Winter Indoor Gardening

Winter indoor gardening is for the gardener who enjoys gardening year round especially when the temperature outdoors is too cold. Winter indoor gardening of vegetables is usually done on a smaller scale and the plants generally will need more care than your summer garden outdoors. The soil, fertilization, lighting, and watering are all things that need to be considered when gardening indoors.

During the winter months, maintaining winter indoor plants can be just as rewarding as your outdoor gardening in the spring and summer. Growing vegetables indoors is fun and exciting for you and especially your children when they are able to eat all those delicious vegetables that they helped you maintain. Winter indoor vegetable gardening is a wonderful idea for those who do have much outdoor space or who want to continue to stay busy and garden during the cold winter months.

If you decide you want to continue to have a vegetable garden during the winter in your house it might be a good idea to buy extra seeds for storage during the spring. In many colder climate zones it might be hard to find those vegetable seeds in the fall and winter. Another thing to plan is what types of vegetables you want to grow indoors. You may be very limited on space so you want to have smaller sizes. Some vegetables to consider may be cherry tomatoes, leaf lettuce and bush beans. You may also want to try cucumbers, cabbage, bunching onions, small roots carrots, eggplant, and peppers. Indoor vegetables can easily be grown in any size pot or container as long as you make sure there is drainage in the bottom.

After the decision has been made about the crops you wish to grow it is time to begin preparing to plant. Your soil, a soil mix or soil-less mix, is the next item to consider. A soil-less mix should have a soil structure that is capable of retaining moisture and nutrients for the survival of your vegetables.   The soil-less mix or pasteurized soil is used to prevent disease and insect problems. The vegetables that are grown in a soil-less mix, which has no nutrients and is sterile, need to have more fertilizer than the ones that are grown in an organic soil. It is best to choose a light soil that promotes good air circulation and drainage around those roots. A mix that will work well is an equal amount of sand, silica, perlite, and forest mulch. Another good mix is equal parts of native soil, coarse sand, compost or peat moss. Equal parts of vermiculite, perlite, and black peat moss are good for the vegetables that are grown in hanging winter container gardening pots.

Now that you have an indoor garden, watering of the plants needs to be monitored on a daily basis. They are in a confined space with your heater running and they are not getting the humidity that is needed to sustain them for long periods of time without water. You will probably need to water them daily or at least every other day. Just remember that frequent watering will slowly diminish the nutrients in the soil. A good slow release organic fertilizer will help to replenish the nutrients back to the soil. If you over-water the plants it may cause root rot. Most plants and vegetables should not be watered unless the soil is dry. The water should be tepid or at room temperature. Generally the only downfall to winter indoor plants is the watering. Plants that are grown in containers always need extra care and attention than those that are grown outdoors.

Lighting is also very important when it comes to growing vegetables indoors; they need to have the proper light in order to survive. Unlike your ordinary house lights, grow lights send out different wave lengths of light that your vegetables need to perform the natural processes leading to growing healthy. They will provide warmth and light that imitates the sun. The LED grow lights use less electricity and have become increasingly popular for gardeners that are green-conscious. These LED lights have the same effect as the metal halide grow lights.

Vegetables that are grown in a winter indoor gardening project do not usually produce the size and yields of the same vegetables that are grown outdoors. Winter indoor gardening vegetables keeps you busy and can be fun until it is time to start your outside garden in the spring. Growing vegetables indoors in the winter will give you great fresh produce year round and you do not have to worry about the insects attacking them. Indoor gardening herbs are also favorites for the indoor gardener; they are perfect for container gardening. Many of your herbs are very attractive looking and some will spill over the side of the container. Most of them have a very fragrant aroma. Chives, cilantro, mint, and rosemary will grow best in the cooler months. They will grow from seed, cuttings, or transplants from the outside. Whatever you decide to grow in your indoor winter garden have a good time doing it while waiting for spring.

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Published on December 04, 2010 at 04:49 PM | Comments (0)

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