Keep fresh food in your fridge year-round from your personal indoor container garden.
Gardening doesn’t have to be a seasonal pastime. It also doesn’t have to be an outdoors-only hobby. With the right tools and a sunny window, you can grow delectable edibles year-round with an indoor container garden.
First, understand what you can manage and what winter crops thrive indoors. If you have a balcony or patio, you have the space for a container garden of cherry tomatoes, potatoes, and greens. But do you have the time and patience to tend to these plants when they get big?
If you’re new to gardening, Denver-based gardener Jodi Torpey, author of The Colorado Gardener’s Companion, says start small. Choose easy-to-grow plants that won’t take over your living room. Indoor container garden essentials include:
- Quality potting soil made for container gardening.
- A trowel or shovel.
- A pair of gardening gloves.
- Containers for your plants that will hold soil and allow water to drain.
- A watering can.
- A sunny window, ideally south-facing.
Water plants according to each plant’s needs or when the top few inches of soil become dry.
Herbs require little in terms of light, water, and temperature demands. Mint only needs a couple hours of sunlight each day. Basil and dill thrive in temperatures that stay above 60 degrees at night — easy to accomplish indoors.
Like pasta? Spice up your dishes using your own basil, oregano, parsley, and thyme. Grow rosemary for potatoes, dill for pickles or all of the above. This video shows you the basics.
Dark, leafy greens contain a wealth of nutritional benefits. Spinach, kale, and arugula harvested at 15 to 40 days old are tender and bite-sized — perfect for salads. They’re also easy to manage indoors. Simply plant them in a sunny window, harvest every few weeks, and repeat. If you don’t have a sunny, south-facing window, you may need to provide your baby greens with artificial light for 10 to 12 hours a day. Grow lights come in a variety of designs and price ranges, so do a little online research to find the perfect option for you.
Mini Floral Garden
With a little patience, you can have your own mini wildflower garden. Growing flowers from seeds takes extra TLC and special starting soil. Growing kits, complete with seeds, soil, and starter materials, give you everything you need to get started. When your flowers reach their full potential, simply transfer them to larger pots.
Digging in the dirt relaxes the mind and connects us to the natural world. You can enjoy both those benefits, plus grow a few things for dinner, with an indoor winter garden.