Photo via http://ow.ly/WHYTW
With the snow falling and temperatures dropping, you may already be dreaming about your spring vegetable garden. But why should you wait until spring to enjoy homegrown vegetables? You can create an indoor garden that provides healthful herbs and veggies for you to enjoy throughout the winter months. This week’s post will help you on your way to creating a beautiful indoor garden.
Ideal Indoor Plants
If this is your first indoor garden, you may want to start with some small varieties of tomatoes. Try planting red grape, sun gold, or sweet olive tomatoes. Kale, chard, peppers, carrots, green beans, and onions are also ideal candidates for an indoor garden. You have limited space in your indoor garden, so it’s best to stay away from large plants such as rutabagas or eggplant. There are many herbs that are perfect for an indoor garden. Cilantro, rosemary, oregano, parsley, and lavender are just a few examples. You can use your herbs to perk up any recipe, and they supply your kitchen with a lovely aroma during the cold-weather months.
Photo via Suzette (Flickr)
Where to Grow Your Plants
The best place to put your plants is on a sill next to a south-facing window that receives about four to six hours of sunlight per day. A sunny kitchen window is an ideal option because it allows you easy access to your veggies and herbs. I set up an indoor garden on the sill of my kitchen window. It’s so convenient for me to reach over and grab some fresh oregano when I’m making my famous spaghetti sauce for friends! Plus, I love watching my carrots and green beans grow a little taller each day. If you don’t have a sunny place for your plants, try getting some growing lights. Growing lights allow you to put your plants anywhere in your home.
Tricks for Growing Plants Indoors
It’s important to make sure that your indoor plants get the water they need to flourish. One way to determine whether your plants need water is to put your finger in the soil. If it is dry, then your plant needs water. Most pots have a hole in the bottom to provide proper drainage for the soil. If you have a pot without a hole, put a handful of pebbles in the bottom of it so the roots of your plant won’t sit in water and rot. A great tip for growing herbs in your indoor garden is to regularly prune the leaves. Pruning leaves allows new ones to grow. Remember to prune the large, older leaves as well as the smaller, young leaves. It’s tempting to prune only the large leaves of an herb plant, but these leaves help to soak up a lot of nourishing sunlight.
If you want to make your indoor garden even more appealing, create a label for each section. I have hand-written labels for my veggies as well as my herbs that add another element of creativity to my indoor garden. I hope you have a lot of fun this winter watching your indoor garden grow!
Photo via Melissa Bridgman (Flickr)