An Indoor Winter Garden? Yes Please

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Having beautiful plants in your home, whether succulents, flowers or small trees, is incredibly enriching. Not only do they help purify your air and circulate more oxygen, but simply looking at them is enough to calm your nervous system and lift your spirits. We’d argue that this is even more the case as we move into the winter months, when our outside world takes on a different kind of beauty: austere, muted, and often monochromatic. What most people don’t consider is that you can grow edible and flowering plants indoors in the cooler months too! So not only do you get the lush visuals of some decorative indoor greenery, but also the satisfaction of producing your own fresh, nutritious and delicious things to supplement and enhance your cooking! We’ve picked 4 easy things you can grow in your home with less light, limited space, and sparse attention:

1. Leafy Greens

Lettuce, spinach, mustard, arugula, kale and more! All of these take very little maintenance or space, and grow quite well on an indoor window sill in the winter months. You can find the ideal location by picking which window in your home gets the least amount of draft and the most amount light each day; it will usually be a south-facing one! If you buy seedlings, you’ll want to water them moderately once or twice a week- but make sure to check every couple of days if the soil is dry! Do this by sticking your finger a couple of centimetres into the soil (you don’t want the seedlings to get water logged either). When you feel like you’ve got enough growth there to start sampling for salads, just cut the outer layers of the leaves so they can keep thriving! If you want to grow your greens from seeds WikiHow has got you covered.

2. Spring Onion

Spring onions are a spectacular garnish, salad topper, and soup accompaniment! They are also an excellent source of vitamins to boost your immunity and contain significant levels of sulphur which has notable cancer-fighting, blood sugar balancing, and digestive aiding properties! Growing them indoors is easy, and you get a lot of spring onion for very little space. You can grow them in pots on a sunny windowsill, keeping them well watered. But, if you already have some spring onions kicking around, you can just keep re-growing them simply by placing them in a mason jar with water! It looks pretty lovely too. Here’s how to do it.

3. Chillies

Like a little zing in your meals? Chilli peppers are another great indoor windowsill grower that will bring some color to your space and clear your sinuses all through the season. However, they do need more warmth than some of the other things on this list. It’s ideal that they are in an area that gets ample sunshine, and that is preferably not too dry. If things get parched-feeling in your home when the heat is on (my cracked lips are testament to this), then a humidifier in the room with your plant is a great idea. So is making sure the soil stays damp (but definitely not sodden!). When your chillies look richly coloured and shiny, they’re ready for picking! If you buy little chilli plants, it’s simply about maintenance, but if you’d like the grow them right from seed, it’s easy too! Here’s a step-by-step for you.

4. Herbs

One of the most popular things for indoor planting during the winter months are herbs! And why wouldn’t they be? They infuse the air with lovely odours, add layers of flavour to your meals, and have wonderful benefits for your health too. If you wanted to start by focusing on just one thing, a windowsill herb garden is an excellent choice. They keep growing as you cut the tops for day-to-day use, and just need moderate watering, a reasonable amount of sunshine, and little pots with good drainage. Basil, chives, oregano, parsley, thyme, cilantro, lemon balm, rosemary, lavender, and more! You can create the perfect herb garden to meet your culinary or even medicinal needs. Use these tips from Culinary Herb Garden.

For the most part, you want to make sure any of these plants get adequate sunlight and are in a reasonably warm space. If you feel you don’t have the right conditions, it is super easy and affordable to get heating lamps to compensate for those grey days. Rich soil, pots with decent drainage, and intuitive watering when things get dry, and you should be good to go! And there’s an incredible wealth of online resources to help you along the way if you ever run into some trouble. We always recommend buying organic or heritage seeds whenever possible, and keep your eye out for info on the specific seeds you buy. Some are especially tailored for indoor growing!

Happy Planting! And make sure to share pictures of your indoor gardens in the comments once they bloom. We love hearing from you.

References:

https://nunans.com/indoor-gardening-guide-plant-november/

https://www.farmanddairy.com/top-stories/grow-vegetables-indoors-winter/158817.html

https://www.gardenersworld.com/plants/vegetable-seeds-to-sow-in-november/

https://www.ufseeds.com/learning/what-to-plant-in-november

https://www.gardeners.com/how-to/growing-lettuce-indoors/8573.html

https://www.wikihow.com/Grow-Lettuce-Indoors

 

Tala is currently completing her psychotherapy certification at the Ontario Psychotherapy and Counseling Program. Her passions include alternative knowledge systems and overcoming boundaries and blockages both within and outside of the self, and finding critical, holistic, conscious approaches to education.

She believes that encounters and explorations of tensions related to race, class, gender and colonization—in both old and new forms—can lead to healing and a greater awareness of the interconnections between self, ‘other’ and the environment we live in. She believes that looking at food from farm to plate and its role in environmental, communal/cultural and personal health is a pivotal way to do so.

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