As the days get shorter and temperatures drop, we gear up for life indoors. It is time to close up the patio furniture, shut off the valve for outdoor faucets and look forward to blowing leaves and clearing the snow. One of the aspects we miss most during this time of the year is gardening. Gathering the tools, digging through moist dirt, looking forward to the next harvest of fruits and vegetables and the excitement of seeing a seed sprout will have to wait until next spring. But it doesn’t have to be that way. We can garden inside of our homes throughout winter.
Gardening has numerous benefits such as lowering stress levels and boosting our immune system. Gardening improves focus and mindfulness. According to Happy DIY Home “Gardening is much more than a hobby or fun pastime. In fact, there are many proven benefits of gardening that people enjoy.” You can find a comprehensive list on the benefits of gardening here. Considering how gardening keeps us grounded, it would be a wonderful thing if we could continue to do it throughout winter. An indoor garden can take up as much or as little space as you are willing to give it.
Here is how you can continue flexing your green thumb until spring.
1) Move your potted plants indoors.
Moving any potted plants inside the house will help to keep it thriving throughout winter. Herbs and produce like chili peppers, cherry tomatoes, micro greens, baby ginger do very well thought the year if you can put it in a pot and bring it indoors. Be mindful of transitioning your pots since some plants do not thrive well if they are moved from their location.
2) Start an indoor vegetable garden if you don’t have potted plants
Leafy plants do better than fruiting plants indoors. Microgreens, sprouts and lettuce are perfect for this. They have to be kept in a well lit place, preferably facing south.
3) Plant root vegetables like carrots and potatoes outdoors before mid november or the first frost to harvest them in spring. Be sure to insulate the soil with mulch or leaves to protect them from the frost.
4) Build a greenhouse
Avid gardeners use greenhouses to continue growing their food during winter. You can control the temperature and atmosphere yourself with the use of a cold frame greenhouse or a traditional greenhouse.
You do not need to have a huge space. The best part about indoor gardening is that you can adapt it to whatever space you have available. It is important to take care of their lighting requirements. South facing windows are considered to be the best. Though, there are a variety of grow lights available in the market to help supplement the lighting. Once the outdoor plants have adapted to the indoors, their watering requirements might also change. Due to the dry air indoors, they might need to be watered and given plant food often. Temperatures of 65-75°F are best for most plants. A variance of 10°F either way will probably be OK. Plants that are too hot will be small and weak. Plants grown at too-cold temperatures may have yellow leaves that fall off. It is important to research through proper sources and gradually introduce any change in the life of the plant.
Plants can be sensitive and need a learning curve to adapt to a new environment. But with love and care, they can be a wonderful companion indoors during the winter. Do not forget to take this opportunity to read through our sources and learn more on indoor gardening. This winter, take the leap and try your hand and in growing food indoors.
By Kritika Rao
Image by MoneyforCoffee from Pixabay