Not all city dwellers have their own land on which to engage in gardening. But even from such a situation there is a way out, for example, try to grow a salad on the windowsill at home. This does not require significant costs, but it can diversify the menu, especially in winter.
Is it possible to grow salad on a windowsill
It is possible to grow salad on the windowsill, and many are quite successful in doing this at home. Of course, such agricultural technology has quite a lot of nuances.
Growing lettuce on a windowsill is pretty easy.
This applies to both the growing process itself and the planting material used, since not all lettuce varieties can grow indoors.
What kind of salad can be grown on a windowsill in winter
In order to successfully grow lettuce on the windowsill, it is important, first of all, to choose a suitable variety for this. It must have the following characteristics:
- Possibility of growing in greenhouses.
- Shooting resistance.
- Growth under conditions of short daylight hours or under artificial light.
- Short ripening period.
The following varieties meet all these conditions:
- Afitsion. This type of salad belongs to the type of Batavia, which is considered by many to be ideal for growing at home. It takes about 30-35 days to ripen. Bright green curly leaves are collected in a large rosette, the plant does not form a head of cabbage. The consistency of the leaf is juicy, dense, the break occurs with a characteristic crunch. The taste is pleasant.
Important! The variety has excellent resistance to shooting.
Afitsion refers to leafy and does not form a head of cabbage
- Fanley. This type of salad also belongs to the Batavia species. The leaves are curly, green, collected in a large outlet, the weight of which can reach up to 0.4 kg. This salad variety takes about 35 days to fully ripen. In greenhouse plants, it is often grown for sale because it has an attractive appearance and good transportability.
Fanley is grown on many greenhouse farms.
- Lettuce. Popular in many countries and well-known type of annual lettuce that is grown in artificial conditions. It includes such popular varieties as Maisky, Odessa, Snezhinka. They all share similar characteristics. Lettuce ripens quite quickly, after 1 month its leaves can be eaten. Lettuce can be grown all year round, and many farmers in Europe, America and Japan are doing this with great success. In Russia, this type of salad is not so popular, since many of its varieties have a slight bitterness in taste.
Lettuce can be grown on windowsill all year round
- Iceberg. This type of salad can be found under the names ice salad, ice mountain or ice salad. A feature of this species is the head-shaped leaves. They are light green, juicy, crunchy. A head of cabbage can weigh up to 1 kg. The peculiarity of this salad is the taste of the leaves, which is not like the traditional one. It is slightly sweetish, in addition, a slight bitterness often appears in it. Ice salad keeps well fresh, it may not lose its culinary properties for up to 3 weeks.
Ice salad is shaped like a head of cabbage
- Romano. This type of annual head lettuce is a relative of lettuce. Leaves are light green, strongly elongated, collected in a rather loose head of cabbage. A distinctive feature of Romano is its taste. It is very delicate with nutty notes. Due to its bright taste, this species is traditionally used for making Caesar salad.
Elongated head of Romano is easy to distinguish from other varieties
- Watercress. Quite a few varieties belong to this species, such as Vitaminchik, Dukat, Abundant. All of them ripen in 30-45 days from the moment of planting, and the first greens can be obtained in 2-2.5 weeks. All types of watercress are unpretentious, tolerate indoor microclimate well.
Watercress contains many nutrients
You can also grow other types of salad on the windowsill. There are a lot of varieties suitable for this.
How to plant lettuce leaves at home on a windowsill
The agricultural technique of growing lettuce from seeds on the windowsill is standard and, depending on the variety, varies slightly. Observing these general recommendations, you can easily get your favorite view in an apartment or a private house.
Preparation of soil and planting capacity
For growing lettuce at home on a windowsill, you can adapt any available container of suitable sizes, for example, a flower pot, a plastic container or a wooden box. The latter are best used for leafy species, but large-sized varieties need to be grown in separate large pots. It is imperative to use drainage from small pebbles or pebbles, laid in a layer at the bottom of the container, as well as a tray to collect excess moisture.
You can use a variety of containers for planting salad.
As for the soil, the salad does not have any special requirements. To grow it on the windowsill, you can use purchased soil for seedlings or prepare a soil mixture with your own hands, mixing sand, humus and turf soil in equal proportions. Planting containers must be thoroughly washed, disinfected, and then filled with soil almost to the top.
