Contrary to common sense, you do not have to stop gardening just because it is the middle of winter. You can plant a container vegetable garden indoors this winter and enjoy edibles year-round. Some of the easier vegetables to grow during the winter are the following: lettuce, tomatoes, carrots, radishes, peppers and cucumbers. Very much like outdoor gardening, your plants will need a few basic things to thrive indoors.
Start with a simple container that has drainage holes. An empty milk jug will even do the trick. Depending on the size of the container, you may need to water more or less frequently.
Pick a sunny spot in your home. You may need to supplement with grow lights. Most vegetables need six hours of full sunlight per day, particularly tomatoes.
In the direct sun or grow lights, your plants should be about 80 degrees during the day and can get as low as 60 or 65 degrees at night. This is particularly important for tomato plants or any fruit plants. If you are growing greens, this is less important since plants such as lettuce and spinach like cooler temperatures.
Fruit bearing plants such as tomatoes, cucumber, etc. will need to be pollinated. Read the seed package and research how you will need to aid in the pollination process. Tomatoes and beans must be gently shaken each day to release pollen.
Soil and Fertilizer
An all-purpose potting mix will work well for a winter vegetable garden. You will need to regularly fertilize your garden about twice a month as well with a water-soluble fertilizer.
Water but don’t overwater
Too much watering will cause root rot and too little will cause young plants to dehydrate. Water the winter vegetable garden whenever the soil is dried through into an inch down in the soil. Again, depending on the size of your container, you may have to water more or less frequently.
Weeds & Pests
Although your plants are indoors, they will still be subject to weeds and pests such as aphids, white flies and plant diseases. Pull weeds as you see them and keep an eye out for pests.
Many vegetables can be successfully grown indoors with just a little bit of care and maintenance. Some of the most successful are: green beans, lettuce, cabbage, carrots, winter squash, onions, tomatoes, zucchini and all types of herbs. Dont let the winter blues get you down when you can have a taste of spring and summer with fresh vegetables.