Windowsill gardening is a great option if you want freshly grown herbs, vegetables or flowers but live in an apartment or other situation with little outdoor garden space. Even if you have outdoor space, you may like the convenience of snipping fresh herbs at your kitchen window. Here’s how to convert a small, sunny space into a tiny garden.
Choose your space
Abundant sunlight is the most important factor in choosing space for a windowsill garden. The kitchen window is most convenient for growing herbs, but keep in mind that the window you choose should have sun exposure throughout much of the day. In most parts of the country that means a window facing south. A window with an eastern or western exposure will get sun for only a few hours daily. And in summer, the sun that shines in a western-facing window may be too intense.
Choose your containers
Measure the length, depth and height of your windowsill. Then choose pots or planter boxes that fit the space. Hanging plants are another option. Unless you plan to take the plants down to water, you will need drain trays under them.
Grow a bigger garden by going up. Look for small tiered shelves that hold containers on multiple levels, whether sitting on the sill or suspended overhead by hooks. Think in three dimensions to expand the size of your garden.
Choose your plants
You would be surprised by the plants you can grow on a windowsill. Flowering plants and herbs come to mind easily, but you can even grow vegetables in limited amounts. Tomatoes, bulb plants such as onions, leafy vegetables such as lettuce and spinach and beans that grow on bushes can all grow in a windowsill garden. Even small lemon or lime trees are possible. You want to keep your plants trimmed and harvested, but you won’t hesitate to snip fresh spinach or basil when they are close by. In no time they will grow back for more delicious enjoyment.
Succulents are another fun option. These plants are wonders of variety, symmetry and color and will look great showcased in your window. A similar choice would be miniature cacti, which also come in enchanting shapes, sizes and colors.