As the winds blow snow piles up and ice accumulates, we find ourselves looking out of the fogged up window into our grey garden and sigh. However, the savvy gardener without a greenhouse keeps in mind these cold days and moves to set up a small indoor grow for when Jack Frost comes. Here are five easy to grown veggie/spices that can help keep some green in your life.
Long treasured for its ability to help improve health, this hearty scented herb can be grown from seeds in any size pot with a slight alkaline soil mix. Don’t let those short days get to you as Rosemary only needs 4-6 hours of direct sunlight a day, which can be had by the window of almost any winter day. Keep water levels low and test the surface of the soil for moisture before you upend a water can on this green spriggy herb.
This hot and fragrant root spice is amazingly simple to grow under kitchen conditions. Simply take a sprig of fresh ginger and plant it in moist soil a couple inches under the surface in a medium sized pot. Keep the earth wet, exposed to as much sunlight as possible, and wait for the magic. Remember that fresh ginger is much stronger than the ground spice (try 6:1 ratio) and can be peeled and eaten raw, cooked in sugar until soft, or used in recipes from anything from homebrew beer to cookies. For medicinal purposes, people have advocated its use for everything from cancer to nausea .Be sure to keep a nub to replant once you harvest it.
As a boy with an Italian great grandmother, there are few tender veggies that make me smile more than a nice eggplant and used in a nice parmigiana. One of the most underrated garden egg, lost somewhere in the wilderness between a tomato and potato is officially a berry and can be grown easily from seeds. Set them alone in a pot or about 18-inches apart in a window-based planter box. Be prepared to hand pollinate the flowers as bees hives in the house are rare.
This superfood grows on a tree that can reach 60-80 feet in height, but you are in luck with the respect that there are a number of varieties of dwarf avocado plant that tend to stay closer to about a tenth of that when fully mature. Best of all, even these dwarfs can produce usable fruit. Stay away from planting pits unless you just want to experiment and instead search out small dwarfs ready to transplant into a larger pot. A nice terra cotta pot at least 10-inches wide will work fine. Fertilize once a month, stake the little guy out, don’t over water and prune as needed. Be aware that it may take a few seasons before you produce fruit but when you do, this little indoor tree can be a godsend in winter just don’t let your house dip below 60-degrees or you could lose it.
While it’s hard to grow thick root based veggies like carrots and potatoes indoors since you need rather deep soil, radishes grow comparatively closer to the surface and defeat this problem. Super easy to grow in a pan, box or pot, plant seed thinly on the top of a layer of soil-free dry compost, water, and then cover with another layer. Make sure they get as much light as possible and keep moist. You'll see germination in just a few days and four weeks later; poke around for your radish roots.
With a little luck and some dirt under your fingernails, there is no reason that you can’t have a workable indoor winter harvest.
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