Wednesday, July 28, 2021

Indoor gardening for the winter

This past summer I started my very first vegetable garden in my backyard. We built a raised garden and planted a variety of vegetables including zucchini, carrots, eggplant, and Brussels sprouts. I also had several herbs that I planted in small pots and placed outside during the summer months.

Now, it is December and my outdoor garden is full of snow and the remnants of the plants that had produced over the summer. My herbs have dried up and died. However, I somehow manage to keep growing garlic in my kitchen. And while I do not have any at this moment, I have had onions sprout in a pot in the past. So it got me thinking, how can I have an indoor garden this winter?

indoor garden

Starting an indoor garden

First things first. Choose the type of plants you wish to grow. Each type of flower, vegetable, etc, require different standards for proper growth and production. Make sure you pick plants that are suitable for indoor growing.

Now, unless you live in a cave in the woods you likely do not have dirt and soil for flooring. So your indoor garden will need to be planted into pots. Most plants benefit from a planter with good drainage at the bottom whether that is a saucer that sits under the pot or if it’s a “self-watering” planters which collects water that is poured into the top in a bottom portion of the pot and is used as the plants and soil need it. You will also need to make sure you choose the proper sized pot for the plants you want to grow. Some plants grow tall, like tomato plants, and they will need a sufficient planter with a climbing trellis to be successful.

Once you have chosen your planters you will need to choose the proper soil for the type of garden you want. There are specific soils for vegetables, flowers, and you will need to determine which type and how much of it you will need.

indoor garden

Planting your indoor garden

I have had both garlic cloves and onions begin to proud and grow simply by sitting on my countertop. If this happens, I will locate one of my many planters, buy some vegetable soil from my local lawn care store and get those babies planted. By doing this I am encouraging their growth and they can begin to take root. When this happens the plants really take off!

However, if you are growing from seed then you will need to follow these simple steps.

  1. Pour about an inch to three inches of the proper soil into the bottom of the pot to serve as a base.
  2. Carefully open your seed packet, and sprinkle the seeds over the base layer of soil.
  3. Then you will need to pour a lighter layer of soil (about an inch) over the seed layer.
  4. Carefully water the seeds and soil. I like to turn my kitchen faucet on cold and then use the hand sprayer to water the seeds without pouring heavy amounts of water. The hand sprayer is a more gentle way of watering and it ensures your soil and seeds will remain where you intended them.
  5. Repeat until all of your desired seeds are planted in their specific planters with their specific soil.
indoor garden

Important: be sure to place your planters in rooms that offer sufficient light and make sure they are kept in rooms that are warm enough. Check the seed packets for these specifications.

While I have not yet been bold enough to try anything outside of garlic and onions in my indoor garden, I have seen others have success with many of the following:

  1. Carrots
  2. Mushrooms
  3. Herbs
  4. Beets
  5. Lettuce

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Bailey Woodean
I have been a freelance writer for more than 4 years, a mom for more than 2 years, and a wife for just under a year. I am currently a student in a cooking and catering program with the intention of expanding my knowledge of the culinary business. I then plan to take this knowledge to properly write about and critique restaurants and food. Writing to you from Niagara Falls, NY, thanks for joining me on the ride!

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