Important! Before use, the soil mixture must be disinfected by calcining in the oven or steaming in a water bath.
Preparation of planting material
Novice gardeners usually use the seed method to grow lettuce at home on the windowsill in winter. Planting material, namely seeds of the variety you like, can be purchased in a store or ordered via the Internet. Before planting, the seeds are soaked for 24 hours in cold water, so their germination increases. If there are doubts about the quality of the seeds, then before sowing they are additionally kept for 15-20 minutes in a solution of potassium permanganate.
Important! Only self-collected planting material should be etched. Seeds in the manufacturer's original packaging do not need disinfection.
Rules for planting lettuce on the windowsill
For growing on a windowsill, planting seeds is carried out quite tightly. This is done in order to then carry out thinning, rejecting weak shoots. The landing procedure itself is not difficult. On the surface of the earth, grooves are drawn with a depth of about 1 cm, placing them at a distance of about 1 cm from each other.
Lettuce seeds are planted densely, with the calculation of subsequent thinning
Seeds are sown in them, and then lightly sprinkled with earth. The soil is slightly moistened with a spray bottle, then the container is covered with foil or glass and removed to a warm place.
Caring for lettuce leaves on the windowsill
Before the emergence of seedlings, the container with the planted seeds is periodically ventilated, removing the transparent cover from them. If the soil dries out, it must be moistened with a spray bottle with slightly warm softened water. Seedlings appear quite quickly. The first shoots may appear in 5-7 days. From this moment, the shelter from the containers with seedlings is removed, and the containers themselves are transferred to a lighted place, as a rule, on a windowsill or a table installed next to the window.
Optimal conditions for growing lettuce in a pot on a windowsill
At normal room temperature of the order of + 22-24 ° C, the salad grows very well on the windowsill. However, in winter, it can be cold near the window, so at such a time it is better to clean it further, deeper into the room. In heated rooms, as a rule, the humidity is very low, therefore, the seedlings are sprayed 1-2 times a day with settled water at room temperature.
Spraying with water compensates for the lack of air humidity in the room
Daylight hours in winter are clearly insufficient for the normal growth of most lettuce varieties. In this case, only artificial lighting with additional light sources helps. You can use standard fluorescent lamps to illuminate plants by fixing them above the containers. However, it is more rational to use special phytolamps that give light of certain color ranges. With the help of lighting devices, the duration of daylight hours is artificially increased, bringing it to 13-14 hours.
With the help of phytolamps, the duration of daylight hours is artificially increased
Important! Seedlings are usually illuminated in the evening, while it is imperative to leave the plants time for a night's rest.
The salad loves water and requires regular watering, otherwise its leaves will lose the juiciness and crisp consistency characteristic of this plant, and become lethargic. Plants are watered once a day, usually in the morning. The condition of the soil must be monitored and not allowed to dry out.
Top dressing of salad on the windowsill
When grown indoors, salad dressing is usually not required. Fertilizer is applied only if there is a clear lag in growth. For feeding, you can use any composition for indoor flowers, which must be diluted in water and introduced into the root zone.
Liquid flower fertilizers are used to feed the salad.
The dosage of the drug is calculated in accordance with the instructions for use of each specific fertilizer.
There are many recommendations from experienced gardeners to grow lettuce on the windowsill at the lowest cost and with good efficiency. Here are the main points to watch out for:
- The salad does not tolerate picking well, so it is not transplanted.
- The first thinning should be done after a couple of leaves appear on the plant. Further rarefaction of plantings is carried out as the plants grow in such a way as to prevent competition between adjacent shoots.
- Head lettuce varieties are thinned more or planted in individual containers, since they require more free space than leafy ones.
- In winter, the containers are best kept on a windowsill on the south or southwest side of the house.
- To constantly have fresh herbs to the table, it is recommended to plant seeds at intervals of 10-14 days. If the varieties have different ripening periods, then you need to focus on this indicator.
- If the lettuce has released a flower arrow, then it is better to immediately remove the entire bush. The greens on it almost immediately become rough and lose their flavor.
It is not difficult to grow a salad on a windowsill on your own, even in winter. This is a good way to diversify the menu with fresh herbs, besides, the leaves of this plant are not only tasty, but also very useful because they contain a large amount of valuable organic compounds and trace elements. And for enterprising people, growing lettuce indoors can be a good business.