Long defined as the official kick-off of Summer, in addition to giving NYC a scorching heat wave, and me and Keith one of the most spectacular and intimate Fireworks displays we have ever seen (Thank You, Kinte & Nikki), July 4th gave me an urgent reminder that I haven’t started my annual Windowsill Garden. In the middle of May I picked up a starter Thai basil and Italian basil plant from USFM (Union Square Farmers Market), and transplanted them into larger clay pots, but they have been a poor excuse for what I normally grow each summer.
By mid-April every year Nonna would start her seeds, (which she had dried and preserved from plants grown the previous year), in tiny planters indoors. Her house would be crammed with ice-cube trays of dirt bursting with the sprouts of tomatoes, cucumbers, peppers, broccoli, eggplant, basil, green beans, fava beans, peas, spinach, and cauliflower. Though my 5 square feet of windowsill can’t compare to the acre she planted every year, this is my way of growing something in my urban life.
Much to Spooks’ (my cat) disappointment, I appropriate two windowsills in our bedroom to my indoor garden. Not to worry—we are blessed with a corner apartment that has 8 western-facing windows (including one that opens out onto our fire escape and one on our shower), so she has plenty of other places to perch and watch 2nd Avenue go by.
Last year I planted spicy arugula, thai bird chilis (above), Italian basil, and cilantro (which barely sprouted). My mother suspects the cilantro failure is because I am a chronic overwaterer (guilty!) and cilantro likes sandy soil with less moisture. This year, thanks to my USFM starters, I have added Thai basil to the mix, and held off on the cilantro because of my two previously failed attempts.
Prepared Work Space
Just Add Water Daily
After less than 48 hours the Arugula is already sprouting