How to: Speedy windowsill crops

It’s possible to grow tasty crops on a windowsill, meaning it’s easy to get a home-grown fix if you don’t have much outdoor space. It’s simple to do, and all you need are a few seeds, compost and a couple of bits and bobs you’ll find knocking around the kitchen.

Children will love to get involved, so make them part of the action – and be sure to encourage them to taste the delicious bounty when it’s ready to eat. This project also makes the most of rainy days and cold temperatures, meaning you can enjoy an indoor harvest when it’s too unpleasant to be outside. 

We used:

  • Multi-purpose compost
  • Sprouting seeds (bean shoots etc)
  • Speedy salad seeds
  • Leafy herb seeds (basil and coriander etc)
  • Tin cans
  • Kitchen bowl/dish
  • Small watering can or jug
  • Glass jar
  • Fine sieve
  • The above producs can be found at your local Dobbies


Salads and herbs
1. Fill the kitchen dish or tin cans with compost and water gently. The compost needs to be moist but not saturated.

2. Sprinkle the seed on the surface of the compost, taking care not to waste any as you go.

3. Cover the seed with a fine layer of compost, breaking up any large lumps with your fingers.

4. Place on a bright windowsill that doesn’t get too much direct sunshine, and wait for the seeds to shoot and grow. Water occasionally.


Sprouting seeds
1. Place a handful of seeds in a glass jar and add water until they’re completely covered. Leave them overnight.

2. Drain the seeds in a fine sieve, rinse with clean water and return them to the jar. The seeds should begin to sprout within 24 hours.

3. Repeat the draining and rinsing process a couple of times a day until the sprouts are ready to eat (usually when they start to turn green).

4. Eat the sprouts as soon as they’re ready (often after around four days), giving them one final rinse before adding them to your plate.


Top Tips:

Don’t worry about creating drainage holes in containers – just don’t over water and your crops will be fine for their short lives.

Start off a new crop once a week – this will produce a non-stop harvest to last through winter.

Harvest salads and herbs little and often to encourage more leaves to come.

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