Even if you don’t mind winter, as gardeners we can’t help but think ahead to those beautiful spring days when we can start getting our hands in the dirt again. I gathered these indoor projects to stimulate those garden-loving endorphins and carry us through.
This is also a good time to prepare Christmas and Thanksgiving Cactuses and Poinsettias for reblooming.
Whether your winter is just a few months long or takes up most of the year, at some point we all say enough is enough. I need my garden fix!
And that’s where the power of indoor gardening can help.
I don’t know what it is about getting our hands in soil, sowing seeds, and caring for and coaxing them on, but it works. You can’t help but feel better when you’re growing stuff.
Have a look at the ideas, try what appeals to you, and before we know it, it will be spring planting time.
Yes, you can grow all sorts of leafy salad greens in your home. All it takes is a simple fluorescent workshop light. A sunny window can work in a pinch.
Leafy greens grow quickly and—good news—many are cut-and-come-again, meaning you can harvest what you need and the plants will continue producing more leaves.
This is quirky and fun. Plus you get flowers and edible peas! If you sow pea seeds indoors, they will grow much like they do outdoors. I provide trellis for mine and—no disrespect to tropical houseplants—all that greenery makes it so cheerful inside. And how crazy is it to walk just a few steps to harvest peas for dinner?
Now is the time to stock. Gather all your seeds and update your inventory list. Figure out what you want to grow this year, map it out on paper, and get your seed orders placed. For some of us, reading seed catalogs is a mini-vacation.
Become an indoor seed sower. There are so many advantages to starting seeds indoors. Not only do we get a jump start on the outdoor growing season, allowing us to inexpensively grow plants that need more time to mature than conditions allow, but we also get options and lots of them. No longer restricted by the offerings at local plant nurseries, we can grow whatever our hearts desire.
Have you ever tried growing plants from your food scraps? There are lots of viable seeds and stems in our kitchen compost bin. Popular options include sprouting avocado pits, mango seeds, ginger root, and citrus seeds including lemons, grapefruit, and oranges.
Yes, the seeds we winter sow end up outdoors but you can do all of the preparation from the warmth of your home. Using plastic milk jugs or other containers that let light in, seeds are sown inside, initially taking advantage of the cold and damp (for stratification) and then the warmth within the container for germination.
I love having something in bloom in the house when it’s snowing outside. You can force (make bloom) a number of different bulbs either in potting mix or water. Options include amaryllis (Hippeastrum), crocus, hyacinth, tulip, snowdrops, and dwarf iris. Several of them flower quickly: 2 to 3 weeks after planting.
That should keep you busy. Dive in and enjoy it. You may like indoor gardening so much you forget it’s winter.