Q & A: Indoor gardening delivers greens all winter

Posted on Dec 19 2018 - 6:09am by UOG

Q: Now that winter has come, I miss my garden and eating what I grow. Can you give me some tips for things I could try growing inside during the winter? – Beth from Newburgh

A: It is tough when that frost-bite chill of winter nips at your green thumb and forces you inside, I know. And while I have some houseplants growing and they are nice to look at, and occasionally water, they don’t quite scratch the itch of gardening like growing food for the kitchen.

I do what I can to extend my outdoor growing season as long as possible, building small plastic tunnels over my beds of greens and lettuces and using row-cover fabric to protect my plants from killing frosts for as long as possible. And I’m able to continue my harvest well into November most years. But when the snow starts falling, I find it difficult to continue growing outdoors. So, a few years ago, I did some research to learn more about growing some food inside through the winter.

My dream is to one day build a small greenhouse or conservatory off the back of my home. I imagine opening the door to this light-filled space and feeling the warm, moist air float out into my arid, winter-parched home. Wandering in to pick fresh food for the kitchen every day of the week, while watching the cold winter winds blow snowdrifts outside.

Someday I’ll make this dream come true, but for now, I have to make do without. Fortunately, I do have some fluorescent grow lamps that I use to start my seedlings for spring planting, which does deliver faster results than a sunny windowsill alone. But you can be quite successful growing salad greens without a greenhouse or grow lamps and add to your winter diet.

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