Seven different potted plants sitting on a shelf.

How To Grow A Mini Veg Garden On Your Windowsill

Charli Moore Jul 01, 2023

Anyone with a bedroom window can easily become a gardener. With a few bits of simple gardening equipment and a bit of care and attention you could transform an unused windowsill or external window box into a mini veg garden that supplies you with homegrown goodies throughout the summer.

Sound like a passion project you’d like to try?


Why starting a mini veg garden could help you stay chill during term time

It’s well-known that gardening is great for your mental health and wellbeing. Connecting with nature and taking on the responsibility of caring for a living thing can help reduce the symptoms of stress, depression, and anxiety. Plus, spending time cultivating plants can also increase your ability to concentrate and engage with the world around you, something everyone could benefit from, especially when studying.


How to start a windowsill garden

You will need:

  • A sunny windowsill (or external window box).

  • One or more planting containers with holes in the bottom and a tray to catch excess water. Tip: make sure they fit snuggly on your windowsill.

  • Seeds of your choice.

If you have a relative or friend who loves to garden, talk to them about your idea for a veggie garden on your windowsill and ask if you can borrow some containers and have a bit of compost to get started. If not, take a trip to your local garden center or order online.


The best windowsill vegetables, herbs, and salad leaves 

Choose vegetable varieties that you love to eat, and that are best suited to the size of your window box or windowsill containers. Cherry tomatoes, sweet peppers, and radish are ideal for smaller tubs whilst carrots, green onions and bush beans work well if you have a bit more space to play with.

Spice up any meal with a simple salad and add a pop of flavor with a mix of fresh herbs. Basil, parsley, and mint are packed with vitamins and easy to grow requiring minimal care.

Growing salad leaves is particularly satisfying because they are cut-and-come-again crops that keep on growing even after you’ve harvested enough for a meal. The most popular windowsill crop are loose-leaf varieties such as red or green oak lettuce, but if you fancy something a little more exotic, try planting arugula or watercress.

When harvesting loose lettuce cut the outside leaves when the leaves are young. The leaves will grow back and then you can cut away the entire plant once it is fully grown.


How to sow vegetable seeds in windowsill containers

Look for a container or containers that sit neatly on your windowsill. If you’re wanting to style them further, you could always paint plastic pots in colors that match your dorm room décor. Whatever you choose, just make sure that it has holes in the bottom and that you put a tray underneath to catch excess water as it drains.

Fill your pots with compost, or potting soil, and scatter your chosen seeds, keeping them about 2 inches apart. Cover them over with a thin layer of soil (about 0.5 inch thick).

Put the pot on a sunny windowsill. Water every other day to keep the seeds moist, and within a week you should start to see tiny shoots appear. Easy.

Growing vegetables on your windowsill is a rewarding way to get closer to nature, reduce your grocery bill, and switch up your college meals with some super-fresh, nutrient-rich ingredients. 


We’d love to see your green-fingered successes, share pictures of your mini windowsill veg gardens using the hashtag #LifeUnzipped.