Extend The Growing Season with these Ideas
The winter months are just ahead of us but that does not mean that when winter arrives we have to stop (gardening) doing what we love. We can continue to connect with nature in our indoor living space ( indoor winter garden) which presents as much opportunity as working in our outdoor garden area.
So now is a great time to plan a winter garden, planting a winter garden is a great way to extend the season. Whether you’re planning for an edible crop seeking to add colors indoors or getting a head start (planting seedlings) before the spring months return, starting an indoor winter garden is the way to go.
We will be discussing how this is done and which plants can be used to accomplish this, if you’re desire is to extend the growing season or to spruce up your indoor living area then continue reading as we take a closer look at how to plant an indoor winter garden.
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How to Start Seed Indoors
A great way to get a jump start on the season (next spring) or to start an early crop is starting seeds indoors, this can be accomplished with seedling trays that have cells or compartments making it easy to plant and transplant when deciding to move the plants outdoors once the weather warms up. Besides seedling trays, you will need a good potting mix.
The reason for this is a good potting mix will absorb the right amount of water but will allow excess moisture to drain through, improve air quality, and retain nutrients as fertilizers are applied.
When purchasing seeds make sure and read the seed package for how to care for seeds, during the winter months your seeds may need some help to warm the soil to ensure seed germination a seed-started heat mat will heat the soil for your seedlings to begin their journey from below ground as they emerge to the surface.
The seedling trays should be located in an area that gets bright sunlight like a south or a west-facing window, or installing grow lights will help. Grow lights are easy to install and will provide adequate lighting for seed germination. Ensure that the soil is somewhat moist, dont allow the soil to dry out which will negatively impact seedling’s growth.
When to Start Seeds
As a rule, seeds should generally be started 4-6 weeks before the last frost date.
Flavoring Your Winter with These Herbs
Herbs are a great addition to your indoor winter garden, the aroma and the flavors of herbs can really brighten those long cold winter days. Add herbs to your favorite soups, salads, and food recipes. Herbs can be grown from seeds by following the example that was discussed above or from seedlings which can be grown from seed trays or 3-inch containers and placed on your kitchen windowsill or south or west-facing window to receive sunlight. Grow lights can also be installed to provide sufficient lighting.
Container Plant Care
Warm your indoor living space with potted container plants which can give the feel of the outdoors on those chilly winter days, from photos to rubber plants, spider plants peace lilies, crotons, etc… there is so much to choose from. Ensure that your potted plants are getting adequate light and the proper amount of water, because of winter time there is no need to make fertilizer applications.
Watering your plants should be kept at a minimum because during cold weather garden plants use less water, however every other day or few days check the top few (2-3) inches of soil for moisture level. To accomplish use a soil probe or a moisture meter. The containers should have drain holes to catch water on the days when plants need a drink. Place saucers under each container to catch the water as it drains.
The Addition of Colors at Winter Time
To further brighten your winter days why not add cut flowers, cut flowers can provide an array of colors that will make your winter wonderland colorful. If you’re growing cool-season plants outdoors why not bring some of them indoors? Adding colors can really spruce up your indoor living space, cutting a few of them and adding to a vase or two can make a difference.
The final word on how to plant an indoor winter garden
Planting an indoor winter garden is not hard, it’s just as easy as working in an outdoor garden, the only difference is an indoor garden is in a more controlled environment as far as adequate lighting and water are concerned. Planting an indoor winter garden will surely brighten your days, whether you’re growing edible crops, or ornamental or flowering plants a garden of this sort will connect you with nature, although nature takes a break during this time of the year nature will still lend a helping hand in a small way that will yield big results as you reap the harvest.
About the author
Norman loves being in the garden, both at home and for his job....
he is 'Natures Little helper' being outdoors, growing his vegetables and flowers from an early age.
Now having spent over 22 years in the profession he want to give some of his knowledge to others...
his vast array of hints and tips you will find scattered over this site will help you no end growing plants in your garden.