Windowsill Salad Garden

I have a small winter garden growing on my window sill.  Once the tree in the front of our house looses all it’s leaves, which it did a few months ago, this window sill gets full sun for several hours every day because of it’s wonderful southern exposure.

A salad on my windowsill

This picture was taken a month ago. The lettuce didn’t have any roots yet, the celery just a little root, and the tomato still had green leaves, though they were dying. 🙁 The green onions were doing quite well!

Not only does the sun warm the bedrooms, but it’s a great place to grow a winter garden!

I potted my two stevia plants this last fall and they have done quite well in the window.  In fact, both plants bloomed!  I almost felt sad that we didn’t have any honey bees to pollinate!  They will have to stay in a pot for now until I can plant them in our new garden up on the future homestead.  That’s okay since they are actually very pretty plants and I can set them out on the front patio!

Salad in the window

The stevia seems to be doing well. Oh my – that window is filthy. Please don’t judge me! 🙂

Growing vegetables indoors

The tomato plant looked great when I first put it in the window.

I am also experimenting with the idea of a “perennial” tomato plant!  I read on Kathi’s blog at Oak Hill Homestead that if you snip off a piece of the tomato plant before the first frost and place the stem into water, the hairs on the plant will root and the plant will grow!  Of course, this is actually “cloning” and so the tomato plant is not literally a perennial.  However, the thought of having a tomato plant ready to produce in April or May sounds wonderful!  At first I thought this might work!  The tomato plant looked like it was thriving for the first month or so.  Then, the tomato twig pretty much lost all of it’s leaves, except a very few almost crunchy looking ones on the top.  I thought the plant was doomed.  Oh well, it was worth a try.

Perennial Tomato plants

The poor thing lost almost all it’s leaves, but look – it finally developed roots! Hooray! 🙂

Then, last week, as I was thinking I would just go ahead the throw the plant into the compost heap, I saw something small and white protruding out of the stem.  Holy cannoli – it was a root!  I thought the plant was dead, but it was developing a root!  My mommy always told me patience was a virtue.  When I checked today, it now has three roots – still very small – but they are there!

I am also toying with the process of not having to buy green onions but once a year!  I read from various sources that all you have to do is put the very bottom of the onion (the root part) in a sunny window in a jar of water.

Growing a salad in your window

This was the growth after about 10 days of being in the water! These things grow fast!

They will re-root and grow and you will be able to harvest them over and over again.  Research on this subject, however reveals that after more than 6 harvests they pretty much poop out and there isn’t any flavor left.  We will see.  So far, however, this looks really promising!  I already harvested one a couple of nights ago for some Pad Thai.  Yumm!  However, when I cut the root off I think I cut it too short and so it never rooted but instead turned into mush!  So –

Growing Green Onions

Here are the roots of the green onion today! I have to give them about 1/2 cup of water every day!

word to the wise – leave at least 1 inch of the base of the onion or it won’t be able to re-grow!    I will know better for the next harvest!   Why am I doing this?  Yeah, I know – green onions are cheap.  But it was kinda cool being able to just walk over to the window sill and cut off some green onion in January, rather than have to put it on a shopping list!

I am also doing the same with celery and lo and behold, it looks like it’s working!  Who knew? (obviously not me)

Growing a salad in your window

The celery has been growing for a couple of weeks in this picture.

I’m not sure how long it will take the celery to grow to a size that will be harvestable (spell check says this isn’t a word, but I certainly think it should be), but I suppose if I had three or four going at a time, at different stages, I would never want for celery!  So far, however, I would say this is pretty slow going.  I guess if I had several growing at a time, it would be okay.  But, seriously, I think the celery stalks are growing about 1 inch a month.  If I had to depend on it for food, I would have starved by now.  However, if I had a dozen or so…………

Growing vegetables indoors

This is a recent picture of the roots of the celery. The celery stalks seem to be growing about 1 inch per month.

The jury is still out on the leaf lettuce.

Growing leaf lettuce on a window sill indoors

The leaf lettuce has developed a pretty good root system and the leaves are nice dark green and perky. It’s just growing soooooooo slooooow!

I just started that one about a month ago. It hasn’t wilted or anything yet and the leaves are now a really deep green color, so I think that’s a good sign. It has also developed a pretty good root system already, but the leaves are growing at a pretty slow rate, just like the celery.  Again, if I had several of these going at different stages, I think this would be pretty cool!  I would essentially have a small salad bar on my window sill!

