For some, gardening is a relaxation tool. It allows them to clear their mind and forget about the stress of life.
Add to that the chance to get outdoors and it’s no surprise some take to this hobby.
But for those of us in climates where gardening in the winter months isn’t possible, what can you do? Sure, there are some plants and vegetables that grow in the colder weather but there is no way to fill your insatiable need to garden.
Aside from moving, and unless you’re retired that’s not possible, you have one viable option: Indoor gardening.
It makes your home more natural and healthy – in multiple ways.
You also don’t have to risk the weather or what you plant dying. And sooner than you think, spring will arrive. So now is the perfect time to get seeds planted and start growing indoors. This option allows you to get a jump on the outdoor season when the warmer months do come.
The first thing to get your indoor garden started is pick out the seeds. Pretty much any home and garden centers sell the seeds you want, but the biggest selection will come online. Seeds are less expensive than plants, so that will save you money. The package may contain more seeds than you need. If that happens, save them for next year or plant them all and swap with friends.
Now that you have your seeds, you need a place to grow them. You can make the planters, say out of yogurt cups, for example, reuse containers you used in the past or buy new ones. The best containers, according to most experts, are the ones that can go to the outdoor garden. Cowpots are an example of that. They are containers made from composted cow manure.
With your seeds planted and ready to grow, you need to dedicate a spot in your house. Ideally, it’s a place with some room and is convenient. When seeds are first planted, heat is more important than light. That means you can start the gardening process in a basement with more heat or by a window that does not have a draft. When the seedlings are visible, move them to a bright location or use artificial lights. You could go really crazy and use both. Even plants that receive natural light benefit from cool and warm fluorescent lights – either CFLs or LEDs. Place the artificial lights 6 inches overs plants. Hardcore gardeners even place aluminum foil or a whiteboard around the containers to reflect the light and get even more out of it.
The most important step is prepping the soil and planting the seeds when the time is right. If you do it too soon, plants will grow too large indoors and get stressed when you move them outdoors. If you start too late, the seedlings don’t mature enough indoors. Most packages tell you what time of year to start. If you’re still not sure, ask a local expert in your community or do an Internet search. If you do create an indoor garden, you don’t want waste your time and screw it up.
The most difficult of aspect of an indoor garden is the water amount for your plants. Most experts will tell you it’s almost impossible to water correctly. That means drainage holes in your containers are even more important. Here’s a nifty trick: You want enough water to moisten the soil without washing out the seed. The consistency of the soil when you touch it should resemble a sponge after its wrung out. The soil should feel moist to the touch down to the root. Before the plant breaks through the soil, cover it with a damp newspaper or plastic that holds in warmth and moisture.
Now that you have an idea of what you need to get your gardening fix, what better time to start than the holidays?