The fall season is here, and it’s time to clear out our outdoor gardens as we prepare for the cold season. If gardening is your passion, you probably feel sad that you have to wait until spring to grow things again. Well, worry not, you can still enjoy your gardening passion indoors.
Why you should grow an indoor garden in the cold season
There are several benefits to nurturing an indoor garden in the cold season. These are:
- Growing an indoor garden brings color and life indoors when it’s dull and depressing outside.
- Plants provide high-quality oxygen indoors when it feels like its dunk and damp everywhere. Some even give off a pleasant fragrance like lavender and lemon balm.
- It feels good to get your supply of fresh herbs, veggies, and fruit from your own garden when nothing is growing outside.
Tips for indoor gardening in winter and autumn
Indoor gardens in the right hands, can flourish no matter how cold it is outside. It takes a lot of commitment to do it, though. If you are ready for the challenge, here are tips.
1. What can you grow indoors in the cold season?
Unfortunately, you can’t grow everything you want indoors. Firstly, unless you are among the lucky few with a conservatory, for many people, space is limited. Secondly, some plants are difficult to grow inside. However, there are many more that can thrive in an indoor garden. Here are some examples.
- Herbs: Thyme, oregano, mint, and parsley are some herbs that will thrive indoors. You can use them to make herbal teas, health tonics, and spice up your food instead of buying the dry or wilted ones from the store.
- Flowers: Plant flowers such as lavender, Scented Geranium, or Jasmine that can flourish indoors.
- Microgreens: It’s hard to grow full-grown veggies inside in a limited space, but microgreens don’t need much space, and they grow fast too. They are also packed with lots of minerals and vitamins and are great in salads and smoothies.
- Baby veggies: Imagine having baby carrots, cherry tomatoes, baby spinach for your meals? They do well in indoor gardens too.
2. Where do you grow your plants?
Well, the ideal place to grow plants indoors in winter is in containers. You can find a planting container to fit in any small space you have in your home. Containers are also easy to move around whenever you need to.
Some ideal places for your indoor garden in winter is on a window sill, on your kitchen counters, or in a warm, humid room.
Make sure the space you choose for your plant containers gets a lot of warmth, air, and light.
Light is tricky because you don’t get access to enough sun. You can solve that problem by using artificial lighting. Buy led bulbs and string them over the garden area to provide light and warmth where necessary.
3. How do you grow plants indoors?
A great way to grow plants indoors is to use seeds. Growing your plants from scratch will eliminate the possibility of bringing in seedlings from outside with disease or pests.
You can save seeds from peppers, cherry tomatoes, roots of veggies such as celery when you cook them. You can also buy seeds of herbs, microgreens, baby spinach, and carrots (anything you want to grow) from your gardening store or online.
Plant your seeds in 4-6 inches of potting soil mix and keep the soil moist. See what pops up. Continue to provide adequate water, light, and warmth, and the seedlings will grow strong. You can then transfer them from the seedling tray to another large pot for them to grow.
Monitor the growth of your plants carefully. Fertilize them sparingly with organic granular or liquid fertilizer. You can use compost tea, fish emulsion, liquid seaweed, or bone meal fertilizer.
Some plants will grow faster than others. Focus on the quick-growing variety like grape tomatoes, microgreens, baby spinach, peppers, and herbs. Beans and eggplants can also do well indoors in winter – just provide a place to train the vines up.
Once you harvest, make sure you save the seeds for planting in the future.
4. Tricks to keep your indoor garden thriving in the cold season
There are things you can do to make sure your indoor Fall and Winter garden is a success. For example:
- Avoid overwatering your plants. Keep the soil moist by mulching the plants with Spanish moss, coconut mulch, nutshells, wood shavings, and other types of mulching material that will keep the soil moist for longer.
- You can tell when to water your plants by sticking a finger in the soil to see if it needs watering. If the first few inches of the soil are dry water them, but if it is moist, leave it alone.
- Water with a spray bottle to prevent overwatering and waterlogging your plants. Just spritz the soil instead of liberally pouring water on it.
- Use potting soil mix instead of collecting soil from outside. When you bring in soil from outside, you risk bringing in pests and their eggs too.
- You can increase heat in winter by using a programmable electric heater. Make sure you don’t put the heat up too much as you may damage the plants. Start low and increase as you observe the plants reaction. For example, if the plants look like they are wilting, the heat is too much.
- Pests may find their way into your home as the temperatures get colder. Inspect your plants regularly to identify any pest infestation quickly and eliminate them.
- Signs of pests include bitten leaves, eggs under the leaves, and seeing the insects around your plants.
- To keep pests away, you can spray diluted insecticidal soap over affected plants. Also, plant herbs that pests hate liberally in your indoor garden area. For example, basil and lavender. You can find other natural pest solutions in this guide.
These tips will help you grow a thriving indoor garden in Winter and Fall. Don’t be discouraged if a few die. It’s a matter of getting the watering, light, warmth, and fertilizing right.
Using the tips we have given and others in this article, you can grow some great stuff in your indoor Fall and winter garden. Try it and see how it goes. It may surprise you how great it is to grow your own herbs, veggies, and flowers indoors in the cold season.