Winter Gardening Indoors

We love having plants indoors, especially vegetables. They make the indoors a refuge in the darker winter months and whet the appetite for outdoor gardening in the spring. A lot of indoor greenery definitely improve our mood in the bleak, frozen winter. Beyond just starting seedlings indoors, there are several things we grow strictly indoors or longer term in pots which are appropriate for anyone with restricted space.

Hot Peppers like a long growing season and can be grown to harvest indoors in pots. The intense greenery livens up the indoors and many varieties don’t mind cooler temperatures as long as they are protected from frost.

Lettuce or brasica greens, such as collards, love cooler temperatures and often taste better grown in a cool environment. Fresh salad greens in winter are always a bonus, quick growth and harvesting as baby greens means you can have multiple crops in a tiny space. The same goes for Spinach and Kale.

And of course, the age old favorite, herbs, but with the increasing varieties available there are so many more interesting options than just rosemary and thyme. We currently have little pots of Vietnamese Coriander and an Asian Chive. After many years we finally managed to kill our Rosemary during our recent move and will have to get a new one started soon. It had started to resemble a bonsai and flavored many, many meals before going on to the great compost pile in the sky.

Our favorite is Figs. We have a large Brown Turkey Fig in a pot. It  produced a bumper crop of amazingly tasty figs last spring and provides beautiful greenery nearly year round.  Slow growth keeps the size manageable for an indoor tree, and has even sprouted a few babies from figs which had dropped in the pot.

We had a beautiful dwarf Calamondin that provided tiny sour citrus which can be used like a lemon or lime.  Positives include slow growth, tolerant of lower temperatures, likes to be a bit crowded in its pot. Sadly, it did not survive the move and needs careful watering. We have been looking for a replacement for this favorite plant.

Houseplants are an amazing thing which brings colour and life into any room. Why go with the staid palm or spider plant, when you grow something interesting and beautiful, which yields such wonderful harvests?

Even us, with our extensive plant habit, are in some respects starting over with indoor plants. We sold the vast majority of our collection, and only kept a few plants for the move. As we mentioned, some of the plants survived the horrible drive cross country in the 110 degree heat index and other’s, sadly, did not. So, comparing notes, what do you grow indoors which works well for you?

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who we are:

Backyard Ecosystem began as an expression of my determination to make a difference in our own backyard. Literally and metaphorically making a difference at the micro level of my yard and to operate at macro level of treating the entire planet as something I am an integral part of and whose destiny is shaped everyday by what I do in my corner of the world.

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