have another option: using your leftovers! It’s not only cheap, it’s also really amazing to see your food garbage transformed into plentiful plants!

When you have extra herbs, lettuce leaves, celery, beets, and more, place them in a shallow glass of water on your windowsill. Within days, you’ll notice some roots growing. At this point, it’s safe to transplant the newly-rooted leftovers into potting soil.


Feel free to directly plant extra garlic cloves and ginger rhizomes directly into soil.

3. Check on the Sunlight

Your windowsill garden requires at least six hours of sunlight per day throughout the year. Any less and your plants won’t grow. During the spring and summer months, you should be fine. However, many windowsill gardeners invest in a small UV light system to compensate for the dark winter months.


4. Fertilize Early, Fertilize Often

Fertilizer is the perfect food for your windowsill garden, but it’s vitally important to find the right kind. I find that liquid fish fertilizer works great for plants in containers.


Read the dilution instructions carefully and fertilize every 1-2 weeks.

5. Feel Free to Trim Leaves, But Use Caution

Most salad greens, herbs, and even celery won’t stop growing even after you’ve trimmed them back. In fact, it’s possible to keep your plants growing and growing throughout the year by trimming the leaves and shoots.


When trimming back your edibles to eat, use sharp scissors and cut on an angle.

6. Improvise When Space is Limited

If you’re stuck with a narrow windowsill, it’s easy to replace it with a bigger one. Just make sure the new molding matches the rest of your home.


Or use strong suction cups to secure extra containers directly to the window. Part of the fun of windowsill gardening is improvising with the space you have available.

7. Think of Your Garden as Home Décor

Visitors are bound to notice your windowsill garden, so incorporate the containers into your home’s overall decor. You can find virtually any type of pots and containers made of everything from colored plastic to ceramic, natural, and clay.


I suggest labeling your plants for easy identification, especially if you’re planting several different greens or root vegetables. Purchase chalkboard stickers or small stake signs to add a creative touch.


So what are you waiting for? No matter what kind of home you have, almost any sunny ledge can be used to bloom an indoor oasis!

Images used with permission, courtesy of and

Windowsill Gardening

If outdoor space is lacking or the elements make outdoor gardening difficult, don’t let your gardening efforts be deterred! Numerous crops do grow indoors and with a little understanding within a week or two you can be eating and enjoying freshly picked greens, sprouts and veges grown indoors.

Six tips to successful windowsill gardening:

  1. Let there be light: The more light the seeds or plants get the better. Place on a window sill, bench or table. Once a week, rotate the plants around, so a different side is facing the light source.
  2. Containers: Any container will do as long as it has drainage holes and a decent depth to hold enough potting mix to house the roots. Lack of root room will limit the capacity for a plant to fully develop. Add SaturAid to potting mix to aid water distribution and retention.
  3. Seeds versus plants: Quick growing crops such as wheat grass, sprouts, mesclun and rocket are best grown from seed. Whereas robust longer lived plants can be purchased as young plants and potted into suitable pots and containers.
  4. Dust: Dust particles cling to plants leaves, every now and again, spray a fine mist of water over the leaves to unclog the pores.
  5. Make it pretty: Plastic pots can be hidden, slip them into something more attractive, like a vase, ceramic pot, urn or Mexican oil cloth pouch.
  6. Watch out for: Dampening off or mould problems can occur. Remove the plants and pots immediately and start again, only a week or two will be lost until something new germinates and crops up again.

Mesclun leaves and rocket:

Quick and easy to grow, sprinkle a tablespoon of seeds in a pot filled with Tui Vegetable Mix once every 4-6 weeks to ensure a constant supply. Use as soon as the leaves are a pickable size.


The ‘go to’ herbs are chives, coriander, mint, parsley and oregano. Soft herbs such as basil and dill can be grown as micro greens and treated as short term crops, they tend to collapse under air conditioning and sudden changes in temperature. Plant into Tui Herb Mix, keep the soil moist and pick regularly, to stimulate the plant to produce more leaves. With mint, the key is to cut it hard back every few weeks to force it to push fresh new leaves from below.