I am hoping to be able to harvest a green onion (no problem) a stalk of celery (probably a pretty small one) and a few leaves of lettuce (ummm….maybe) within the next month or two, so I can say I had a window sill salad.  I would add some of the pickled beets I canned this past summer, along with some boiled black beans that I grew and dried.  Maybe even some of the sun dried tomatoes.

Hmmm.   That actually sounds pretty good!  When (if) I can pull this off, I will post a picture!

To help things along, I am going to make a weak worm tea, instead of just plain water, for the plants.  The stevia was planted in worm soil and I think that is why the plants are doing so well.  For the worm tea, I will just harvest a cup of worm farm soil, pour about two cups of water into it and let it sit for a day, then strain the water out – worm tea!  I will dilute this with more water before adding it to the vegetables, however.  I figure this will give the vegetables more nutrients so they will grow better and carry more nutrients for me too!  For more information on the worm farm and worm tea – see this post HERE

I understand you can also take the top of carrots and beets and let them grow for salad greens!  That is going to be my next experiment! I would love to hear if you are growing vegetables and/or herbs on your windowsill  through the winter!

Indoor window sill garden

Here is what everything looks like today. It all looks healthy and delicious -except the tomato plant.  But, that will change soon as the tomato now has 3 roots and little leaf budlets along the stem!

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42 thoughts on “Windowsill Salad Garden

    • Hello Deb – good morning. I have always thought that a cat in a window makes a house a home, so keep your cat! Though it’s been a lot of fun growing these veggies, I have only harvested two green onions so far. But, this was just an experiment. Now that I know it is feasible to grow a salad in a window, I just might add more to the collection!

  1. That is so wonderful to hear that your tomato is finally rooting. I am going to have to try that! It also reminds me that a friend once told me that if I plant a cut up celery stalk bottom it would root too so I could get more celery….Now I am thinking I am going to try both and cross my fingers!

    I love your window garden, such a wonderful sight when we have piles and piles of snow outside.

    • I was so happy when I saw those little white roots on the tomato stem. I was seriously about to throw the poor little leafless twig out! Hopefully, when it develops a better root system, I will be able to plant it in a pot with some soil. The tomatoes I got off this plant last summer were amazing and I am so glad I will be able to enjoy them again! The celery is growing slowly, but it is growing! You should try lettuce also!

    • I grew lettuce in my garden in the backyard last spring. Unfortunately these little green caterpillars kept eating the lettuce. Just when the poor plants seemed to recover and get a few leaves, the darned caterpillars came back. I kept picking them off the lettuce day after day because I didn’t want to use pesticides. I finally got a few salads out of them, but not much. I actually think the lettuce in my window is doing better than those poor plants I had in the outside garden last year. One really neat thing, though – when I noticed the lettuce in my backyard was finally growing and I was actually going to get a harvest, I noticed these wasps amongst the lettuce. Then, I saw this wasp take off with one of those little green caterpillars! Nature had come to the rescue! The wasps were taking care of my problem for me! That was such a cool discovery! Good luck growing lettuce this spring, and may you have many wasps!

  2. Very cool window sill garden! I have rooted and planted both scallion bottoms and celery bottoms successfully, so know that this really does work! I actually planted mine in sill-sized pots and they are thriving, waiting for transplant day! I haven’t had the onion poop out after several harvests, but that could be because mine are in soil?

    • Yes, I assume that growing the scallions in only water would make just about any plant poop out after a while! That’s why I am adding worm tea to mine. It isn’t very pretty and sounds disgusting, but I think it will keep them going for a while – at least until I can plant them in the garden! Thanks for letting me know about your experience with these!

    • Nice to meet you, Beverly. My next experiment will be with carrot and beet tops! Apparently they grow quickly and the greens make yummy additions to your salad! We will see!

  3. I have some green onions bases planted in a pot, but they are pretty spindly. I also have stevia, but I keep forgetting to water it and it’s kind of sad looking. Maybe I should put the onions in water instead. It’s always nice to have something green growing in winter, even if you don’t get much to eat from it! Thank you for sharing at What We Accomplished Wednesdays. Have a lovely week! ~Deborah

    • You know, I “garden” every day! I am watering them, trimming them and making worm poop tea for them! So far, so good – I just wish they would grow a bit faster! Thanks for stopping by, Deborah!

  4. What a fabulous idea to grow salad on your window sills and in your house. I really didn’t know that you could grow tomatoes in a jar. Thanks so much for sharing your ideas and love the actual pictures of the plants. Visiting from Fabulously Frugal Thursday Linky Party. Have a wonderful healthy day!

