Indoor Winter Gardening


Indoor Winter Gardening 

We’ve touched on the subject of indoor gardening a couple times. The practice continues to gain popularity as it is a cost-effective, energy-efficient, and exciting new way to grow fresh produce throughout any climate. However, indoor gardening becomes a tad bit trickier come winter. For those that live up North or in any other frigid area, the winter months bring less and less natural sunlight and those dismal hours of sunlight are certainly not enough to encourage plant growth. Fear not – there are plenty of solutions to growing herbs, leafy greens, and vegetables indoors during the winter that will make cold-weather comfort foods that much tastier.

Transfer Outdoor Plants: One way to successfully plant indoors during the winter months is to simply bring your outdoor plants or herbs in. That is, if you have an outdoor garden. Be careful when doing this because you cannot uproot whole plants – they are far too large and would require massive pots. Instead, save pieces of the plant runner or divisions. Simply place the plant and root into a pot with the proper drainage holes and water thoroughly.

Starting From Scratch: If you’re starting from scratch indoors, the key here is lighting. Even if you place your pots on the most south-facing windowsill receiving the most light, you simply will not get enough natural sunlight during the winter. You must install and maintain some sort of light system to foster successful plant growth. This will cost you a bit of money, but there are cost-effective solutions such as florescent lights. The latest, T-5 bulbs, produce three times the light for the same amount of wattage as the expensive streetlamp-like ones. We suggest setting up some sort of timer as well. This makes lighting systems much easier to operate as it will turn them on and off automatically to project just the right amount of lighting. Make sure all these systems are shock-proof as you will be watering your plants periodically as well.

Maintenance: The benefits of indoor gardening are endless. Instead of watching plants die due to icy, winter temperatures, you can reap the benefits of fresh produce for at least nine months if you set up your indoor garden correctly. Just remember, these are living creatures and they need a bit of upkeep. Because it tends to be a bit dryer inside the home during the winter, it’s a good idea to mist plants daily. Also, consider using a soil moisture meter to know exactly when plants need watering.

Best Herbs to Plant in the Winter: Not sure which plants best hold up to indoor winter gardening? Fortunately, you can grow just about anything as long as you have a decent lighting system set up. But if you’re nervous, start off with these east-to-grow herbs: basil, bay, chives, parsley, rosemary. Don’t hesitate to add those to any recipes – your taste buds will thank you.

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