Windowsill kitchen garden: Week 1

It’s been a week since I started the food garden on the inside windowsill in the kitchen. The weather has been mostly grey and overcast, but most of the plants are starting to make their presence felt. I’ve been gardening with whatever’s been lying around, some of which was reclaimed from the recycling bin, and the rest was mainly left behind by the people who lived here before us.

I forgot to say I’d planted some cress, which grew a full crop in 6 days. It strangely vanished, but unconfirmed reports suggest it got into an unlicensed bagel with some smoked cheese at around noon today. Think I’ll forget the compost next time and chuck it into the world’s silliest novelty egg cup with some soggy kitchen paper instead. Here is the last known photograph of batch 1:

Some of the pea sprouts are sprouting, using the method that can take up to 2 weeks:

I’ll be trying a different method next week that involves pre-soaking the peas and using a lot less compost. Fewer resources, less washing up, and allegedly higher percentage of germination. Sounds too good to be true but let’s wait and see.

The spicy purple basil and the green basil are just making themselves known, but they’re a bit shy so far. Hello purple basil, no need to be bashful…

The baby salad seeds have sprouted their first set of leaves, or at least germinated a little, but I won’t be able to tell what type of individual plants they are until they send out their second set. They’ll be more interesting in a few days, but here’s a baseline picture for the time being.

I would like a nice planter instead of this double-punnet contraption, but will wait to see whether the baby leaf experiment works first. At least it’s practical, and the drainage is just right.

As for the bigger pots of herbs, the mint’s still fast asleep under its duvet like a teenager who doesn’t want to go back to school after the end of the Christmas holidays. Come back next week and ask again about that one. The parsley, on the other hand, is doing me proud:

The chili pepper seeds by the radiator haven’t germinated yet, but they’re strange little plants and might take up to 6 weeks so there’s no point fretting about them. Apparently they don’t get out of bed for anything less than 70 degrees F, like finicky supermodels. If they don’t sprout I’ll just nip into a branch of Wahahca and ask if they have any of their little freebie match books of seeds to spare.

Anybody else out there got a windowsill food garden going right now, or planning to make one?

EDITED TO ADD: We now have a little online club for windowsill growers to swap tips, ideas and bargains. 100% free to use and non-profit. It’s right here on the Penny Golightly forum – anyone can read the comments, and it’s really easy to sign up if you’d like to join us and make your own posts and ask questions. Please feel free to have a look and join in.

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