Caring for your Windowsill Plants

Watering

  • Using a planting tray means you have to water your plants less often because the lid traps in heat and moisture.
  • If you aren’t using a plastic lid or you’ve planted in pots, you will have to water more often, likely once a day.
  • Touch the soil to see how dry or moist it is. When seeds are starting out, they like to be quite moist to help the germination process.
  • Be careful not to overwater. Overwatering can cause seed rot. Your soil shouldn’t be mucky.
  • Once your seeds start to push through the soil, you can water every couple of days.

Harvesting

Salad and leafy greens

  • Cut or gently tear the leaves near the base of the plant.
  • Pick your lettuce leaves in the morning so they stay crisp and don’t wilt.

Tomatoes

  • Once you see a hint of red, you can pick your tomato. It will continue to ripen off the vine. This is helpful if your pots are outside and being visited by birds.

Beans and peas

  • Harvest every couple of days to allow the plants to grow big enough to eat.

Feeding your plants

Just like we need to eat, so do plants! Fertilizers provide your plants with the nutrients they need to grow big and strong and help them fight off bugs and diseases.

Seaweed Extract

  • Seaweed extract helps the nutrient uptake of plants and makes them less susceptible to pests and diseases.
  • Dilute 1 cupful to 1 gallon of water and apply using a watering can to the leaves and roots.
  • The best times to feed your plants are early morning and early evening, when the liquids will be absorbed quickly and won't burn your plants.
  • Feed your plants every other week.

Compost

  • You can add compost to your soil before you plant your seeds.
  • You can also sprinkle it around your plants that are either in pots, trays or in an outdoor garden.
  • Some plants, like potatoes, don’t like compost because it is too rich.

There are many other types of organic fertilizers such as:

  • Bone meal
  • Fish meal
  • Blood meal
  • Alfalfa meal
  • Animal and Mushroom Manure
  • Compost and Manure teas
  • and much, much more!

They all contain different minerals and help plants in different ways. Read the instructions on the labels before you apply them to your plants or soil.

Staking

Some plants grow to be quite big and need a little support! Staking helps support the plant prevents it from flopping over, and allows it to grow taller. Some plants that need stakes include:

  • Tomatoes
  • Beans
  • Peas

How to Stake

  1. Stakes can be purchased at your local garden shop, or you can get creative and use tall sticks that you find in your backyard or local park.
  2. Choose a stake that is the right size for the type of plant you’re staking. Check the seed packet to see how tall your plant is expected to get.
  3. To avoid damaging the roots, place the stake 3 inches from the plant when it is 1 to 2 inches tall or add it when you transplant so you know exactly where the roots are.
  4. Sink the stake into the soil and make sure it is at least 6 inches deep in the soil.

Staking tomatoes

  1. Tomatoes need shorter, sturdier stakes due to the weight and bulk of the plant.
  2. Tomatoes will grow beside the stake but have the habit of falling over as they grow bigger.
  3. To prevent your plants from falling over, tie them to the stake with twine or string.
  4. Tie a tight knot around the stake and then tie a loose knot around the plant.
  5. Do this every 12 inches as your plant continues to grow.

Staking beans and peas

  1. Beans and peas will need taller, thinner stakes because they grow quite tall.
  2. They also need to be ‘trained’ or encouraged to grow up the stake.
  3. Gently wrap the top of the plant around the stake and it will start to climb on its own.