Basics of Windowsill Gardening

Don't put your trowel down yet! From helpful reader tips to do's and don'ts of windowsill gardening, these basic gardening tips will keep you busy throughout winter.

Having trouble letting go of those gardening gloves? Why not keep your green thumb busy with a windowsill garden this winter.

TRY MICROGREENS

If you’re not sure windowsill gardening is for you, start with microgreens. They’re easy to grow, and you can harvest many of them in as little as a week. And they’re nutritious in a salad!

IDEAL CONDITIONS

While temperature needs vary from one plant to the next, you’ll want to try to keep in the 70°-75° range. Sunshine is most plants’ best friend, so pick a window with a minimum of 5-6 hours of sunlight a day for best results.

EASY GROWERS

If you want to grow herbs, start with one or two of these, which are among the easiest to grow indoors.

1.Mint
2.Parsley
3.Chives
4.Basil
5.Oregano

BASICS OF GARDENING ON A WINDOWSILL

DO install a little ledge or shelf under your window if you don’t already have one.

DON’T put too much weight on the shelf. Keep in mind that plants and pots get heavier when watered.

DO check the temperature next to your window. If it gets cool, you might have to rethink the placement.

DON’T put your plants directly over a heating vent.

DO make sure your windowsill garden gets enough sunlight and turn the herb pots often to encourage upward growth.

DON’T fret if your first plant dies a quick death. Tweak your approach and then try again.

Basics of Gardening in WinterMORE WINTER GARDENING TIPS – FROM BIRDS & BLOOMS READERS

1. I bring my lemon tree in for the winter. It gives life to the garden room—the fragrant flowers and leaves bring a little bit of summer indoors. They brighten even the coldest winter days, like a promise that better weather is on the way. (Sandy BelknapNashua, New Hampshire)

2. Sometimes I dig up annuals, plant them in pots and bring them inside for the winter. It’s nice to have a little piece of summer during these cold Wisconsin winters. (Jennifer HendersonGalesville, Wisconsin)

3. I plant a bunch of flowers with seeds that birds like to eat in cold weather. Then I’ve got winter visitors to my garden. (Julie ZdrazilChamplin, Minnesota)

4. I collect books from the library for ideas, update my garden journal, process dried herbs from the garden and make spaghetti sauce from frozen homegrown tomato juice. (Cheryl MilletSpring City,Pennsylvania)

5. When it’s really cold, I start plants indoors in February to put out in our vegetable garden later on. To do this yourself, be sure to have a good sturdy table near a window. Otherwise, you might need to provide artificial lighting. (Bethany SantoKalkaska, Michigan)

 Photo: Mediaphotos/iStock