A few decades ago, arranging a garden on a windowsill in winter for beginners might seem like a pointless undertaking. After all, not all apartments had a central heating system, and wooden windows passed the cold and did not provide the necessary protection from drafts. At the same time, it was not easy to find suitable containers for planting on the market.
Today there are all conditions for the effective cultivation of greenery on the windowsill in the winter. The main thing is desire, time and minimal skills in vegetable growing. All other conditions are already provided.. Among them:
- Balanced temperature.
- Double-glazed windows and wide window-sills protected from drafts.
- Suitable substrate and seed.
- Various topical formulations and growth stimulants.
Recently, the trend of this form of farming is gaining new momentum in popularity, so it is not surprising why many vegetable growers are beginning to wonder what kind of greenery can be grown on the windowsill in winter. By the way, the most inventive farmers equip full-fledged gardens in a city apartment. For example, Britta Riley, a resident of a tiny dwelling in New York, came up with a vertical hydroponic garden. Despite its compact size, it brings an excellent harvest at any time of the year. The talented Britta told the news media about her invention.
In Western countries, food may be labeled eco, bio or orgranic. Labeling indicates that they were grown, harvested and processed taking into account all environmental requirements, that is, without the use of pesticides and fertilizers of synthetic origin. Such vegetables have been tested by various organizations and have passed all quality certifications.
In the Russian Federation, the market for organic food is in its infancy. While there are no established control and biocertification systems, and the price difference between ordinary food and bio-products can reach 100%, therefore, in the understanding of people, eco-food is nothing more than products grown in its own garden.
However, not everyone has a country house or cottage where they can grow potatoes and other vegetables. An excellent way out of this situation is a mini-garden on the windowsill.
Benefits of a mini garden
There are many advantages of growing greens in a city apartment. Firstly The following arguments are taken into account:
- Family members can always enjoy fresh, environmentally friendly and healthy vegetables and herbs at any time of the year. And in a period of lack of access to vitamins, such an opportunity looks very attractive.
- An important argument is the complete savings on the purchase of fruits and vegetables, which are sold at high prices in the winter. A home mini-garden deprives households of the need to adapt to the season and consume specific foods only in a specific period of time.
- The arrangement of a indoor garden allows you to expand your knowledge of biology, as well as gain a lot of useful experience and find a good hobby option.
- The ability to get positive energy from the process of growing a crop from a seed. In addition, the smallest family members will be able to observe the growth of tomatoes, cucumbers and other vegetables. Having fresh vegetables and fruits in the winter is a great way to surprise guests by showing them green beds on the windowsill.
For the successful cultivation of vegetables and fruits on the windowsill, you do not have to be a professor of biology or have any secret knowledge. It is enough to take care of several conditions for the upcoming procedure and follow the instructions. The most important components of a mini indoor garden are the following items:
- Place for placement of beds. Often in its quality a wide windowsill or a glazed balcony is used. It is very good if the selected area faces the sunny side. If this is not the case, additional light will have to be taken care of.
- Capacities. Planting seeds can be in different containers with suitable sizes. First of all, clay, plastic and wood products are used. The main thing is that they have several drainage holes for draining water, and also placed on pallets.
- Substrate. Currently, shops for gardeners have a large selection of ready-made soil mixtures. Individual options are designed specifically for indoor conditions. If possible, you can prepare the substrate yourself. To do this, combine in the correct proportion several layers: compost, turfy earth and compost. Seed material. Understanding what you can plant at home on the windowsill in winter, you should give preference to those varieties of fruits and vegetables that are not afraid of growing indoors.
Being interested in what can be grown on a windowsill in the winter, you first need to pay attention to carrots. Miniature varieties, including Amsterdam carrots, are great for planting. Seeds are sown both in special boxes and pots, and in cut plastic bottles with holes made in the bottom. The substrate used must have good drainage.
