While snow may still be on the ground and winter winds are blowing, it may be hard to remember that the spring season is on its way! Although by this time of year many of us are dreaming of warm summer nights and farm-fresh food, that doesn’t mean that you have to wait a few more months to make that dream a reality.
From urban apartment dwellers to suburban homeowners, there is a growing trend towards indoor gardening. With minimal space required to grow plants and the ability to have fresh produce at your disposal all year long, it is easy to see why this has become a popular pastime! It doesn’t take much to get your indoor garden started, but knowing a few tips and tricks on what grows best indoors and how to care for your plants is essential when you want to turn your home into a mini-greenhouse during the cold, winter months.
While dried herbs can be used in the vast majority of recipes, nothing beats the crisp, aromatic flavor of fresh herbs straight out of the garden—making them the most popular plant for growing indoors! Many different herbs can be grown inside with a few small pots and a sunny windowsill, and our favorite varieties include:
Mint: This herb spreads quickly, so make sure that you stay on-top of harvesting!
Cilantro: Delicious but short-lived, so you’ll need to plant several plants to maintain supply.
Basil: There are several types of basil, but globe types are ideal for indoor gardening.
Thyme and Oregano: Both are excellent to grow indoors and easy to care for.
Chives: Consider growing the “Grolau” variety—a type bred for indoor growing
If patience isn’t your strong suit, growing microgreens could be right up your alley! These nutritious, flavorful plants are ready to be harvested in about two weeks, and they are a highly gourmet addition to your weekly menu. A few popular microgreens include radish, mustard, wheatgrass, kale, and cabbage—all of which are harvested just as the leaves emerge for maximum flavor and nutrient density. If you’re considering adding microgreens to your indoor garden, there are a few things to keep in mind:
Grow them in a sun-filled space that gets plenty of natural light.
Only use about an inch of soil and sprinkle seeds on top.
Keep them moist—microgreens love water!
Harvest when the first set of leaves emerge
While the frozen tundra out your window might not look like an environment where you’ll find fruit trees, you can still grow them right in your own home! There’s nothing better than reaching for a fresh lemon or orange straight off the tree, and creating an environment where these trees produce fruit indoors isn’t as complicated as you might think. Keep these tips in mind if your citrus dreams are leading you to delve into the world of indoor fruit tree gardening:
Dwarf varieties are best for growing and maintaining indoors.
Citrus trees require a minimum of eight hours of sunlight to grow fruit.
Regular pruning helps to maintain a small size and keep the tree healthy.
Consider moving the tree outdoors in the summer for extra sunlight.
Everyone knows that eating veggies is part of a balanced diet, but the selection at the grocery store during the off-season can be less than appetizing. Solve the problem once and for all by growing your favorite vegetables in your own home! There are many veggies that do best when started indoors during the winter months and later planted in an outdoor garden, but tomatoes, lettuces, peppers, and more are all great choices to continue your harvest well past peak outdoor growing season.
Indoor gardening isn’t just a smart choice for healthier living—it’s also a fun pastime that the whole family can participate in and a great way to add life, color, and natural beauty to your home! By getting creative with vertical planters, windowsill growing, and taking advantage of south-facing, sunny windows, you can enjoy a multitude of fresh greens, fruits, and veggies any time of the year.