With the temperature rapidly dropping it’s easy to see that winter is right around the corner. With that comes the loss of fertile ground to garden with. If like me, you live in a harsh weather state, it can really put a damper on your gardening plans. Fear not though! With a little bit of know how it’s easy to move your garden indoors. Today we’ll look at 5 vegetables you can grow indoors this winter, or just in general year round! Don’t let bad weather or lack of space stop you from enjoying delicious vegetables!
Vegetables You Can Grow Indoors
With any type of vegetable growing it’s important to keep in mind the general guidelines. This is especially important when growing indoors as it’s not the most ideal environment for vegetable growth. What it lacks though can easily be made up for in control. With a indoor environment you can control every aspect from light, to water, even to humidity.
Sunlight is probably the most important factor for vegetable growth, and is usually the one most lacking indoors. Most vegetables require lots of sunlight, usually 8+ hours per day, sometimes as much as 14-16. Without this, vegetables won’t grow as well, and might not bear anything edible. Make sure your home has enough light where you plan to grow, or get some appropriate grow lights and timers. This is especially important during the winter where sunlight can be both less intense as well as not as abundant.
The other big consideration when growing vegetables is the space needed. Most vegetables need much more room to grow than smaller house plants or herbs. This can be a problem for those with small indoor spaces to grow. The clear solution for those with small spaces is to choose the right vegetables to begin with as many can and do grow perfectly fine in small spaces.
First up we have lettuce. Lettuce makes an excellent choice for growing indoors as it is both easy to care for, as well as fairly low maintenance. While they do need lots of sun, if you give them 12+ hours of indirect light with a bit of water they will grow great!
Lettuce, when picked early enough, has a fairly shallow root system. This means you can pack more of it into a small space, and grow in smaller spaces in general. This is great for smaller homes or apartment gardeners.
Lettuce is always fairly quick to grow. It can be harvested from seed in as little as 4 weeks. Better yet, if you leave the roots intact, you can harvest time and time again.
Scallions are another great vegetable to grow indoors during the winter. Scallions are are easy to grow, and one of the least intense of vegetables, more like a herb in terms of difficulty. Scallions are also interesting in that they can be grown from the scraps of old plants. Simply saving the bottom few inches from another scallion and plant it to start growing your very own.
Like lettuce, scallions have a fairly shallow root system. This necessitates a good amount of water, but also means they don’t take up a lot of space. Scallions are great for those with only a small space to garden in.
Scallions are also fairly “light” on the light needs. For optimal growth look to get 6-8 hours per day. They can grow perfectly fine with less, but will just do so more slowly.
Microgreens is sort of a catch all term that refers to a wide range of green plants harvested and eaten before they mature. This makes them perfect for indoor growth, easy to grow, and packed full of nutrients.
Microgreens can be grown a variety of different ways, but all are very simple. One of the huge strengths of microgreens is the space, or lack thereof, that they take up. Microgreens can just as easily be grown on a small windowsill or in large trays. Grow as much or as little as you’re comfortable with.
Microgreens are also typically harvested very early in their growth cycle, meaning you can reap your rewards early and often. Typically, you’ll be looking to harvest in only a couple of weeks!
A little more on the advanced side, an experience gardener can certainly grow tomatoes indoors. While they won’t grow as large as those outdoors in most cases, it’s still practical to get delicious and editable tomatoes.
To start, tomatoes are light hogs, and need 8+ hours of bright sunlight; the more the better. This can be difficult in the winter, so supplementing a few hours a day with a grow light is helpful to ensure proper care. Don’t skimp on this as without enough light you won’t produce anything edible from the plant.
Tomatoes also take up a bit more room than those mentioned above. They typically need a largish pot to hold their root system, as well as a decent amount of space vertically to grow. They are not a good windowsill plant, and will need some dedicated space to grow.
While certainly a bit more intensive than the others, growing tomatoes is a reward on its own. There’s nothing quite like biting into a fresh tomato you grew yourself!
Last up we have radishes, another great indoor vegetable. Radishes are another sun intensive light, but aside from that are quite easy to grow even in small spaces.
Make sure to give radishes at least 8 hours of sunlight per day. Any less and they’re likely not to produce any veggies, or very undersized and inedible ones. Like the others, supplement with grow lights if needed to reach peak lighting amounts.
Other than light though, radishes are quite easy to grow. Being shallow roots, make sure to water often but don’t let them sit in the water. This makes them also very good for small spaces, and even a small area can house a few radish plants
Growing Vegetables Indoors
While just a small sampling, these are 5 excellent vegetables you can grow indoors. Don’t let this limit you though, nearly any vegetable can be grow indoors during the winter, so branch out! The key is to remember the difference in your environments, and plan accordingly to provide your plants the best indoor care.
For those looking for the absolute easiest indoor growing systems, we highly recommend pre-built ones. These are available on Amazon, and come with everything you need to get started. Most also come with built in lights, which can help ensure proper lighting in any room of your home. If you’re a beginner, we recommend checking these out and seeing if they fit your needs!