Indoor Garden Winter Activities
With the arrival of winter comes those chilly days and nights, the snow-covered ground and gardens seem to say it’s time to pack up those garden tools until the warmer weather arrives, or should we have to. Why stop what we love doing when we can extend the season by bringing nature indoors with a winter garden.
An indoor winter garden will not only assist in extending the season but will keep you eating fresh during the winter months along with saving a few dollars. This type of activity can make winter fun as you grow your food crop, below we will be discussing some of these activities as you go through this time of the year.
Creating an indoor winter garden
Creating an indoor winter doesn’t require much all it takes is a little creativity and you will be well on your way, here is what you will need, however base on the size of your garden you may or may not need all that’s included just go down this list and see what you need.
- Seeds starter trays
- Several different size container/pots
- Garden soil
- Grow lights if you’re not provided with proper outdoor lighting
- Gravels or pebbles
- Moisture meter or soil probe
- Watering can/jug
- Heat mats
- A plant stand
- Plant name tags
- Trellis support
- A 32 oz bottle hand sprayer
- Scissors/hand pruner
- Neem oil or insecticidal soap
Winter garden indoor projects
When growing an indoor winter garden you have the choice of growing your plants from containers or pots, seed trays, or from a plant stand. A hanging basket of herbs is a great way to add charm and flavor to your garden experience. Whatever you decide remember we are here to ensure you have an amazing winter.
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Growing plants in an indoor winter garden
Seed starter trays
This is a great way to grow seeds or seedlings especially if your plan is to get started early in your spring garden, if you’re growing bigger plants then you will need pots or containers of various sizes.
Seeds or seedlings can be purchased from your nursery or garden center, for seeds the direction of how to care for the plant of choice will be on the label so follow for the best results. Seedlings can also be purchased from your nursery or garden center. Seedlings that are purchased should be insect and disease free so inspect them before taking them home.
Look for signs of yellow leaves, brown leaves, rot, water-soaked leaves that are soft and mushy, a foul odor, leaves that are drooping, root bound, chewed leaves or leaves will holes, etc… keep an eye out for these symptoms even if the sales on these plants are too good to pass up pass it up because what you don’t want is to purchase seedlings that are not healthy. Also before purchasing healthy seedlings check with your nurseryman on how to care for them.
Best Vegetables and herbs to grow in an indoor winter garden
- Chilly peppers
- Cherry tomatoes
- Green beans
- Green baby Ginger
- Jerusalem artichoke
- Hot peppers
- Lettuce Kale
- Swiss chard
- Garlic green
A good garden soil that holds the right amount of moisture but will allow excess water to drain through is ideal. These soils can be purchased from your garden center or plant nursery.
When growing indoor plants place containers near a south or west-facing window to receive bright indirect sunlight. If you’re challenged with getting this type of lighting from the outside then installing grow lights can work as well. Grow lights can be purchased from your plant nursery, garden center, or hardware store. Follow the instruction on how to install.
Pebbles trays can increase the humidity levels for plants, this process works by filling the tray with pebbles or rocks that are the size of pebbles. Next, fill the tray with water. The water level should be just below the top of the pebbles, next place your plants on top of the tray. As the water evaporates it will increase the humidity level around your plants.
Moister meter or soil probe
A moisture meter or soil probe is used to help check the level of the soil’s moisture, either of these tools can be purchased from your plant nursery, garden center, or hardware store,
It’s great to have a watering can or jug on hand to water your plants, these jugs can be purchased in various sizes, shapes, and colors. A 1 or 2-gallon size is ideal depending on the amount and size of plants that you have.
Heat mats are great in helping your plants to warm up, the way this works is by placing your seedling pots or trays onto the heat mat, plug the mat into the thermostat, then turn it on. For the best results make sure and read the manufactures instruction carefully and follow as directed.
A plant stand
For those of you who don’t have much indoor space but would love to grow a winter indoor garden a plant stand is what you need, these stands resemble a step ladder and come in other shapes as well. Just place the stand where you want it followed by placing your containers on each step. The containers however should be able to sit comfortably on each step.
A dehumidifier is used in helping to regulate humidity levels creating fresh air, high humidity can influence the growth of mold but installing a dehumidifier will help in adjusting the humidity level discouraging mold growth.
Plant name tags
It’s a good idea to use tags, this helps with identifying plants much easier especially if you’re growing different plant types from seeds or seedlings.
For plants that run like vine, a trellis lends great support.
A 32 0z spray bottle
A 32 oz spray bottle can be used to mist the plant leaves with water to increase the humidity level or to mix organic insecticides to control garden insect pests.
Sharp scissors or a hand pruner that is in good repair can be used for minor pruning, however, be mindful that a hand pruner is perfect for removing thicker branches or stems.
Neem oil, insecticidal soap, horticultural oils, or homemade remedies
Neem oil, insecticidal soap, horticultural oils, or homemade remedies can be used on edibles to control any insect pests that may be lurking. Never use toxic pesticides on edibles or indoor ornamental plants, when using pesticides always follow the direction for the best results.
Indoor garden winter pests
Garden pests can really wreak havoc on indoor plants, before bringing plants indoors to overwinter ensure that plants are sprayed thoroughly with neem oil, horticultural oil, insecticidal soap, organic insecticide, or homemade remedies. The insecticides that are used should be human and pet-friendly. When spraying plants make sure to get total coverage of both the top and the underside of the leaves. When applying insecticides ensure that it comes out of the spray nozzle fine and misty. Keep a watch for indoor garden pests which include.
- Spiders mites
- Fungus gnats
Have fun with your indoor winter garden
The goal besides extending the season is to have fun with your indoor winter garden, just because the winter season arrives does not mean that you have to stop doing what you love. You can shift gears by growing an indoor winter garden, this method of gardening is so much fun and is very rewarding. Get started and reap the fruits of your labor.
The final word on winter indoor garden
What’s your thought on this way of gardening, do you think it’s worth the investment? I do, this is a great way for the whole family to have fun spending quality time together. So go for it you will be so happy with the results as you connect with nature by bringing nature indoors because even during this time of the year nature is still calling your name can you hear it I know I do.
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.