Many gung-ho gardeners yearn for a back-yard green house to extend their growing season, or to have a spot for starting those seeds and early spring greens just a bit sooner in the season. But before you build that back-yard hoop house, why not look to your own house, you know, the one you live in, instead?. Do you have windows? Is your house heated in the Winter? Do you have any house plants? Well why not house vegetables?
A small window garden is the perfect introduction to cold season gardening with minimal expense. At a minimum, every gardener should keep a few herbs and greens growing in a sunny indoor spot in the colder months. There’s no reason not to. You probably have most of what you need in your garage or shed already. A few small pots with basic potting soil and regular watering will provide you with fresh herbs in no more space than a couple of window sills or a small stool or table. Start with 3 or 4 favorite herbs, and then see if you want to set aside additional space for your indoor garden.
Several salad greens like arugula, green leaf lettuce, red leaf lettuce, and endive all do well in 6” pots. You can get 3 or 4 cuttings from each by harvesting the outer leaves, then replant. Start a new set from seed every two to four weeks from October to March and you’ll have fresh, indoor greens until you are ready to put in your early spring garden.
Want to go for something more exotic? Many gardening catalogs sell miniature citrus trees, often grafted with lemons, limes, and tangerines on one bush meant to be kept as an indoor plant. What could be better than picking fresh citrus from your kitchen for your favorite dish or cocktail garnish?
Yes, you can keep growing food all year, and you don’t have to take on a big building project to do it.