Seeds need to be deepened into the soil by 7 centimeters. As soon as the vegetable gives the first shoots and sprouts for a couple of centimeters, it must be thinned, leaving the strongest sprouts. The distance between them should be at least two centimeters. It is better to isolate the bed from direct sunlight, as they have a detrimental effect on the future culture.
Watering carrots in the cold period should not be too frequent. After all, stagnation of moisture can lead to unpleasant consequences in the form of rotting of the root crop. Periodically, carrots are fed with nitrogen fertilizers, but their content in the composition should not be too high. Otherwise, all the energy of the culture will go to the growth of green mass. As a good stimulation of growth, soil loosening is recommended.
Also, you can grow beautiful peppers on a home mini-bed. Among the most promising varieties The following options are highlighted:
- "Treasure Island".
Initially, the seed is placed in a small pot, which is closed with cling film, and then moved to a warm place. As soon as the first sprouts appear, which happens after 1-2 weeks, a couple of punctures need to be made in the film. Once the pepper is strong, it can be moved to a larger pot or bucket. When performing transplant activities, care must be taken, otherwise a fragile root can be damaged. Rooting occurs by about a third, after which the culture is watered with warm 30-degree water.
Tomatoes and Cucumbers
In addition to carrots and peppers, other vegetable crops, in particular tomatoes and cucumbers, can be grown on the windowsill. The former require the same soil as peppers, while it is better to give preference to purchased mixtures. The pot should be cylindrical, as this will allow the root system to fully develop.
To begin with, the seed must be germinated in small pots, burying seeds by 1.5 centimeters in the soil. Then the crops are covered with polyethylene and left in a warm place until the first green shoots appear. As soon as the tomatoes sprout, they need to be dived into larger containers.In order for tomatoes to develop quickly and correctly, they need to provide suitable lighting conditions. Above the mini-garden, hang a fluorescent lamp or constantly turn the container to the window.
Watering the beds should be moderate, because the cherry trees are afraid of stagnation of moisture. As soon as the plant is strong, the substrate can be loosened and fertilized with mineral compounds. If necessary, the trunk of the culture is tied to a support. It can be a small skewer or a pencil. In addition, it is important for the vegetable grower to constantly monitor the condition of the plant, preventing the appearance of pests and diseases.
As for cucumbers, then for them you need to prepare more capacious pots. Their volume should be at least six liters. The substrate is selected loose with a high content of peat or compost.
With home cultivation, self-pollinating varieties are excellently fruitful. The first step is to prepare the seed, following these instructions:
- Seeds are poured into saline. If any of them surfaced, then you need to throw them away.
- Prepared seeds are soaked in a manganese solution for 20 minutes, and then they are washed on wet gauze and placed under a film.
- As the first sprouts bite, cucumbers dive into large pots.
Watering cucumbers should be daily, but caution should be exercised when performing this procedure. A spray bottle is used to spray the leaves, and potassium nitrate is used for top dressing. As soon as the lashes of culture are finally formed and grow, they need to be tied to props.
In the apartment you can grow strawberries. In this case, it is necessary to dwell on the varieties “autumn fun”, “homemade delicacy” and “garland”. For indoor use, ampoule repairing varieties are able to bear fruit all year round, without making special requirements for lighting conditions. Planting can be carried out in any soil composition, but before that, the bottom should be laid out with expanded clay or small pebbles to avoid stagnation in the pot.
The berry is grown by seedling or seed method.If you use the second option, then the seed should be placed in plastic cups, pour plenty of water and cover with polyethylene. As soon as the first shoots appear from under the ground, the film must be removed and the seedlings placed in a well-lit part of the room. As the first leaves form, strawberries should be dived into larger containers.
Such a culture is considered a photophilous plant, so in winter, when the daylight hours are reduced, it is necessary to put lamps near the mini-garden. Watering work is carried out as the upper layers of the soil dry out without transfusion.
To enjoy delicious vegetables and fruits year-round, you do not have to buy them at the supermarket. You can equip a small bed on the windowsill or balcony, with little effort and diligence.