I recently expanded my windowsill growing area from 384 square inches to 1056 square inches, nearly three times as large as the original area. This expansion has created much needed space for my collection to thrive and grow. It will not be long before I eventually acquire more plants to populate the area.
There is one caveat. The plants that grow furthest away from the window receive about 1/3 less sunlight than those in front. This works out to about 6 hours of direct sunlight for the front of the area and about 4 hours of direct sunlight in the back of the area. Before anyone says I should supplement with grow lights, keep in mind that I only use grow lights for stuff that doesn't fit in my windowsill, it all has to do with general aesthetics as a plus and recurring expenses as a minus.
I do have one advantage that works in my favor. The window itself is very brightly lit for the remaining hours of the day. I also exploit the light that the window gets by placing a mirror at the back to reflect the leftover photons onto my plants.
I have yet to see what effect the shorter period of direct light will have on my plants in the back. After two months, everything has great color, however, the traps on my VFTs are smaller but with healthy coloration. Hopefully I can get some pictures up soon to help illustrate the points I made. I don't think I'll have any problems, but it's a pain trying to figure out the placement of the plants. I figure I'll at least keep my seedlings in front.
I have no data yet as to how this will affect dormancy in the winter. I may put the tropicals in the back during winter to the temperates can be next to the cold window. I'll leave it at that, as it does no good to think about dormancy when all of my plants just came out of it.
In the meantime, I'll post as often as occasion permits to show my progress or failure, whichever comes as result of this third windowsill experiment of mine:
First Experiment: general survival of five plants, separate trays -- success.
Second Experiment: expansion of windowsill, addition of mirror, communal water tray, general survival of twenty plants -- success.
Third Experiment: further expansion of windowsill, top watering, minibogs in the back, seedlings in the front, other specimens interspersed, general survival of fifty plants -- in progress.