Window sill garden

lexie1397March 18, 2006

Hello all!!

I just discovered this forum and thought I could get some advice. I want to replace a lot of my decorative houseplants with edibles, but I don't know what I can grow. I'm in an apartment with no outdoor space at all, and only a few big windows. I have rosemary growing and onion sets (for chives/scallions) planted. What else can I grow in a 6" pot or smaller?



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janetr(Ottawa USDA 4a)

Ouch, 6" or smaller?? Kind of limits things. What direction are your windows facing in?

FWIW, onions and chives and scallions are three different things. Which one do you have? Chives are something that would probably work pretty well, and are easy to grow from seed. Salad greens of various sorts might work too, depending on your sun exposure and indoor temps. If it's too warm, they'll go to seed and get bitter before you get a decent harvest from them. Basil and mint also might work, but 6" pots are pretty limiting.

All around, herbs and salad greens are probably your best bets. If you have a LOT of sun, peppers and tomatoes might stand a chance, but there's no way they'd get anywhere in such tiny pots. And if you're in one of the rainy parts of OR, I don't think they'd get enough light, even with a southern exposure.

    Bookmark   March 18, 2006 at 4:12PM
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I know that a 6" limit is horrible, that's why I come to the experts! I took a second look and I think I could fit an 8" pot and maybe even a 10" if I could get it to balance right.

The "onion sets" were given to me so I don't know exactly what they are. I'm planning to just use the greens as they come up like green onions or chives; as long as it has that mild onion flavor I'll be happy.

I am in the rainy side of oregon. The building is set at an angle, and being directionally challenged I can't seem to figure out which way is which. The windows do get a little bit of afternoon sun, but it doesn't last too long. The apartment is usually kept between 70 and 72 but I've never taken the temperature on the window sill.

You're absolutely right, peppers and tomatoes would never make it in here. How deep would a pot need to be for radishes and carrots? We make a lot of stir-fry and both would be wonderful. I have thought about salad greens as well, but I'm not familiar with all of the different kinds and the requirements of each.

I am somewhat baffled by the gardening options, yet stunted by my environmental limitations. If anyone has an innovative idea, I'm all ears!!

On a different note, I scoured the forum and couldn't find this post, so I started a new post. I apologize for my oversight. Everyone is invited to respond on both, I will keep an eye on them (and hopefuly not lose it this time!).


    Bookmark   March 20, 2006 at 4:02PM
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janetr(Ottawa USDA 4a)

Personally, I'm not too optimistic, but I am frequently wrong. It sounds like you have very little light, and the only edibles that might cope with that (that I am aware of anyway) is salad greens: lettuce, spinach, chards, arugula and the like. If they don't make it, the more sun-loving ones certainly won't. Anybody with contrary experience is more than welcome to correct me.

My suggestion would be to get a packet of mesclun mix seeds and try a pot or two, the biggest pots you can safely perch in your windows. Maybe you could try hanging them, which would let you go to at least 12". Experiment and see what happens. If they're wildly successful, try the radishes. Carrots would be harder, and do you really want to work that hard for two or three carrots?

Most of our houseplants originated on jungle floors, so low light and year-round warmth is what they like. They would prefer a lot more humidity than our houses have to offer, but they settle for what they get. Garden veggies want very different conditions, so if you're really intent on growing your own food, I'd look into community gardens if I were you.

Hope this is of some help and not too discouraging.

    Bookmark   March 20, 2006 at 5:27PM
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CPeters(z5 Chicago)

I've grown Tiny Tim tomatoes indoors with good luck (they're small cherry tomatoes). You may not have enough light, but they'd be your best bet for growing indoors. Small radishes should work as well.

    Bookmark   March 21, 2006 at 3:16PM
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You could try grow lights or bulbs and I'm pretty sure you could grow most any kind of herb. And lots of peppers will fruit indoors, you just need a small bush type. They're also nice looking plants.

    Bookmark   March 29, 2006 at 11:02AM
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Rekha Anandkumar(9)

I have done peppers and mint in small pots in a partially shade balcony in my previous apartment. Greens may mak it too...

    Bookmark   March 30, 2006 at 1:09PM
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