First, I want to acknowledge that someone asked if I would share more photos with these blogs. The answer is no. Uploading photos is much more time intensive, not to mention taking them and curating the right one, and my goal here is to do a daily post that takes me about fifteen minutes. So take it as it is, just some gardening advice that isn't meant to inspire you with a beautiful photo. Just words. But thank you for the ask.
Someone else asked if I would talk about how you can grow some food if you only have an apartment with no outside space, and I want to use tonight to honor that request. My experience with container gardening is minimal, but here is what I know.
First, if you can get starts, either at your supermarket (our coop carries them) or at a hardware store or garden center, you will be much better off. While you can germinate seeds, it is far more efficient in both time and money for you to buy starts than to start seeds. You will be harvesting weeks or even more than a month sooner, and it will probably cost you less than buying the seeds etc.
The next consideration is sunlight. You really need to give them as much of the available light as you can, even if that means rearranging your house. Pull your couch away from that sunny windowsill and give it to the plants. Depending on how sunny the windowsill is, you may need to pay extra attention to watering.
One of the ways you can reduce the need for frequent watering and general stress of the plant is to pot them up, or to sow into larger containers, yogurt container sized or even bigger if you have the space. Give the plants plenty of soil space to roam in! And if you can, get some real soil or compost to pot them up so they aren't just in that weird sterile potting soil most starts grow in. That stuff is engineered to have enough fertility to get them to sale, and no further. They will need more space and more earth.
If you are sowing seeds, consider doing large trays of soil, you can even buy plastic seeding trays with a clear plastic lid that help keep the soil moisture in and the temperature higher for improved germination.
Watering is an art. You want to let the soil get to the point of just barely being dry, then give it a good soaking. This obviously can mean you need plates and trays under your plants. Or if you are using yogurt containers, stick some gravel in the bottom to allow the soil to drain at the bottom. Eventually, the plants roots will reach down to this water sink, but obviously not right away.
Despite your best efforts, the plants will get leggy and bend towards the light. Keep turning them to keep them from getting too floppy, and regular foraging will also keep them compact. Good candidates for indoor food growing are herbs like parsley, cilantro, and dill. Thyme, oregano and rosemary are not worth starting from seed but would be worth getting plants of. Chives are lovely to have.
Another thing to consider is forcing vegetable scraps, such as the top of beets or turnips you trim off. Stick them cut end down in a dish of water on the windowsill, and they will put out leaves, drawing from the bit of root that is left.
My blog has evolved into a series of short essays on the nature of entrepreneurship, craftsmanship, and their overlap. If either of these topics is something you think about, you will probably like this.