Winter is a time of snowstorms, movie nights by the fire, and…fresh, homemade salsa? At least, it can be for those willing to give indoor vegetable gardening a shot. With a little gear and know-how, a wide variety of fresh produce can be successfully grown throughout the winter.

 

1. Choose Wisely

There are plenty of plants that can be grown indoors, including tomatoes, kale, radishes and more. Choose plants based on your taste and how much room you have to garden. Anyone with a spare windowsill can grow a few herbs. Those with more space can get creative. Maybe fill a bookshelf with rows of lettuce, or grow larger veggies in a tub beside your sofa. According to Knight, gardeners with a lot of space can go so far as turning a spare room into a greenhouse with a grow tent. But all you really need to get started are containers, soil, and a good lighting system to mimic the long growing days of summer.

Chili peppers growing on a windowsill. By Alina Kuptsova / Shutterstock.com

2. Contain Yourself

Herbs and leafy greens are good for beginners because they grow easily and have shallow roots, which means they can live in smaller containers. Lettuce, kale and spinach can be grown in pots or troughs, and many can yield for a prolonged period if only the outermost leaves are harvested.

If you want to grow deeper-rooting plants, such as carrots, you can save space if you buy a round variety such as Thumbelina, Atlas, or Parisian. Plants that get very bushy or leggy—like tomatoes or peppers—can be pruned, or miniature varieties can be selected. Keep in mind that tomatoes have to be staked in order to keep them upright and allow the fruit to ripen.

3. See the Light

Lighting is key to the success of your garden. No matter the season, a house is a dark habitat for produce. In northern winters, even window box gardens need a little extra light. According to Knight, herbs and leafy greens do fine with a few 50-watt grow light bulbs, but larger plants prefer high-intensity lighting systems, such as halide or high-pressure sodium bulbs. Such systems use more energy, but the light and heat they generate will help your plants flourish. These are typically placed in a light box designed to replicate the intense rays of full summer sun.

Be sure to tend to your indoor kitchen garden. By Natalia Bulatova / Shutterstock.com

4. Grow On

Perfecting your produce takes trial and error. Tend your garden like you would any other: Pay attention, remove dead or fallen leaves, consider fertilizing, and don’t overwater. Knight notes that indoor vegetables are particularly vulnerable to fungus, so he recommends using a fan to prevent condensation and to keep the air circulating, mimicking the breeze that blows over an outdoor garden. “Think about all the little cues that nature gives a plant,” Knight says. “You’re trying to bring the outdoors inside.”

read more original article Modern farmer 


Date: 2017-12-07


agriculture agroforestry algae alternative energy alternative farming batteries bees biofuel bioplastics carbon capture carbon farming carbon sequestration climate change CO2 compost conservation electric cars farming food waste forests fuel efficiency green buildings green energy green roofs innovative design innovative products natures wonders plastic recycle regenerative agriculture renewable energy repurpose reuse soil solar sustainability Tesla urban farm urban farming waste water wave energy WETLANDS wind power zero waste

Excess Access Program

Link Surplus with Needs - It's Free, Fast, Easy!
Donate Hair, Donate Stuff, Donate Food...
EA Register Donate Stuff
Matter Of Trust Inc