Towards the end of the fall season, there’s a scramble to wind up the gardening chores. But even as the temperature dips, you can continue your food generating enterprise by shifting the venue indoors.
Most homes are heated to a comfortably warm temperature range of 65 to 75F during winter. This is ideal for growing many vegetables, so the winter cold is not as much of an issue here as low-light conditions. Your choice would be limited unless you provide sufficient grow lights to imitate the sunny outdoors.
As a general rule, leafy vegetables can manage with much less light than root vegetables. Fruiting vegetables such as tomatoes and eggplants need more light to ensure a good yield.
Try growing some of the following edibles indoors to ward off the winter blues and get your gardening fix this-year.
Out in the garden, spinach does best in partial shade and gives a continuous supply of leaves. The same can be replicated indoors by growing it near a window where it will get 3-4 hours of sunlight. Select a cool spot since spinach has a tendency to bolt in heat. Keep harvesting the outer leaves to encourage the plant to produce new leaves. Spinach can be grown successfully under grow lights too.
You can grow different varieties of lettuce indoors. They need no more than 3-4 hours of dappled sunshine through a sunny window. The loose leaf varieties are ideal for indoors as you can pick the outer leaves for a long and continuous harvest. Lettuces can adjust very well to growing exclusively under artificial lights.
These colorful plants would be a cheerful addition to your home’s ambiance, but they need 4-5 hours of sun to produce long stalks in rainbow colors. Indoor chard plants are much smaller, but you can harvest the leaves all through winter. Use the older ones in stir-fries and the tender ones raw in salads.
This salad green with a sharp taste is a high yielder even when grown indoors. The large rosette resembling dandelion can give a continuous supply of leaves. The more you cut, the more it grows. Arugula is a cool season plant and tends to bolt earlier if grown in a warm spot.
Mushrooms can be grown indoors not only in winter, but it is an enjoyable activity when outside gardening activities come to a standstill in the chilly weather. Growing button-mushrooms or oyster-mushrooms from ready-made kits is extremely easy. All you need to do is water the medium as instructed and keep it in a cool, dark place to develop. You can have several harvests from the same bed.
You need large plastic bags for growing potatoes indoors. Fill them with good quality potting mix and plant the potatoes. Potato plants need 5-6 hours of sunlight to give you a satisfactory yield. You can check for baby spuds and use them in your cooking instead of waiting for the tubers to mature.
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