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How to Grow an Edible Windowsill Garden

How to Grow an Edible Windowsill Garden

Composting

Last Updated on May 7, 2021

Now that I live in a home with windows, I’ve become the plant lady I’ve always dreamed about being.

I spend my weekends collecting new plant babes, watering them, and watching them flourish in our well lit, sunny home.

For those of you not understanding my references to natural light and windows, check out my failed tiny home living experiment. We only had three windows so plant babes were not able to survive.

Not having plants was really making me sad. When we moved, I actually threw a House Greening Party.

A House Greening Party is when you ask all of your guests to bring you a new house plant to christen your new place. You can read more about my zero waste house warming/greening party. It’s full of zero waste party tips!

In addition to all of my new plant friends, which I most definitely name, I bought several herbs from the local nursery.

It’s super cool because the plants come in compostable pots! They’re not the traditional plastic pots.

However, if you wind up with some of the plastic pots, you can always return them to the nursery where they’ll typically reuse them.

Some of my herbs survived and some did not. To be honest, I don’t have a green thumb. This is my third time delving into the world of edible gardens and I have to say – third time is the charm!

I say this because no matter how you feel about your gardening skills, I want you to give it a try. You don’t have to be perfect. You might kill some plants but having an edible windowsill garden is awesome for several reasons.

  1. You no longer have to buy expensive plastic clamshells full of herbs.
  2. You can save money by eating food you’ve grown!
  3. You can save carbon miles by eating what’s in your backyard.
  4. It’s so tasty, rewarding, and makes you happy!

So, it’s better for the planet, better for the tastebuds, better for the wallet, and better for your mental and emotional well-being.

I’d say that’s a win-win-win-win-win. Probably, the biggest string of wins on this blog.

Now, I’ve picked up herbs, and I’ve also completely regrown my food scraps! Yes, you can regrow your food scraps.

Check out my story highlight called lettuce and you can watch how I go from inedible lettuce stalks to having lettuce on tap forever in just 28 days.

planting herbs:

Here’s some herbs that do really well on the windowsill.

  1. basil
  2. lavender
  3. mint
  4. parsley
  5. rosemary
  6. thyme

Notice there are several herbs not on this list like cilantro and oregano. I have tried to go several of these on my windowsill and failed. They don’t do super will in small pots indoors.

Plants like basil will let you know when they’re thirsty. They start to wilt, then you water and they perk right back up! The pots don’t need to be too big, just make sure that they have drainage.

I’ve found that my herbs like to be watered much more frequently than my house plants just make sure that they’re not sitting in water.

regrowing scraps:

  1. lettuce
  2. celery
  3. green onions

You can regrow a lot of other scraps, but I find that these work best for the windowsill! I’ve heard that you can grow lemons from lemon seeds, but I’m not sure if the fruit. I know that growing a plant from the avocado plant is popular, but I’ve heard that they won’t bear fruit.

When regrowing scraps, you need to first start them in a cup of water. Make sure that the cup of water is changed every day or every other day.

The cup doesn’t have to be completely full. You just need enough water for the base of the plant to be in about an inch.

The scraps will start to regrow and once the roots sprout, you can transfer to a pot of soil. Just make sure the pot has drainage! If it doesn’t, you’re plants will probably die. I learned this the hard way….

additions to my garden:

The one thing that I’d really like to add to my windowsill garden is a big ol’ pot of spinach! It’s pretty easy to grow indoors with a shallow and wide pot.

I will keep you up-to-date on my windowsill garden progress, and I really, really hope that you feel empowered to give one a try too!

If you do, please let me know. You can tag me @going.zero.waste on instagram.

If you’re killing it at windowsill gardening let me know in the comments down below. I would love any sage advice and I’m sure others will love helpful tips to get them started too.

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  1. It’s important to remember that oregano really likes dry soil. And it’s a very hardy plant. Basically the only way to kill it is to overwater it. Perhaps you might try it again.

  2. I grow peppermint, thyme, rosemary, and a lemon mint all on my windowsill. What’s great about these plants is they can survive a winter. They will die off when it’s cold but come back. I learned this because I got these windowsill herbs by making cuttings from bigger outdoor plants. I learned that it’s important when you get a baby from a cutting (a propagate) to make sure you grow plenty of roots in water before transferring it to soil.

  3. For lavender and rosemary I learned they love sandy soil, and soil that is not super rich in nutrients. Adding white stones on top also attracts more sun, so the lavender flowers will grow more. When my basil plant begins to flower I pinch off all the flowers and the little buds below and put them in an open jar. When it dried you can crunch it up in your fingers and see little black seeds. Also when I get fruits and produce I collect seeds and put them in little wax-paper envelopes and store in a dark color mason jar. I give these seeds to friends or plant them myself. Endless life! Another great tip for busy lives or going away for some time is to collect plastic bottles (I find them all over the streets and pick them up). I take off the labels and poke holes in the caps. Then I bury the head of the bottle in the soil. You can fill it up with water and as long as the soil has nutrients (or peat moss) to hold the moisture it will water itself. One thing about this is if the soil is rocky/old and nutrients have washed out the water can come all the way through and you will have a big, wet mess. (learned this from experience ha!) Also if you all compost via trench method I often have volunteer plants pop up like tomatoes.

  4. Where do you get potting soil that doesn’t come in a plastic bag? I haven’t been able to find any here in Wisconsin.