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I live in a city and love gardening, but have no spare room especially for gardening. I am planning to make a garden on my windowsill. I live in the Netherlands, so outdoor temperatures in winter are -5 to 10 °C and I have double glass and the window is on the sunny side.

As I do not have a garden, balcony or rooftop, the vegetables will have to grow indoors until they will be harvested.

The space is 200x20 cm and the height does not matter.

As winter is coming, I was wondering what vegetables I will be able to plant in October to December.

  • 1
    Is the idea to start them indoors and then to plant outside once it is warm enough? Or do you want to grow through harvest indoors? – That Idiot Sep 23 '16 at 12:43
  • @ThatIdiot I unfortunately do not have a garden, balcony or rooftop so have to grow them indoors. Will add this into the question – Fae Sep 23 '16 at 12:59
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I assume you wish to keep the plants inside throughout the season all the way to harvest, and you are not looking to plant them inside and then move them outside.

Also, how much space do you have for what you are looking to accomplish?

For window sill gardening, assuming the inside will more or less be kept warm throughout winter, note that you will need to supply the plants with water, since heating by air conditioning will reduce humidity.

As to the plants, herbs are always a safe bet. So, you may continue to grow easy herbs like Rosemary, Basil, Oregano, Parsley and other herbs. Spinach, Collards and Kale, limited by the space you have are two choices that work as well. Cabbage and Lettuce may be grown indoors as well. Shallots may be another option. So, you do have many options for growing vegetables indoor, but you will need to make sure they receive ample light, preferably sunlight, stable temperature and ample water to compensate for losses.

  • Thank you for the extensive answer! I will have 200cm by 20 cm (and the height can be as tall as I want) and am planning to make a large container this size. The room is my main living room, so the heating will be on when I am home. There is direct sunlight, but maybe I'll buy an extra light to go directly on the plants. Leafy greens like spinach and lettuce sound good because then I can get a lot out of my space because they grow quite fast. Thank you for all the suggestions! – Fae Sep 23 '16 at 13:20
  • it sounds like you could do quite a nice salad greens bed. you could sow mixed green seeds over 25% each week so that by the time you plant the last section you could harvest the first section (or try to let it grow out again) Perpetual greens are good. – That Idiot Sep 23 '16 at 13:27
  • I always do mixed leaf lettuce and salad greens in a window box, but outdoors, to make sure I have enough even if the critters rampage my garden. They do great, so, clearly, the amount of soil window boxes hold is not a limiting factor. I think I'm going to add a couple indoors now, as well. – PoloHoleSet Sep 23 '16 at 14:54
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    I just ordered different kinds of leaf lettuce, shallots, radishes, spinach and I found a small kind of carrot that might work! Thanks so much for all the help and suggestions :) – Fae Sep 24 '16 at 11:13
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You might try Shark Fin Melon greens (not the fruit). They grow fairly fast, and don't require as much light as most cucurbits. Just plant a bunch of seeds and let them go until they're big enough to eat, prune off what you want, and let them grow back. Don't eat the seed leaves (cotyledons), as they're bitter. A disadvantage is that they grow long vines (they're not bushy).

Grandpa's Home peppers are supposed to be good even as houseplants. They're said to be shade-tolerant. I'm growing some outdoors, now, in the shade. They're doing decently (but took a while to fruit). They look pretty nice with the fruit on them, too. I haven't tried them indoors, yet. Many other hot peppers can do well indoors.

Ground cherries are very workable in containers indoors. They'll fruit even in small containers, but the fruit may be extra small in them. Fruits are ripe when they fall off the plant. I've gotten fruit on Aunt Molly's ground cherry indoors. I don't recommend the Cape Gooseberry ground cherry indoors, however (although it's great for outdoors). You might try Aunt Molly's, Goldie, or Ammon Martin's. Goldie is probably the sweetest (but not the largest). Ground cherries don't seem to need a pollinator plant like tomatillos often seem to.

Basil is a good herb that you can practically use as a vegetable. People grow it indoors a lot. I'm wanting to try Spicy Globe basil (since it grows in a round globe-type bush), but I'm not sure how it does indoors compared to the usual kinds.

You might try a parthenocarpic, gyneocious greenhouse cucumber. I don't know if Monika is a greenhouse cucumber, but mine that I planted outdoors had mostly female flowers at first, and it is parthenocarpic. It's also pretty early. Parthenocarpic means it doesn't need to be pollinated to set fruit (but it does need to be pollinated to produce seeds). Fruit aside, cucumber flowers taste amazing (although they're very small), and they're very easy to grow indoors; if you pick them off, more flowers will probably grow fairly quickly.

Carrots are supposed to be among the easiest vegetables to grow indoors. I haven't tried this yet, but I'd like to some time.

Radishes seem like they would work. Here's a link that tells how to grow radishes indoors. I haven't tried this, either.

Growing green onions indoors is supposed to be workable. You can regrow onion bulbs from the roots, indoors, I hear, but that takes a lot of time (and my attempt wasn't successful, but I didn't give it a south window); so, I mostly recommend it for the green onions, which are quite underrated anyway. You could just use old store onions for green onions, but if I were to try it, I would want to try such as Crimson Forest bunching onions, to see how they do; again, I haven't tried this yet, but it may work. Actually, you might want to try potato onions (like the yellow potato onion, maybe), as they multiply (I'm not sure if bunching onions multiply). Shallots might work, too (and they also multiply).

For most plants, adding grow lights should help considerably. Compact fluorescents and other fluorescents work pretty well. If you only have a few plants, you might try LED bulbs sold as grow lights (with the right wavelengths of red and blue light).

Be aware that low light conditions often invite such as fungal diseases, fungus gnats and such. Using a 2700k CFL wards off damping off disease in my experience, and while 6500k CFLs are probably best for leaf growth due to the high amounts of blue light in them, 2700k CFLs also help plants (they have more red light, which should contribute to flowers/fruiting); they do help leaf growth, too. If you have a fan going (even if it's on low), that should help to prevent a lot of problems, too.

Be sure not to get too many plants indoors without taking proper precautions, because it can make your grow room humid (from watering so many plants) and can potentially invite such as black mold on the walls. A dehumidifier may help (but I haven't tried one).

  • 1
    I just ordered different kinds of leaf lettuce, shallots, radishes, spinach and I found a small kind of carrot that might work! Thanks so much for all the help and suggestions :) And for the humidity, the heater will take care of that in the winter and my windows are always open in the summer. – Fae Sep 24 '16 at 11:15

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