Micro greens:

These mini veggies pack a punch and can be grown in something as small as a tea cup or pudding bowl. Pak choi, parsley, basil, lettuce, celery, beetroot are all good micro campaigners. Find out more about growing micro greens here.


Numerous seeds can be grown as sprouts – try lentils, beans, peas, mustard and alfalfa. Cover seeds in a preserving jar with water over night, drain the next day and leave in the jar to sprout, this takes 3-5 days depending on the seed. Harvest as soon as the leaves appear, then store in airtight containers in the fridge.


Healthy and packed full of energy, wheat grass is a super quick and easy crop to grow. Only a shallow dish is required – old takeaway containers are fine. Fill with Tui Vegetable Mix and sow seeds thickly on top of the soil, and lightly cover with more mix. Keep the soil well watered, and within a couple of weeks, it will be ready to harvest.

Sunflower greens:

With a slightly nutty flavour, sunflower greens should be ready to use in 10-12 days from sowing. Sow as you would wheatgrass and harvest once finger length.


Super fast to germinate, with edibles leaves and roots. The round ball varieties are better suited to indoor gardening, make sure you allow plenty of space for the roots to develop.


Both the leaves and roots can be eaten. Sow seeds into trays and transplant once the seedlings have developed, or sow directly into pots filled with Tui Vegetable Mix.

Seven Types of Plants That Are Best For Windowsills

Whether you live in an apartment without a garden, or quite simply wish to bring the outdoors inside, a windowsill garden is a perfect alternative (or addition) to an exterior space.

It’s easier than you may think to start a windowsill garden, you just need to know what types of plants will be happiest there.

If you already have an abundance of indoor plants in and outside of the home, start by taking cuttings from some of your favorites, using a sharp knife or a pair of pruners. These should measure between 3 and 4 inches in size.

The next step requires you to root them in water. In the beginning, it’s important to change the water on a regular basis (this should be weekly) in order to avoid bacteria from forming.

If you don’t have any types of plants to take cuttings from, pop down to your local garden center or order online at

If you wish to start from scratch, purchase several packs of seeds. Alternatively, you can buy many types of plants for nursery herbs and shrubberies that have already been potted.

To create an aesthetically pleasing display, invest in a variety of colorful pots or clear, contemporary glass containers – these can be free standing or hanging, depending on the type of window exhibit you wish to create.

Now all that’s left to do is watch your indoor garden come to life. Once your herbs and flowers, or other types of plants are in full bloom, you can both admire their beauty and fragrance, and use them in certain dishes – adding that ‘just-picked-taste’ to your meals.

7 Types of Plants Best For Windowsills


This particular herb enjoys lots of sun and warmth, especially in the beginning. If you can, use a south-facing window and for best results plant your seeds in small pots. These can be transferred as the herb begins to grow.

Basil adds a strong, delightful flavour to a number of popular dishes and is often added to a meal 5-10 minutes before serving. It’s most commonly used in sauces, pasta recipes, basil pesto, tomato-based dishes and soups. When it comes to picking the leaves of this plant for use in cooking, it’s recommended that you take them from the top of the plant. It’s important to do this often if you wish to encourage your plant to grow whilst harvesting.

Asides from its many cooking use, Basil is also used to treat a number of ailments including headaches and ear infections. It can also reduce blood sugar levels and is said to calm the stomach. Simple add it to a dish or alternatively, add half a teaspoon to a glass of water to lessen feelings of fullness and to soothe indigestion.

Basil, like a number of indoor herbs, is grown for its foliage. It doesn’t offer any flowers or fruits, yet despite this, it still boasts an attractive green verdure – making it a popular option for a window display. For best results, mist the leaves on a regular basis. This will increase humidity, whilst preventing pests such as spider mites from attacking the plant.


Bay is another popular type of plant for an indoor garden and one that will add a delightful fragrance and color to your home. This perennial often grows better indoors than out, which makes it a great choice for a windowsill garden. When planting this particular species, use a larger pot – Bay requires an uncrowded space and plenty of air circulation in order to thrive and remain healthy.

As well as adding a distinctive flavor to an abundance of dishes, Bay leaves also boast medicinal properties and a warm aroma. They are often used to flavor stews and hearty soups and are good for coughs, colds, chest infections, stomach bugs and kidney ailments. You can also massage the oil of the bay leaf onto sprains and swellings and it can be used to help ease headaches and rheumatic pains.


