Every winter is a long one for gardeners. Those bleak, cold months where nothing green can grow feel brutal. What’s the use in having a green thumb if the ground is frozen solid?
Thankfully, there are alternatives to patiently waiting out the cold. It may come as a surprise, but there are actually plenty of delicious gardening opportunities to be pursued right inside your own home! All you need is some patience and a few basic tools and supplies.
Here are five of the easiest fresh foods to grow indoors. Give them a shot this winter!
Although nothing can replace the sweet, juicy, ruby-red tomatoes of summer time, windowsill tomatoes can come surprisingly close. If you have a well lit area in your home that has enough space for a small planter, tomatoes may be in your reach year round.
Indoor tomatoes will come out a little smaller than ones grown outdoors, but they still have fantastic taste – perfect for snacks, salads, and other tasty treats.
Simply germinate your seeds in starter soil and transfer each seedling to a 6-inch pot when it reaches roughly 3 inches in height. You can grow two plants in a 12-inch pot if you prefer. Varieties that take well to indoor growing include Patio, Tiny Tim, Pixie, Toy Boy, and Small Fry.
Carrots do especially well indoors because they love moisture, a variable that’s quite easy to control in an indoor setting. All you’ll need is some deep planters, carrot seeds, and a little know-how.
First, place the soil in your planter and moisten it liberally. Then sprinkle your seeds over the top. The seeds will germinate and turn into seedlings all on their own. Once they reach about 3 inches in height, trim out the weaker seedlings until you have about an inch in between each plant.
Once they grow past 3 inches, you’ll want to fertilize them with a standard vegetable fertilizer every two weeks.
Set your carrots somewhere with plenty of light, and you should be ready to start showing down within a couple months!
Microgreens are the easiest thing to grow indoors, and they’re packed with nutrients to boot! All you need is a shallow container, some soil, and the seeds (Many different varieties of greens and vegetables can be used to grow microgreens. Simply search the web to get ideas).
Place a few inches of soil in your container and pack it down gently. Then drop in your seeds and gently pack them as well. Next, sprinkle a very fine layer of soil over the top; a kitchen strainer works especially well for this. The final step is to keep the soil moist at all times and place the container in a bright, sunny area (or under a high power grow light). You should have harvestable microgreens in around a week’s time.
Are you interested in learning more about indoor gardening? Check out the graphic below for additional ideas and inspiration.