Are your plants and the microclimate compatible?
Each window has its own microclimate, its own environment. A microclimate is made up of the amount of light (both sunlight and artificial lights if needed), fresh air, temperature, and humidity. Your indoor microclimate is affected by changes in the outdoor weather, the different seasons, and varying indoor conditions. For example, the changing outdoor temperatures may be transmitted through the windows; the amount of light may change from a sunny summer to a gray cloudy winter. The changing indoor temperatures and humidity are affected by the windows being opened or closed, turning on or off the air conditioning, and increasing or decreasing the heat.
How are your plants doing? Are they sending you signals that they’re not doing too well? Maybe you want reassess the microclimate to be sure that you have taken into consideration all the elements of light, air, temperature, and humidity.
Then you might ask yourself: what are the preferred growing conditions of the different plants in one Windowfarm column?
Is it an issue of differences in how much water each plant prefers? For example, strawberries like lots of water whereas peppers prefer less water. Consequently, attempting to grow strawberries and peppers in one Windowfarm unit will be problematic. Enough water to keep the strawberries happy will overwater the peppers whereas less water that will make the peppers happy will under water the strawberries. The solution would be to plant the strawberries in one Windowfarm column/unit and the peppers in a second Windowfarm column/unit.
Is it issue of how much light – too much or not enough? Plants thrive with different amounts of light. Tomatoes love lots of light and will be happiest in a warm, light-filled window. By comparison, kale tolerates cooler temperatures and partial sun.
What are the plants’ temperature preferences? Warm? Cool? Examples of some plants that thrive in warm season temperatures include tomatoes, peppers, cucumbers, and herbs. Examples of some plants that prefer cooler season temperatures include lettuces, cabbage, kale, and spinach.
Are the plants compatible? Just like people, some plants don’t get along. Strawberries do not get along with some plants and in fact will impair the growth of plants in the cabbage family such as broccoli, cauliflower, and kale. In this case, these plants need to be in separate Windowfarms in order to thrive.
Consider the combination of plants growing in each Windowfarm column/unit and think about each plant’s water and light preference. Your plants will benefit from you experimenting to find what combinations of plants and what conditions will best support the plants in your system.
Vary the microclimate of light, air, temperature, watering frequency and watering quantity. Experiment and observe the results!