How to Grow Sprouts, Herbs and Seedlings on the Window Sill (DIY)
Until the first fruits and vegetables sprout in our beds, it still takes a while. If you want to shorten the time until the first harvest, you can already start on your window sill: shoots and herbs are great suppliers of vital nutrients and thrive excellently when you consider a few things.
Sprouts and seedlings
Sprouts and seedlings are tasty, very healthy and can be ideally grown in their own kitchen. They contain many vitamins, minerals, trace elements and secondary plant ingredients, making them healthy ingredients for salads. But also on sandwiches, in soups or as pastries, the small power packs make a tasty figure.
The principle of sprouting and germinating is simple: seeds are germinated and eaten at a very early stage of development. Germination results in small plant seeds from seeds rich in protein and nutrients. In this process, additional vitamins are formed as a result of the germination process, which have not yet been present in the seeds. Thus, in contrast to the seeds, shoots contain not only vitamin C, but also the content of B vitamins, as well as that of other vitamins and secondary plant active ingredients.
Seedlings from the sprouting jar
To germinate seeds, you have to supply them with plenty of water or rinse them. There are a lot of possibilities for this: the sprout glass and the sprout tower (for example Schnitzer) are the most common. In the sprouted glass, the seeds are rinsed with water, the glass is tilted and the residual water can flow out again through the perforated lid. If you do not want to invest money, a sprout glass can easily be replaced with a cucumber glass. Sprouts thrive best at 18-20 degrees Celsius. You should never stand in the blazing sun.
Suitable for Germination are legumes (lentils, peas, buckwheat clover, soybeans), cruciferous plants such as cress or mustard, cereals (wheat, barley), sunflower seeds, amaranth, quinoa, pumpkins and most vegetables (broccoli, radish, radishes, beets, beetroots) , Chard, endive, rosé, leeks).
Not suitable for consumption are all night shadow plants like tomatoes, peppers or potatoes. Because their sprouts are poisonous.
Use organic seeds
The sprouts of all cruciferous plants – for instance, cress, broccoli, radish, mustard, cabbage, radishes, etc. – are particularly healthy. They have a slightly sharp note, which is located in the mustard oil (glucosinolates) in these sprouts. Glucosinolates help the cells to reduce free oxygen radicals and the associated oxidative stress.
Of course, when purchasing the seeds, you should ensure that they come from a controlled organic cultivation and are suitable for sprouting. Such untreated seed is free of pesticides and is offered in health food stores.
Sprouts and molds
If you suspect that it is infected with mold, make an odor test: If it smells moldy, it can actually be mold. If the sprouts smell fresh, sharp and strong, then you probably confuse the furry-fluffy fiber roots of the sprouts with mold. This white fiber-root fluff develops, in particular, the seeds mustard, radish, radishes and alfalfa during growth. But also grain (wheat, spelled, oats) forms fiber roots when germinating.
To prevent mold, use high-quality seeds from organic cultivation. Sort out non-germinated seeds at an early stage and rinse sprouts or shoots once a day with fresh water. Once the mold has formed, dispose of the moldy seed, thoroughly wash the germinating machine with hot water, and re-start with fresh shoots.
Herbs on the window sill offer a fresh change for the kitchen at any time.
For potatoes on the window sill, annual and perennial herbs are distinguished. Perennial herbs hold out for several years when they are harvested properly. Root tips, buds and shoot tips should not be damaged. Otherwise, the plants will not grow any further. For annual ones, it is often worthwhile to harvest the whole plant.
Herbs are not all the same
For herbs such as thyme, sage or rosemary, it is recommended to regularly harvest the sprouts. This rejuvenates the plants, can sprout better and become bushy. Chives, parsley and dill should only be harvested in portions in order to give the plants time to regenerate. Cress and chervil can be completely harvested gradually. They are not growing again.
Proper location for herbs
So that the potted plants grow well on your window sill, you should take a look at their location: rosemary, thyme, sage and oregano prefer to be in a south window. So they get the clumped load of spring.
Parsley, lovage, chives and basil grow well at east or even north windows. They won’t get along so well with direct sunlight and prefer half-shadows or shady niches.
Tips for your kitchen herbs
- After the purchase, you should repot the herbs. This makes it possible to replace the earth with high-quality herbal soil and the often too small plastic heads with larger, more beautiful ones.
- Leave them alone after repotting. Allow the herbs one or two weeks to get used to their new location and possibly the new soil and build up leaf mass.
- Kitchen herbs are best consumed in the morning. In the summer, southern herbs also tolerate an evening portion of water. But every plant needs different amounts of water. Take care when pouring. Otherwise, there will be putrefaction with too much water in the pot.
- Sow herbs regularly. If you want to have year-round herbs such as dill, parsley, chives or basil available, you should re-sow them all at the beginning every two weeks. So you do not have to hold back during the year and can cook and season with enough herbs.