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The Complete Guide To Windowsill Growing

19th September 2018

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You don’t need a small space to enjoy the benefits of growing your own. Take a look at these useful pointers to help you get started.

You would be forgiven for thinking that your choices for growing edible crops from a windowsill are limited. What can any gardener do with such a small space? However, with a little bit of creativity, these areas can become a wonderful source of home-grown produce. Take a look at these top tips.

Assess Your Growing Situation
If you live in an apartment or flat then your windowsill is likely to be one of the only options for gardening. Recognise how much space you have to work with, whether it’s a small window ledge or possibly a balcony. This will help you to decide how many crops to grow. Before you begin, it’s also a good idea to record how much sunlight your chosen growing spot receives each day. This information will allow you to choose edibles that will thrive in these conditions. For example, spinach prefers slight shade while tomatoes will ripen fully in direct sunlight. Whatever your situation, there will be gardening avenues to explore and experiment with. You will then need to purchase containers and compost to ensure your plants develop well. A multi-purpose bag, seed trays and pots of varying sizes will be useful.

Shift Your Focus
When growing fruit and veg, it’s easy to see the traditional yields as the only target. For example, when cultivating peas you might see the sweet, crunchy pods as the only outcome, and if you are short on space this edible may not be an option. However, this plant can be grown for its shoots which make a fantastic addition to salads. Other examples include beetroot, which may not be viable for windowsill growing if you are after the swollen roots, but the leafy greens can be eaten in the same way as spinach. Carrot tops make a wonderful garnish for soups as they are related to parsley, or why not try sprouts? Alfalfa, peanut, pumpkin, sunflower and radish are just a small section of the seeds that will germinate in a matter of days and add a crunchy element to a number of dishes. All of these options require hardly any space, but will still reward you with fresh harvests.

Grow Microgreens
If you want a massive flavour punch with minimal effort, then give microgreens a go. These plants are perfect for beginner growers and only require a seed tray and a little bit of compost to flourish. The seedlings can be grown to a height of around 3cm before being picked and used in many different dishes. Examples to try include coriander, fennel, rocket, basil and red cabbage. Sowing these seeds in succession will provide a supply of pickings throughout the year. Sticking to two week intervals works for many gardeners, but this can be adjusted to suit your personal demands.

Choose Beautiful, Yet Productive Plants
Enjoy the best of both worlds by choosing edibles that not only provide a delicious meal, but also decorate your small growing space with colour and beauty. Flowers such as nasturtium, borage, pot marigold and lavender can be used in salads and bakes. However, if you’re purely after fruit and veg, hanging baskets are perfect for certain varieties of chillies, tomatoes and strawberries to thrive, plus you can enjoy the flowering stage while you wait for the yields to develop.

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