How to Grow Summer Vegetables All Winter Long
As you watch your beautiful summer garden slowly come to a close as the cool crisp fall air comes in, you might be wondering if there is any possible way to preserve those summer vegetable favorites that you worked so hard to cultivate.
There is nothing like fresh, home garden grown cucumbers, pepper, and tomatoes and the thought of having them throughout the winter is compelling not to mention that continuing to grow your own vegetables is a great way to supplement your budget and your diet.
We are here to share with you some great news. With the right lighting, container, and space, you can continue to grow many different vegetables and herbs.
How to Grow Summer Vegetables Indoors in the Winter
There are many different vegetables and herbs that grow successfully indoors. When deciding which plants to bring inside, you want to keep few important details in mind. The first consideration you want to think about is how much light your vegetables or herbs will need. For example, vegetables like kale, lettuce, sweet peas, and spinach are relatively low-maintained plants and can do well with partial shade. Therefore, they are plants that do well indoors. If you want to grow tomato plants and pepper plants, you need to take into consideration how much light they will need in a given day – especially in the winter time where days are shortened.
Just because the winter days are short does not mean you have to throw in the towel. Using grow lights are a great way to keep your summer garden alive and healthy through those dark winter months. This is a simple and easy way to help your garden that does not have to break the bank either. You can get grow lights as cheap as fifteen to twenty dollars. With that in mind, the whole process of picking out a grow light can be confusing.
According to Plant Natural, there are a few different kinds of grow lights to choose from: Incandescent lamps, Fluorescent lights, New Compact Fluorescent systems, and High intensity discharge (HID) bulbs. Each has their own advantages and disadvantages. Incandescent lamps are pretty inexpensive, but are better for house plants and not vegetables and herbs. Fluorescent lights are great for growing herbs that require less sunlight. Compact Fluorescent Systems are a great choice as they are very bright and efficient. High intensity discharge bulbs work great, but can tend to be on the pricey side.
When it comes to keeping your plants indoors, you will want to make sure the temperature in the home does not drop too low. The average temperature a vegetable and herb plants usually needs to be between 65 – 75 degrees Fahrenheit. Keeping your indoor plants on a window sill is a great idea as they can receive a lot of natural sunlight, however, if there is a draft in the window, it might impact the temperature of the area and cause your plants not to thrive.
The best location for your vegetables and herbs will be in the place that they will receive the most natural sunlight as possible. This might be in a sunroom, on a window sill, or on a table.
If you are moving your plants from outside to the indoors, you might want to think about doing it gradually. Similar to “hardening” a plant off when you start them indoors, you can “harden” your plant off as your bring them inside.
Make sure to have a surface underneath whatever location that you choose to catch the dirt and leaves that might fall to the ground. Choosing flooring like tile linoleum might be a better choice than carpet.
If you are starting your indoor garden at a seed or small seedling level, you have to take into account for the growth of the plant. Plants like tomatoes can grow pretty big, so you want to make sure that the container they are in will give your plant enough space to grow.
When it comes to a spring and summer garden, you might be use to allowing the natural elements to water your garden. When you start an indoor garden, the water will always need to come from you directly. Making sure your plant has enough water is so crucial for the health of your plant.
Root Sticks are great additions to any container plant and can help to make sure that your vegetable and herb plants are getting the best hydration possible. The Root Stick is an intricately designed devise that is shaped similar to a large straw. The sizing is 10 inch x 5/8 inch and it allows for water to penetrate deep into the root-zone putting water directly where it will benefit the most. Preventing run off and hitting the roots directly at the source, this devise will help you know that your plant will be getting the adequate amount of water all winter long.
Root Sticks come in a pack of 10 sticks, so you can use them in many different places including your indoor containers, or your outdoor garden.
Plants that Grow Best Indoors
Here is a list of vegetables and herbs that tend to have the best success for indoor growing:
- Peppers – With a grow light
- Tomatoes – With a grow light
Can you imagine making fresh salsa with living room grown tomatoes, and fresh off the window sill cilantro in the middle of December? The best part of gardening is experimenting and trying new things.
Take the challenge of gardening indoors and it might turn out to be an amazing experience that yields to lots of fresh veggies and herbs. In addition, the therapeutic benefits that gardening adds to one’s life will be worth all the effort. With the right tools and information, you truly can have a thriving winter garden.
What vegetables or herbs have you grown through the winter? What has been your key to success? We would love for you to share your thoughts.