These types of plants should be planted late summer. They require low light and temperatures of between 65 and 70 degrees in order to flourish. If you enjoy fine flavors and fragrances, Chervil is the herb for you. Although it resembles parsley in look, its taste is a combination of fennel and tarragon, but less potent. It’s a more unusual herb yet still one that is worth investing in.


This popular indoor plant is one of the easiest to grow. If you already have them in your garden (or have a friendly neighbor who will share a section of theirs with you), you’ll need to replant a clump of chives in a small pot. The pot should be left outside at first, once the leaves die back, it can be moved indoors. Pop it in a cool space for the first few days, such as a shaded area in the kitchen or basement, before moving it to a bright window spot with plenty of light. Growing this particular type of plant will allow you access to this culinary delight all year round. At full height, it can measure up to 30cm and boasts round purple and pink blooms. As well as adding fflavorto a variety of dishes, it can add colour to your windowsill.


This fragrant smelling, heat-loving herb requires plenty of light and as such, it thrives best when placed on a south-facing, warm window. The ideal temperature for this plant is between 60-70 degrees Fahrenheit. For best results, cut a small section from an existing shrub and replant. This is the ideal herb to have in the home if you enjoy both Mexican and Mediterranean dishes.

Growing this type of plant indoors is an excellent way to add an abundance of flavour to your food.

Source: rodals organic life

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Hey there my karma streamers! How are you today? We are always here to give you some ideas to enhance your space! For today, I have a very interesting post that is called “15 Small Windowsill Plants That Will Impress You “. Are you excited?
SEE ALSO: 12 Astonishing Tea Cup and Coffee Mug Gardens

Windowsills receive full light and are perfect spot for sun-loving plants. If you want to know which plants will thrive on your sunny sills, continue reading.

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Some varieties of cactus thrive in windows that receive full sun during the day. This plant need sandy soil and very little watering. A grouping of cactus plants, in different shapes and sizes can be perfect addition to your sunny windowsill.


This type of plant also requires very little water and lots of light. Watering once a week is usually enough for your succulents to flourish. I really like them because of their unusual shape, color and size. I need to mention that they grow well grouped together in pots, but a single plant in its own pot can make a statement as well.


Crotons have colorful foliage, which makes them a good pick for a sunny windowsill. This plant has large, heavy leaves with lines and patters on the top. Keep the soil moist, but not wet.

Umbrella Plants

This leafy deep green plant is a sunny window favorite and it has steams that are capped by slender petals that hang in the shape of an umbrella. Keep the soil moist, but don’t allow the roots of the plant to sit in water.


There are a variety of indoor geraniums available. The Martha Washington plant looks lovely on windowsills. It has several flower color choices to choose from.

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Hanging Planters

To increase use of the windowsill, you can hang your plants in windows from a hook too. There are many beautiful hanging planters that will make your space more fun and interesting, so that it won’t be difficult for you to choose the right one for your space.

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With just a bit of effort your flowers and herbs will add a pop of color that can be viewed and enjoyed from the both sides of your windows. Keep in mind to turn the containers every week to adequately expose all sides of your plants.

So, what do you think about these windowsill plants my dear people? Do you find them interesting and beautiful? Which idea is your favorite? Share your comments below. Thank you for reading! Enjoy in the rest of your day and don’t forget to stay up to date with the content of Karma Stream!

How to Start Your First Windowsill Garden

A windowsill garden is a great way to bring color and texture to a room. Even the apartment-dweller can find the space to beautify; all it takes is a well-lit windowsill, some pots, plants and a good attitude—the rest just kind of takes care of itself.

Plus, windowsill gardens serve multiple purposes in that they literally breathe air into the space. And, you’re in for a treat if your plants are the food-bearing kind, especially during the winter months when outdoor growing isn’t happening.

But during the summer, windowsill gardening can get somewhat tricky, as temperatures soar and the sun’s powerful rays beat down and threaten such life.

Below are a few tips to starting and maintaining a windowsill garden, while keeping your plants burn-free.

