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Growing vegetables indoors during the winter months

Winter is fast approaching but that does not mean you have to give up your plan to grow your own vegetables. Here are some of the best choices for growing vegetables indoors during the winter months.

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Many homes have sun rooms or patios where house plants can soak up the winter sun. Vegetable plants can grow as well as your potted plants if provided extra light.


Even if you don’t have a greenhouse, you can still grow your vegetables on a shelf in your kitchen, in a garden shed, or even in a storage room if you have the right tools and equipment.


Most vegetable plants will do well in a sunny window. If you have a large south facing window a tomato or cucumber plant can grow with support and some added light to compensate for the shorter winter days.


You can also use indoor grow lights, they are easy to setup and add the extra sunlight vegetable plants need. 


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The best spot to set up a growing area is where you get 5 to 6 hours of bright light and good air circulation. 


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If your location gets less than 6 hours of sun each day, you’ll need to set up some indoor grow lights. Vegetables that produce fruit, like cucumbers, peppers and tomatoes, will have much higher light requirements than salad greens, herbs, and root vegetables like carrots and beetroot.


Indoor lights can be hung over your vegetable garden area or use bricks for support.


You want the lights to be 20cm above your plants. Consider a timer so you don't have to manually turn the lights on and off. 


Mushrooms are straightforward if you have space in a dark cupboard. 

The indoor vegetable garden could consist of:


Lettuce

spinach

Carrots

Onions

Garlic

Herbs

Tomatoes (cherry and mini varieties)

Broccoli

Cauliflower

Potatoes


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Vegetables need at least 10cm for root space so any container with enough depth can be used. 


Some types of fruits, such as lemon and strawberries, also grow really well indoors.


And a fan of edible flowers? You can absolutely grow lavender, violets and sunflowers.


Do not use garden soil for your indoor vegetable garden. The soil is too heavy and compacts when you use it in containers. Mix compost with a good commercial potting soil to enrich the mix and add nutrients. You want your soil to drain well so the potted roots do not rot. Allow the soil to go slightly dry to the touch between watering. 


*Remember, if you’re growing tomatoes and peppers, you may need to supplement sunlight with grow lights. Another thing to keep in mind with growing tomatoes is a stake will be needed to prop the plant when it bears fruit. 


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