9. Grow a Kitchen Garden. You really don’t need much space to grow herbs, lettuces and maybe even some veggies. Check out this post on growing food in small spaces. Photo by Suzane Forsling/courtesy of Apartment Therapy
Did you know that the filter option in our online Garden Planner can be used to show only plants that can be planted out right now? By selecting the fall planting option you can extend your growing season hugely and add a selection of veggi
es which will provide fresh crops throughout the winter.
To try the filter feature, open the Garden Planner and click on the funnel icon to the left of the plant selection toolbar.
I attempt every year to have a vegetable garden, and every year I think I will be more successful. Unfortunately I find that I am not dedicated to it enough to reap heaps of produce but do get the occasional vegetable. ( I call myself the accidental gardener– if I harvest anything it’s by accident.) Herbs I can do; but I always start too late or don’t prune enough, or don’t weed enough, or whatever… I don’t have a glut of peppers, zucchini, tomatoes, carrots, chard, kale, lettuce, etc. At least we get our CSA bin and I have so many heirloom tomatoes now that I will have to learn to can this year.
I guess I try to garden each year knowing that it won’t yield much (until I put more time and effort in) but I think it’s a good way to show the kids that not all foods are so easy to procure. We live in an age and place that we don’t have to worry about growing enough food, we can just buy it. But things aren’t as easy for everyone, everywhere in the world.
Anyway, this year I tried something new and was so pleased with the outcome. I bought an indoor mushroom garden kit. It was so easy and it was fun for the kids to do. They just need to mist it every day. (Mister is included, but I used another one we had too). watching them growJust within 10 days a beautiful bunch of oyster mushrooms!
Yesterday I harvested mushrooms and made an omelet with them. Omelet also had tomatoes, potatoes, thyme, parsley, leeks– all local, organic from the CSA, and goat cheese. The eggs are locally produced too!
My youngest was so happy to have one of his favorite foods but he wouldn’t let me put them all in; he had to have a few forkfuls of sautéed mushrooms sans egg.
And, now we just turn the box to the back and start again! You can buy them here.
On the blog today - start your own adorable little food garden in leftover eggshells! These enchanting nursuries are chock-full of nutrients for your seedlings, and when it’s time to transplant, all you need to do is crack the shells with a spoon and place the whole thing in the ground. Click through for instructions and more!
Want to grow fresh crops this winter? If you can grow your own food outdoors, growing vegetables and fruits indoors will not be a big problem for you.
Year-round vegetable gardening is easier than you think — you just have to be aware of the best vegetables to grow indoors. First figure out if you have the space and light requirements necessary, and then get that indoor garden growing!
Note: There are some limitations when it comes to growing vegetables indoors. Primarily due to the lack of growing space you can devote to plants that like to sprawl outdoors. Be prepared to make due with smaller yields than you would get outdoors and a smaller list of plants to grow.
Happy with herbs
If you are not a big fan of growing herbs outdoors, learn to love herbs because they are the easiest vegetables to grow indoors. Unlike many fruits and vegetables that require copious amounts of sunlight and water to produce a crop, many popular herbs are content to produce with just regular watering and a sunny windowsill. Potting up your favorites from the garden to bring indoors for the winter is a practice we should all get in the habit of doing.
You don’t need a raised bed or even planters that are very deep to grow your favorite root vegetables. Pots, boxes and kitchen items you can repurpose into planters are great for carrots and radishes. Choose round or globe varieties of radishes like Easter Egg and Pink Beauty.
Similarly, round varieties of carrots can be grown in smaller spaces. Look for seeds for varieties like Round Romeo, and short types like Little Finger and Parisienne.
Microgreens and mushrooms
Microgreens are a great way to get nutrient-dense vegetables into your winter diet without investing a lot of time and space to your kitchen countertop farm.
What are microgreens? Simply put, microgreens are just sprouted seeds. Most of us can grow seedlings without much of a problem. It is when they start to grow beyond the weeks that we start to have problems. Fortunately, all you need to to your own microgreens is a clean Mason jar or flat dish, seeds and time.
Most gardeners probably never think about growing their own mushrooms. In recent years there have been a few mushroom kits sold commercially that really take a lot of the guesswork and mystery out of growing mushrooms. The best part of growing mushrooms indoors is that you are not limited by the time of year, and low light levels are not a problem. The kits come with prepared growing medium and mushroom spawn. You water once when preparing the kit and place them in a cool (50 to 60 F), dark location and within a couple of weeks mushrooms start to crop up.
If you want to grow food indoors, I suggest staying away from attempting to grow big crops like tomatoes, eggplants, cucumbers and melons. Yes, with the grow lights and high electricity bills you can successfully harvest a crop, but it will not taste as good as the same plants grown in your garden during summer.
Beans are easy to germinate and a fun seed for kids to grow. Look for dwarf broad beans and dwarf runner bean varieties that you can grow in tall, sunny windowsills. Similarly, look for dwarf tropical fruit trees, or trees grown on dwarf rootstock, to add some variety to your indoor vegetable garden. The best vegetables to grow indoors are those that you can provide enough light and growing space. But do not be afraid to experiment and try new plants.