What is a windowsill garden?
As the name suggests, windowsill gardening is container gardening on a windowsill. This type of garden is perfect for people who live in a small home or prefer a more compact, easy-going garden. Windowsill gardens are very simple to maintain as they only require sun and consistent warmth to thrive.
Plants to grow:
A monstera is a plant you may already recognise for its big, striking dark green fenestrated leaves. Luckily, it grows in a mini version too! Monstera is a great companion plant and grows well when situated with other plants. It also loves humidity, making it an excellent windowsill plant. Mini monsteras grow quickly and therefore benefit from a support stake to keep them upright. However, you can also grow it as a hanging plant, allowing the leaves to drape down from the window.
Also known as the Chinese money plant, pilea is very easy to care for on a windowsill. It has bright green round leaves and makes an eye-catching addition to any home. Like most windowsill plants, pileas should be kept moist and watered only when they are noticeably dry, requiring more frequent watering in summer and less in winter. Fertiliser is not essential but would not be wasted on this plant. A small feed of Hoselink Seaweed Tonic once a month and Garden Fertiliser every two to three months will keep the plant healthy and in top condition. Keep this plant in a sunny position, away from direct sunlight, and the pilea will make a wonderful addition to your windowsill garden.
These popular drought-tolerant plants are a great starting point for your windowsill garden. Keep in mind they prefer much dryer soil than many other species and lots of sunlight. Overwatering will easily cause your succulent to rot and shrivel up. Succulents come in many different sizes, shapes, and colours so you can choose exactly what you’d like.
Flowering or non-flowering cacti varieties make an ideal candidate for a windowsill garden. Allow the cactus to become established, and do not water for the first few days. After the cactus is settled in, give them a good soaking twice a month during summer, and they will live happily on your windowsill.
If you want to take a more aesthetic approach, flowers make a beautiful statement in any home and supply a fresh, fragrant aroma. Daffodils and African violets are perfect for windowsill conditions. If you wish to grow some bigger varieties, you can create an outdoor windowsill garden and allow bees and other insects to enjoy your flowers too.
Edibles to grow:
You will be pleasantly surprised by the number of edibles that can be grown from your windowsill. By planting produce inside on your windowsill, you will avoid most of the common pests that frequent veggie patches, and you can avoid using pesticides. Don’t forget to harvest your produce from your windowsill as soon as it’s ready to prevent waste.
Apart from the usual herbs, here are a few more cooking staples you can try:
- Loose-leaf lettuce
- Cherry tomatoes
- Green onions
Benefits of a windowsill garden:
As with outdoor spaces, gardening inside has several appealing benefits for you to discover. One of the most popular is that it offers stress relief. Who doesn’t love getting out in the sunshine? Many people find gardening very therapeutic as it provides your mind with something positive to focus on as you channel energy into being productive. Studies also suggest that feelings of accomplishment and a clear mental state are established when gardening. There is something very satisfying about walking over to your windowsill garden and picking off the produce you need to complete a home-cooked meal.
By having your own garden, you are contributing to helping our environment. By growing your own greens, you save plastic and trips to the shops for things you may ordinarily purchase. Better yet, if you use old jars or second-hand pots, you’re helping the planet by reducing, re-using and recycling.
With World Bee Day coming up, we are thinking more about our endangered bees. Bees form a crucial part of our food security and ecosystem. If you are able to have an outdoor windowsill garden, consider planting some colourful flowers for the bees to pollinate and enjoy.
How to get started:
Choose a windowsill with plenty of sunlight but ideally in a spot that does not get too hot, as this might cause your plants to burn. Next, select your pots. Aim for a pot approximately 10cm deep and as wide as your windowsill. There are many different styles of pot you can choose from, and there are also several ways to decorate pots to add your own creative spin to them. Have a bit of fun and choose something that reflects your style. Container selection is also an excellent opportunity to upcycle; you can even use an old draw from a dresser, drill some drainage holes and ta-da!
Be sure to plan out your garden before you get started. Are you planting herbs, vegetables, succulents, or a mix of everything? Don’t forget to accommodate all of the windowsill garden’s watering and sunlight needs and give every plant enough space, so it doesn’t get too crowded.
Windowsill gardens still require drainage. However, make sure you conduct some research on the plant types you have, as some will benefit more from drainage rocks in the bottom of the pot rather than holes. If your pots already have holes, don’t forget to place a saucer or plate underneath to catch the moisture and prevent your windowsill from damage. Furthermore, ensure you remember to tip the moisture off the plate or saucer after watering. Premium potting soil is the best all-rounder option for your windowsill garden; it provides plenty of nutrients and has ideal drainage properties.
Maintaining your windowsill garden:
Windowsill gardens require similar maintenance to a formal garden: regular watering, healthy soil and good draining. Other than that, trim your plants with Hoselink’s Handy Snippers when you want to harvest or when your plant needs cutting back. By using Hoselink Garden Fertiliser regularly, your windowsill garden will be well fed and in tip-top health. If you have herbs on your windowsill garden that are growing rapidly, you may want to preserve some for later. This can be done by drying them out. Simply lay clean stems or bulbs out in a warm area but not in direct sunlight and allow them to dry over several days. This is a great way to reduce your waste. If you have a pet cat, keep in mind they may chew the leaves of your windowsill garden plants or knock them over entirely! Some people modify their windowsill garden to be cat-proof by using larger pots and adhesive to keep them from falling over.