Winter gardening is good for the mind. It keeps us thinking and learning new things, which helps our brains stay alert, healthy and young.
But gardening can be hard when there is a foot of snow covering the garden. Have you ever thought about growing vegetables indoors? Indoor gardening helps us grow fresh produce until our outdoor gardens are ready to be used again. Incredibly, there actually are vegetables you can grow and eat within about a month.
Let’s take a look at five quick-growing vegetables that thrive indoors.
Setting up for Indoor Vegetables
Vegetables simply need air, nutrients, water and light. Windows are a perfect place to sit your vegetables, especially in south-facing window, although grow lights can be beneficial if you don’t have the right set-up. During the winter, indoor vegetables need at least five to six hours of sun, as well as good quality air circulation. Put your vegetables in pots, or have a mini-garden.
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Mini-gardens can be made from large containers with proper drainage. Each vegetable will need a space of about four inches. Plastic dishes and pans have worked for many. Growing flats also works for indoor gardening. When using pots or containers, make sure the pots drain well so your vegetables don’t become waterlogged.
Most potting soils works well, but look to see what kind of soil your vegetables do the best in. Remember to use potting soil and not gardening soil. Gardening soil often gets packed down in containers.
Note: Do not over water, but at the same time, don’t underwater. Once they grow, harvest from your plants often to encourage regrowth. Stay away from drafts.
Which Vegetables Should You Try?
You can grow pretty much any vegetable, but if you are pressed for time, or don’t like waiting months during winter before tasting your produce, you may want to take a look at the quick-growing varieties. (Baby greens are quick and easy to grow. They add color and a fresh taste to the usual winter dishes.)
Here are five vegetables you will be able to enjoy within about a month.
1. Radishes. This vegetable is known to be one of, if not THE, fastest growing vegetable. They are fresh and colorful, adding a little zip to salads, or even to use as a healthy snack.
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Radishes take up very little space and are very convenient. They come in an endless list of varieties and colors.
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2. Green onions. The stalks of green onions can be harvested after only three or four weeks. Most onion plants can take around six months to fully mature, but green onions are an exception. They take up little space indoors, and can frequently be used for cooking. They like rich soil, often a mix of compost and potting soil.
3. Lettuce. Lettuce is easy to grow indoors, and does especially well when grown in containers. This vegetable can handle its seeds being sown close together and still grow well. Most leafy lettuces, especially romaine, can grow to the harvesting stage in about 30 days. Let the leaves grow to about three inches before cutting to eat.
4. Baby carrots. Keep in mind: These are baby carrots, not full-sized carrots. Baby carrots are quick to grow. They take up to 30 days to mature, whereas if you would let them grow out, they would take 50 or more days. You can sprinkle the seeds on the top of the soil and moisten the surface. You can thin out the seedlings to the amount you want when you see the growth. They love the sun.
5. Baby spinach. This plant grows very similar to lettuce. It doesn’t require a lot of space to thrive, either. Spinach only takes four weeks to grow once planted. It is super healthy, and adds color and distinct flavor to any dish. Spinach can be used in salads, sandwiches, omelettes and other endless dishes.
Growing your own winter vegetables is a healthy and entertaining way to spend your winter. You will know where your fresh produce is coming from and you can have their freshness throughout the colder months. There is no need to suffer the winter “blahs” or boring, plain dishes. So try your hand at these five indoor winter vegetables you can grow in a month.
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