They’re not gardens in the traditional sense, but why do things always have to be traditional? Urban container gardening is becoming an increasingly popular hobby for many high rise residents. But what happens if you don’t have a terrace, rooftop garden, or grow light? You have to harness that HomeFixated creativity of yours. It’s been called window farming; by suspending modified water bottles in front of sunny windows people are growing plants, like salad greens or herbs, year round.
The water bottles are suspended and fed into one another with a hole cut in the side to allow the plant to grow and a hole at the bottom to let the water flow out. Inside the water bottles a growing medium is added for root holding and also for important nitrogen-fixing bacteria to grow. The most common growing medium is expanded clay pebbles or small stones like that in concrete. The bacteria are important because they transform organic forms of nitrogen into inorganic forms like nitrates and ammonia. Plants can only uptake this form of nitrogen into their roots.
Some window ‘farmers’ grow larger plants including strawberries, bok choi, and peppers. There truly are a lot of options of plants to grow with this unique technique. By growing vertically, “farmers” don’t lose precious floor space in their apartments. So, no more whining when you want organic spinach for your salad and it’s snowing outside. Plan ahead and you can cut some spinach from the water bottle hanging in the window 12 stories up. Yep, I bet you didn’t think you’d read that sentence anytime soon did you? If you give window farming a try, please let us know about it.