Choose the Right Spot

Choose the sunniest, best windowsill in your house. Eastern or southern exposure is ideal. Western-facing windows give off intense afternoon heat, making life challenging for less healthy plants.

Also, make sure trees and buildings don’t block the sun’s light and that the area receives at least six hours of direct sunlight a day. If needed, add artificial lighting.

A white or light-colored room will prove useful as well; light colors reflect the light, while dark interior surfaces absorb light. Finally, try to avoid windowsills near heating vents or cooking appliances, which will upset the natural humidity in the air.

Choose the Right Container

Choose the proper container. If starting with plants, get a container that is at least 6- to 12-in. deep. Herbs can grow in a wide or long container.

If you’ve got more than one crop per container, make sure there’s enough breathing (and root system) room so they don’t have to compete for light, water and nutrients.

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You can get all artsy and make decorative arrangements by combining different crops together, like tomato and leaf lettuce. But, again, just be sure the container allows plenty of room for the different roots to grow.

Choose the Right Plant

Choose a quick-maturing plant for vegetables. Indoor vegetable gardening has nearly all the same requirements as an outdoor garden—bright light, water and protection from pests and diseases—but there is dramatically less space. So, growing quick-maturing crops planted in quick succession is ideal. Also, try growing indoor crops close to its natural outdoor growing season.


Water the plants as needed, using room temperature water. Use the old “stick your finger in it” method. That is, stick your finger in the soil and if it’s dry, give it some water; if it is damp or wet, then let it be. Too much water can lead to fungus. Water your indoor plants in the morning on sunny days ideally, as evaporation slows on cloudy, cool days.


Spray them if needed. To counter the dry air, especially in the summer or in heated homes during the winter, mist around the plants frequently. Dryness can lead to brown tips and spider mites.


Rotate those beauties. Give your plants a quarter turn each week to expose all sides to the sun, so as to ensure it grows evenly.


Rinse them off. Vegetable crops are susceptible to aphids, mites and whiteflies, so give indoor plants a strong rinse every two weeks or so. You can take the plant outside to spray, or do it beneath the kitchen faucet. Just be sure to check the undersides of leaves to verify any bugs have been washed away.

Windowsill Herbs and Vegetables for Kitchen Gardeners

January 3, 2018 3:53 pm A sunny windowsill is all you need to grow a variety of vegetables and herbs.

Homegrown fresh herbs and vegetables are not just a product of the warm growing months. Several can be easily cultivated along a sunny, south-facing windowsill during winter. Then when temperatures grow warmer, you can plant them outdoors to extend your summer gardening efforts.

Herbs for Indoor Growing

Pots of sweet basil and other herbs grow in a sunny window.

Basil– Fresh sweet basil pesto can just be an arms-length away if you have a sunny kitchen window. Some grocery stores or retail greenhouses sell plants in colder months, but you can also quickly grow your own from seed. Many varieties take only 40-50 days to grow to a harvestable size.

Small bush varieties, such as ‘Piccolino’ and ‘Pluto’, are the fastest-growing sweet basil types to grow from seed. The large-leaved ‘Pesto Party’ is also fast-growing and tasty. Sow seed on the surface of a small pot filled with Fafard Natural & Organic Potting Soil, which is approved for organic gardening. Keep the soil moist and place your pot in a sunny window. In just one week, the seeds should sprout. Give them even moisture, full sun, and they should thrive.

The small bush basil ‘Piccolino’. (Photo by Johnny’s Selected Seeds)

Rosemary– Pruned rosemary plants are often sold in winter for home growing. New growth can be trimmed off to flavor meats and or pasta sauces. Just be sure to give rosemary lots of sun, and turn window-grown plants every few days for even growth. Refrain from overwatering them because their roots are sensitive to rot caused by excessive moisture.

Thyme– Pots of low-growing French thyme (Thymus vulgaris) or lemon thyme (Thymus x citriodorus) look pretty and taste great on vegetables, meats, or added to fresh salad dressings. If you have an outdoor plant, you can easily root cuttings for indoor growing. Simply take 6” cuttings, remove the leaves from the bottom 2-inches of the stems, and place them in a clean glass of water. Refresh the water if it starts to look murky. In just a couple of weeks, they will root and can be potted. Like rosemary, thyme requires light watering and lots of sunlight.

