Indoor gardening?
July 22, 2008 11:25 AM   Subscribe

What kinds of food plants will grow inside by a window?

I have a single window in my room of the shared house I am living in. It faces east and gets a bit of sun from morning to mid-day. What kinds of food plants will grow in the windowsill without a grow-lamp?

Note that I can't have anything outside - so containers won't work.
posted by mjewkes to Home & Garden (10 answers total) 16 users marked this as a favorite
I grew a chili pepper plant in a west-facing window a couple of years ago. That might work for you (if you like chilies, that is).
posted by LN at 11:35 AM on July 22, 2008 [1 favorite]

Do herbs count? If not, I'd suggest growing sprouts (alfalfa, mung, etc.) in a jar.
posted by Morrigan at 11:51 AM on July 22, 2008 [1 favorite]

Seconding herbs. I've grown my own oregano, mint, and scallions in a planter box on the windowsill.
posted by xbonesgt at 12:01 PM on July 22, 2008 [1 favorite]

Sold out at Seed Savers right now, but I have grown this Tom Thumb pea plant indoors.
posted by stefnet at 12:03 PM on July 22, 2008 [1 favorite]

I once grew a cherry tomato plant (the variety was Sweet 100, if I recall correctly) in a west-facing window that got several hours of direct sun. I got a few tiny tomatoes from it, which were more of a fun novelty than a food source.

Keep in mind that some vegetables require pollination, not being self-fertile (I pollinated the tomato flowers with a little paintbrush). Herbs sound easier all around, really.
posted by Quietgal at 12:22 PM on July 22, 2008 [1 favorite]

Radishes are probably to be the easiest thing to grow in a window aside from herbs.
posted by foodgeek at 1:00 PM on July 22, 2008 [1 favorite]

Basil. Fantastic on pasta or pizza!
posted by kenchie at 1:14 PM on July 22, 2008 [1 favorite]

Sprouts are great, but they will be perfectly happy to grow inside of a cupboard.
posted by yohko at 4:05 PM on July 22, 2008 [1 favorite]

You could probably grow all kinds of salad greens (mustard, collards, lettuces, etc.) in a box, just snip 'em down and eat them, they'll come back a few times. I grow some of this stuff in boxes that sit in mostly shade outside, and it does really well. I imagine it'll take longer to grow inside, but it should still be tasty and easy enough.

Beets could do alright too, assuming you plant them in a big enough pot/container. Beet tops are great in salads too.
posted by glip at 12:26 PM on July 23, 2008 [1 favorite]

my african violets do very well in an east-facing window. They did better in a south-facing window, but they're lush and green. I also have had success with a sage plant and random flowering succulent from the grocery store in an east-facing window.
posted by crush-onastick at 7:07 AM on August 22, 2008 [1 favorite]

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