    • Thank you, Marla! The roots on the tomato are getting a bit bigger every day! I am so excited! And the little leaf buds are starting to stretch out and turn green! I will have to get the plant into a pot of soil soon, however, because the very bottom of the stem is starting to mold, and I don’t want that to effect the roots! I hope your day is healthy and wonderful also!

  5. Oh I love that the left over from our garden we can take and put on the glass jar and grow. It is interesting and thanks for sharing.

    • Yeah – they do grow, but you would have to have several of each type of veggie to make it worthwhile! I have harvested my green onions (scalions) twice now and it’s pretty cool. The celery grows slow, however. The lettuce seems to be picking up speed. I guess once the lettuce gets it’s roots it grows a lot faster. The tomato roots are still growing and I hope to be potting that up soon, but of course it will still stay in the window. Thank you for your thoughts, Pam.

  6. Happy Friday!
    It’s great to get a chance to discover and explore your blog through Small Footprint Friday!
    You are doing exactly what I want to do: grow a few herbs and other edibles in my windowsill. Since I live in an apartment that is the best solution for me. Thanks for the tips! I am inspired!
    I have also enjoyed reading many of your posts.
    All the best, Deborah

    • Happy Friday right back at you! If you have a nice window with southern exposure, you can easily grow herbs and makings for salad! Thanks for stopping by, come back soon!

    • Thank you Anne-Marie! But actually, the plants look better in person! Haha. I always love sharing at Wildcrafting Wednesday!

  7. Hooray! The tomato is alive! lol! This should be fun growing your own salad! I have rosemary growing in my window and I love using it. Thought I would plant a few more herbs this week. Thanks for sharing with SYC.

    • Yes, it’s alive. But it’s growing soooooo slooooowww….. I have rosemary in my backyard and the valley house, I think I will get some cuttings this spring so I can plant them up at our future homestead! I love making bouquets with a few rosemary cuttings because it makes the house smell so good and fresh!

  8. I just started some lettuce last week, but love these ideas! I am taking the decorations out of my sunny window and grabbing some jars out of the cupboard! I just found you on the blog hop and am so glad I did! You have an amazing blog and I’m now following! I can’t wait to read more!
    Hoping you’ll stop by and say hi sometime

    • Well, thanks for the compliment (*blush*), glad to have you following along! I am starting a few more veggies also – carrots and beets for the greens. I already slid over to your lovely blog and left a hello note for you!

  9. Thanks for sharing on 104 Homestead blog hop. Very interesting idea, but I’m glad you decided to add the worm tea. I think you are right, that the vegetables would not be very nutritious if they have been grown only with water.

    • Yeah – I know lots of people have been doing this, but you would think that without the benefit of the nutrients found in the soil the plants wouldn’t be able to keep going for very long! Since my worm tea is abundant (my worm farm is doing very well), then this is a no-brainer for me! Thanks for hosting the 104 Homestead Hop!

    • I wouldn’t have thought about the tomato either, but when I read about it I thought I would try it! I am going to pot it up this weekend and hope that it has enough root on it to survive – but I don’t think I have much of a choice because there is some fuzzy mold growing on the bottom of the stem. I am going to be harvesting one of my green onions (or scallion – I never know what to call it) tomorrow, so it will have to begin again. Thanks for stopping by, Yael. It is so nice to meet you!

    • Thank you, Katie! It is pretty neat! I think if I had several lettuce, celery and beet/carrot tops going I would be able to harvest a lot more. But, since this was just an experiment this year, I am actually happy with the result! I will definitely do this again – just on a bigger scale!

  10. Hi, Vickie! I am this far in your blog “book” and wanted to share with you that I grew spinach in a western window last winter as it is the only window that I have that gets adequate light during the winter months. It was wonderful to go pluck off some fresh spinach for a salad or smoothie! I also have a dwarf nectarine tree that gave me over 20 oranges last year! I have to bring it in every winter since I live in the midwest. When it blooms in the early spring, and since I have no bees in my house, I just take a q-tip and pollinate all the flowers myself. Maybe you could do that with your stevia plant. I am growing a sweet leaf plant myself which I assume is just about the same thing. I haven’t researched that yet to know for sure. Happy window gardening!

    • Hello, Sharon! Yes, I believe the sweet leaf plant is the stevia. I have never thought of growing spinach in a window, but that makes sense! I also have some dwarf citrus in pots. I have a Meyer Lemon and a Tango Mandarin, along with two pomegranates and a ginger plant. Right now, were we live, they can stay outside all year long. When we move up to our future homestead, however, we will have to either bring them indoors or build a big greenhouse for them. I hope you are enjoying the blog. Thanks for your comment – feel free to comment on anything else!