I really enjoy growing tomatoes, peppers and zucchini from seeds myself. Although there are now many good varieties to buy as young plants, I always find it exciting. There is one thing you learn: to be patient!
Even if my fingers itch at the beginning of March at the latest, I try to stay cool and leave the seed cones of tomatoes, zucchini and peppers in the box. Because every time I sowed the Mediterranean vegetables before the beginning of April, my little plants grew into long, lanky creatures.
I put my tomatoes, peppers and zucchini on the windowsill under the protective roof of indoor greenhouses. When I only need a few plants, for example from zucchini or pumpkin, I use small spring pots or seed pots made from coconut, which are biodegradable, for sowing. I just put one seed per potty in the soil. It’s easy because the seeds are relatively large. I distribute the small seeds of tomatoes and peppers evenly in a box. And then it gets exciting … because every little grain ticks differently. While some get started after a few days, others allow time to sprout. And some don’t move at all. How good that nobody sees how often I am lovingly eyeing my offspring ?
As soon as the first leaves can be seen, I move the offspring into larger pots with normal potting soil. Since the soil should be well rooted before the young plants move into the greenhouse, I use pots that are not significantly larger than the nursery pots.
12 plants that thrive on the windowsill (even in winter)
No plants grow in winter? Are you kidding me? Are you serious when you say that! We’ll show you twelve types of herbs and vegetables that will thrive on your windowsill even in winter.
Winter is arguably the most unpopular season for any gardener. Nothing grows, the garden is fallow and one is just waiting longingly for the coming spring. But it doesn’t have to be! We will show you twelve plants that can easily grow in your own four walls even in winter. Not only do you get fresh vegetables on your plate, but you also don’t suffer from withdrawal symptoms from missing gardeners.
- French beans
Admittedly: French beans (Phaseolus vulgaris var. Nanus) with a minimum pot size of 40 cm in diameter are not exactly suitable for the typical window sill. But the green beans are ideal for growing in winter (and in the home). A big advantage is that, unlike other types of beans, they do not need a plant stick. For this, regular watering is mandatory, especially if the beans have just been sown. A lot of light is also essential for the French bean – so a place by the sunny window is ideal for them.
Small, round, red: fresh tomatoes (Solanum lycopersicum) are a must in every kitchen. But since the plants are very sensitive to frost, winter is not for them. No problem, after all, they can also thrive on our windowsill. With tomatoes, just like with their free-living summer colleagues, it is advisable to first pre-germinate the seeds and then move them later. There they need one thing above all else: light! Since there is often not enough light entering the kitchen window in winter, it can be advisable to set up so-called plant lights that imitate sunlight. Incidentally, the most suitable for growing tomatoes are small and robust tomato varieties such as Pixie or Red Robin, which do not even need a plant stick.
Spinach (Spinacia oleracea) has two advantages as a potted plant for the winter: On the one hand, it likes partial shade, so it can thrive well without artificial light (the sun should shine four hours a day, which is not a problem in a window seat ). The second advantage is that you can harvest the plant again and again and it will regrow. Unfortunately, spinach also has a disadvantage: the green vegetables do not tolerate heat well, which is why a place in a warm living room or above a heater is not ideal for them. But once you have found the right place, the spinach doesn’t need a lot of care – it just needs regular watering and now and then a little fertilizer in order to grow properly.
Paprika (Capsicum) can also be grown in pots without any problems. But since even the “small” cultivars grow up to 80 cm high, the peppers are not necessarily suitable for the window sill – but they are very suitable for the apartment. The bell pepper feels at home in a warm, sheltered location. In terms of care, the tasty plant then has about the same requirements as tomatoes. The peppers also need a lot of light (and therefore possibly an extra plant light) and should be moved to the windowsill and then repotted.
Kale (Brassica oleracea var. Sabellica) is a typical winter vegetable. But even though cabbage is very frost-resistant (and only really tasty after the first frost), winter can kill stew vegetables. At the latest in extreme snowfall or hail, even the most robust plants can no longer withstand the cold – that’s why we simply move the kale indoors. In a cooler room and with three to four hours of sunlight a day, the kale thrives here too, so that you can enjoy it all winter long.
With just under a month of planting time, the radishes (Raphanus sativus) are not only great for the windowsill, they also ripen incredibly quickly. In addition, they don’t need a lot of space or a lot of maintenance – an ideal beginner plant. In a 10 cm high pot and in a location with three to four hours of light, the radishes grow by themselves. The young radishes do not need fertilization, they should only be watered about three times a week. Otherwise, the radish likes it a little cooler. A place directly at the fireplace or the heater should therefore be avoided.
Rocket (Eruca sativa), also called rocket salad, is currently one of the most popular types of salad. No wonder, after all, the plant not only impresses with its nutty taste, but also contains many valuable ingredients. The rocket is also a hit on the windowsill: in a sunny place, the rocket thrives like cabbage and beets and is ready for the first cut after just four weeks. Just regular watering should not be forgotten. If the plants are exposed to drought and heat, they develop extremely hot.
- Swiss chard
Chard (Beta vulgaris subsp. Vulgaris) as a potted plant is not only particularly easy to care for, but also particularly beautiful with its colored stems and different varieties. A pot depth of 10 cm is ideal for the plant if you want to harvest small leaves (the larger the leaves are, the larger the pot should be). Otherwise, the Swiss chard likes a cooler room with three to four hours of sunshine a day. The plant usually doesn’t mind frost either. A little fertilizer every now and then won’t harm the plant either. A little tip: The chard leaves taste more tender if the plant always has enough water. So make sure you have a good water supply.
- Spring onion
Onions belong in every good dish and especially the fresh spring onions (Allium fistulosum) should not be missing in any kitchen. Conveniently, you can also grow the delicious tubers in the kitchen. The ingenious thing: You don’t even need seeds for this – you can grow new plants from the remains of purchased spring onions without any problems. Of course, as a root vegetable, the spring onion needs a sufficiently large (and above all deep) pot so that it can properly develop its onions. In a sunny location, the easy-care plants don’t really need any special care other than a little water every now and then.
We already know chives (Allium schoenprasum) from the pot from the supermarket. But instead of throwing the plant away after use, you can continue to use it or grow your own small pot of chives for the windowsill. So you always have a supply of the delicious herb. The chives are also not particularly maintenance-intensive: they mainly need a sunny location and regular water, the plant should never dry out. With a little fertilizer every four weeks, the chives are then perfectly supplied.
Oregano (Origanum vulgare) is also one of the herbs that we know from the windowsill. This is not surprising either, after all, the herb is not only particularly tasty, but can also be easily brewed in the pot. Oregano prefers it to be warm and sunny – a seat by a south-facing window is ideal. Watering regularly when the soil of the plant feels dry will help the oregano grow big and strong. If you buy oregano as a pot from the supermarket, you should repot it in good time: the pots are often too small for the plant and thus prevent healthy development.
Mint (mentha) is also one of the classic potted herbs. Many varieties of the green plant with the wonderfully fresh aroma are ideal for the pot, including exotic species such as pineapple or strawberry mint. Fortunately, the mint does not need a lot of care for good growth: Only regular watering and a sunny place will help the plant to its happiness. So you can enjoy a piece of summer (in the form of delicious mint) even in winter.