Cilantro is very easy to grow indoors. (Image by Johnny’s Selected Seeds)

Cilantro-This cool-season annual herb is one of the easiest to grow indoors. Like basil, it is best grown from seed—with leaves ready for harvest in just 50 days. Try the tidy variety ‘Calypso’, which resists flowering and produces lots of edible leaves for salsa making. Start the seeds as you would basil.

Parsley-Pot-grown parsley thrives in sunny windowsills and quickly regrows new leaves as you trim fresh foliage for cooking. On occasion, plants are sold at grocery stores or in retail greenhouses, but seed-grown plants are probably your best bet. Parsley takes two months to reach a harvestable size from seed, so it is best seeded in late fall for winter growing. Start it as you would basil.

Vegetables for Indoor Growing

Salinova® Green Sweet Crisp lettuce is a cut-and-come-again variety for indoor growing.

Greens—Lettuce, spinach, and arugula are all fast-growing salad greens that grow well in indoor pots. In fact, some compact varieties are specially bred for indoor growing. Lettuces in the Salinova® series are compact, cut-and-come-again varieties that grow fast and produce well in pots. Try the curly Salinova® Green Sweet Crisp and red-leaved Salinova® Red Butter. Surface sow the seeds in a rectangular windowsill pot on a sunny sill, give them light moisture, and they will sprout quickly. In just 45-55 days they will be ready to harvest. The fast-growing ‘Corvair’ spinach (21 days) and ‘Esmee’ arugula (21-40 days) can be grown the same way.

The Brazilian beak pepper, ‘Biquinho’. (Image by Johnny’s Selected Seeds)

Peppers– Tiny pepper plants with fruits of all colors and heat levels can be grown in super sunny windows. The Brazilian beak pepper ‘Biquinho’ is a new red hot pepper that reaches only 1 to 2 feet high and yields fruits in just 60 days. Lunchbox mixed sweet pepper plants reach 2 to 3 feet, and bear small green peppers in just 55 days (75 days to turn from green to red and orange).
Start seeds in small pots of Black Gold Seedling Mix, keep them just moist and place them in a sunny window. In one to two weeks they should sprout. When they reach 6-inches high, move them into a 1-gallon pot filled with Fafard Natural & Organic Potting Soil, and add a stake to support growing plants. Feed them regularly with a water-soluble tomato and vegetable fertilizer

Tomatoes– If you have very sunny south-facing window or sunroom, you can grow tomatoes indoors. Bush-type (determinate) tomatoes bred for northern growing will grow and fruit the best. Start them indoors from seed in mid to late fall for winter fruiting. Maintaining room temperatures above 65° F will encourage fruit production. In just 60 days, ‘Gold Nugget’ cherry tomatoes bear small, golden tomatoes on short plants reaching 2-feet. For classic red tomatoes, try the high-yielding, disease-resistant ‘Polbig’, which reaches 2-3 feet. Start tomatoes as you would peppers. Support plants with stakes to manage growth, and prune back any leggy stems

Planting herbs and vegetables indoors this winter will keep fresh food on your table until spring. These attractive edibles also provide welcome indoor greenery to brighten cold, snowy days.

About Jessie Keith

Plants are the lens Jessie views the world through because they’re all-sustaining. (“They feed, clothe, house and heal us. They produce the air we breathe and even make us smell pretty.”) She’s a garden writer and photographer with degrees in both horticulture and plant biology from Purdue and Michigan State Universities. Her degrees were bolstered by internships at Longwood Gardens and the American Horticultural Society. She has since worked for many horticultural institutions and companies and now manages communications for Sun Gro Horticulture, the parent company of Black Gold. Her joy is sharing all things green and lovely with her two daughters.

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This site may contain content (including images and articles) as well as advice, opinions and statements presented by third parties. Sun Gro does not review these materials for accuracy or reliability and does not endorse the advice, opinions, or statements that may be contained in them. Sun Gro also does not review the materials to determine if they infringe the copyright or other rights of others. These materials are available only for informational purposes and are presented “as is” without warranty of any kind, express or implied, including without limitation warranties of merchantability, fitness for a particular purpose, and non-infringement. Reliance upon any such opinion, advice, statement or other information is at your own risk. In no event shall Sun Gro Horticulture Distribution, Inc. or any of its affiliates be liable to you for any inaccuracy, error, omission, fact, infringement and the like, resulting from your use of these materials, regardless of cause, or for any damages resulting there from.

