Edible Gardening

How to Grow Edibles Indoors This Winter

By Ellen Wells


Which Vegetables Can You Grow?

Some vegetables just don’t translate to growing inside a home. Cucumbers and pole beans? If your room can spare height and lots of space, sure. But, most in-home gardens are limited in all directions. Start simply. Try easy-to-germinate greens such as:

  • Lettuce
  • “Baby” versions of kale or chard
  • Arugula
  • Spinach

These plants grow quickly and can be harvested from smaller versions of their outdoor selves. They can also be harvested as “cut-and-come-again” greens—that is, cut with scissors about an inch or so above the soil, allowing the growing tip in the center to keep growing for another harvest.

Which Herbs Can You Grow?

Herbs are also a nice crop for indoors. Consider planting a container or two of the herbs you are constantly restocking from the grocery store, such as:

  • Parsley
  • Cilantro
  • Basil
  • Thyme

These will keep growing for many months. I suggest grouping them together under their own growing light and with your other crops cycling in-and-out under a different set of lights.

Which Rooting Crops Can You Grow?

Next up, try growing root crops in deeper pots, such as:

  • Beets
  • Radishes
  • Carrots
  • Onions
  • Garlic

As I noted above, the below-ground portion of these crops may not get as large as their outdoor versions. Still, you’ll find them to be tender and with tasty leaves.

Which ‘Tall’ Crops Can You Grow?

I did jest about cucumbers and pole beans, but it is possible to grow them given enough space and light. When you are ready to “up your game” in regard to the number of indoor lights and the space dedicated to indoor gardening, you’ll be able to grow:

  • Tomatoes
  • Cucumbers
  • Green beans
  • Cole crops (cabbage, etc.)
  • Potatoes

Fabric ‘grow bags’. By the way, are a good method for growing potatoes indoors. You might also consider using grow bags with carrots.

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