Sprouts, herbs, seedlings – vitamins from the windowsill
It takes a while for the first fruits and vegetables to sprout in our beds. If you want to shorten the time until the first harvest, you can start harvesting your vitamins from the windowsill. Sprouts and herbs are great sources of nutrients and thrive if you take a few things into account.
Sprouts and seedlings
Sprouts and seedlings are delicious, very healthy and ideal for growing in your own kitchen. They contain a lot of vitamins, minerals, trace elements and secondary plant substances.
This makes them nourishing ingredients in salads. But the small power packs also cut a tasty figure on sandwiches, in soups, or as baking ingredients.
The principle of sprouting and germination is simple: Seeds germinate and we consume them at a very early stage of development.
The germination creates small plantlets from the protein and nutrient-rich seeds. The germination process creates additional vitamins that were not yet present in the seeds.
In contrast to seeds, sprouts not only contain vitamin C, but the content of B vitamins also increases, as does that of other vitamins and secondary plant substances.
Seedlings from the sprout glass
In order to germinate seeds, we must supply them with plenty of water or wash them thoroughly. There are a variety of options for this: the most common are the rung glass and the rung tower.
Once in the sprout jar, water rinses the seeds, and the tilted jar allows the residual water to flow out again through the perforated lid.
If you don’t want to invest money, you can easily build a sprout glass with a cucumber glass. Sprouts thrive best at 64-68 degrees Fahrenheit. You should never expose them to the blazing sun.
You can germinate legumes, such as lentils, peas, fenugreek and soybeans, and cruciferous vegetables such as cress or mustard. Germinable cereals include wheat, barley, sunflower seeds, amaranth, quinoa, pumpkin seeds.
You can, furthermore, use most vegetable seeds like broccoli, radish, radishes and beets, too. The same goes for leafy greens, e.g., Swiss chard and endive. Brussels sprouts and leek are also a benefit to your health.
All nightshade plants such as tomatoes, peppers or potatoes are not suitable for consumption. Because their germs are poisonous.
Also, rely on organic seeds
The germs of all cruciferous plants, such as cress, broccoli, radish, mustard, cabbage, radishes, etc., are particularly healthy.
They have a slightly spicy note, which is due to the mustard oil (a glucosinolate) contained in these sprouts. Glucosinolates help the cells to reduce free oxygen radicals and the associated oxidative stress.
Of course, when buying the seeds, you should take care that they come from controlled organic cultivation and are suitable for sprout cultivation.
Such untreated seeds contain no crop protection residues and health food stores or organic food stores often offer them.
Sprout breeding and mold
If you suspect that your sprout breeding has mold, do an odor test. If it smells moldy, it most likely is mold.
If the germs smell fresh, pungent and strong, then you are probably confusing the furry-fluffy fiber roots of the sprouts with mold.
This white fiber root fluff forms especially with the germination seeds mustard, radish, and alfalfa during growth. Cereals (wheat, spelt, oats) also form fiber roots when they germinate.
To prevent mold, use high-quality organically grown seeds. Sort out non-germinated seeds early and rinse the sprout glass or sprout tower with fresh water once a day.
If mold does form, dispose of the moldy seeds, wash the seed germinator thoroughly with hot water and put fresh sprouts back on.
For potted herbs on the windowsill, we make a distinction between annual and perennial herbs. You can enjoy herbs for several years if you harvest them properly.
Always ascertain that you do not damage the root tips, buds and shoot tips, otherwise, the plants will not continue to grow. With annuals, it is often worth harvesting the whole plant.
Herbs are not all the same
With herbs such as thyme, sage or rosemary, I advise you to harvest the shoots regularly. As a result, the plants rejuvenate, can sprout better and become bushy.
Chives, parsley and dill, on the other hand, you should only harvest in portions to give the plants time to regenerate. Gradually, you can harvest cress and chervil completely; they don’t grow back.
The right location for herbs
So that the potted herbs on your windowsill thrive, you should take a look at their location: rosemary, thyme, sage and oregano are best placed in a south-facing window. This is how they get the full load of the spring sun.
Parsley, lovage, chives and basil grow well on the east or even north windows. They don’t get along well with direct sunlight and prefer partial shade or shady niches.
Tips for your kitchen herbs
1- Repot the herbs after purchase. This allows you to replace the soil with high-quality herbal soil and the often too small plastic pots with larger, more beautiful ones.
2- Leave them alone after repotting. Allow the herbs a week or two to get used to their new location and possibly the new soil and to build up leaf mass.
3- It is best to water kitchen herbs in the morning. Southern herbs also tolerate an evening portion of water in midsummer. But every plant needs different amounts of water. Pay attention when watering, otherwise there is a risk of rotting if there is too much water in the pot.
4- Sow herbs regularly. If you want to have annual herbs such as dill, parsley, chives or basil available all year round, you should sow them every two weeks, especially at the beginning. This way, you don’t have to hold back during the year and can cook and season with sufficient herbs.
Who knew that vitamins from the windowsill are not only extremely nutritious, but they also bring out the hobby gardener in you.
It’s fun to take care of your seedlings, gives you a sense of responsibility and trains your green thumb. Another bonus: You can share them generously with your family and friends, so they too can stay healthy.
What do you think? Share your thoughts, questions and stories with us in a comment below. We are always happy to read from you.