Growing a Kitchen Windowsill Garden from Kitchen Scraps

In the depths of winter, it is easy to get the gardening itch. An easy and inexpensive way to get your green thumb busy is by starting a windowsill garden from kitchen scraps.

If you are like most of us, you tend to throw away a lot of vegetable waste. Whether it is the top of a carrot, the eye of a potato or the heart of a head of lettuce, there is potential for a garden there. Most vegetables are easy to re-grow, and many don’t even require dirt to get them started. Plus, you get the satisfaction of doing the ultimate recycling – growing food from food scraps.

Vegetables have an amazing ability to regenerate, and you can grow and re-grow many fresh vegetables – often with as little as a glass of water. You may already know about re-growing carrot tops, but did you know about re-growing celery and onions? Here is a list of vegetables that are easy to re-grow right on your kitchen windowsill.

Lettuce and Cabbage– The next time you prepare a head of lettuce or cabbage for a salad or stew, don’t toss the heart in the trash. Instead, place it in a dish filled with about a half-inch of water and set on a sunny windowsill. Replace the water every day or two.

After a few days, you will see new leaves sprouting. You can harvest the leaves for eating when they are large enough. Then, they will regenerate again.

Green Onions Scallions, Leeks and Fennel – You can place the white root base of these vegetables in just enough water to cover the bulb and then place it on a sunny windowsill.

Be sure to replace the water every few days, as it will get foul smelling. In about a week, you should see some new growth. You can transfer these plants to your outdoor garden in the spring, if you would like.

Onions — Regular onions are easy to regrow. Place the bottom root section in a cup of water on a sunny windowsill. Once it has grown back, you can transfer the plant to a large pot of soil, or, if it is warm enough, to your outdoor garden.

Garlic – You can grow a new garlic plant from just one garlic clove. Simply plant the clove with its root end down in a pot of soil and place it in direct sunlight. Another option is to plant an entire garlic head that has started sprouting in a pot with the shoots above soil level. As it grows, the garlic plant will develop small flowers.

Ginger –To re-generate the root of the ginger plant – the part you use in recipes – simply take a fresh section and partially submerge it in soil. Be sure that the root’s nubbins are pointed upward or at least to the side. Keep the soil moderately moist, and the root will begin growing within about 10 to 15 days. This attractive plant prefers indirect sunlight. When you want more ginger, pull up the plant, harvest some of its root. Then repeat the above process.

Celery — Celery is an easy, but slow, vegetable to regrow. After cutting off the base at about an inch or two, place it in a jar of water. Replace the water frequently and place the jar where it can get sunlight. Be patient as tiny sprouts begin to appear. After several weeks, you will start seeing substantial growth.

Bean Sprouts – Soak any leftover dry beans overnight. Then spread them out on paper towels to dry before repeating the process for a few days. Soon, you will see sprouts appear. When the sprouts are large enough, you may use them on your sandwiches and salads. Store leftover sprouts in the refrigerator.

Potatoes – As you might expect, potatoes will not stay long as a windowsill plant. However, you can get them started for spring transplanting. When a potato begins to grow eyes, cut it into small pieces with one or two eyes on each piece. Let these sections sit out at room temperature for a minimum of 24 hours to allow the cuts to dry and heal over. Then plant the sections (with the eyes facing up) about eight inches deep in a large pot filled with soil. As the sprouts emerge, add about four more inches of soil to the pot.

Re-growing vegetables takes some trial and error. You will have the best results if you use fresh scraps, replace water frequently and place them in a windowsill that gets a lot of sunlight.

Additionally, some plants are sensitive to municipal water that has been chlorinated or fluoridated. If you are not having any luck with re-growing your kitchen scraps, consider using distilled water. Also, if your plants are not thriving, they may not be getting enough light. Try grow lights.

A final note – kids love this project, so be sure to get them involved. Good luck!

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