Who says you can only garden outside? Just because the weather might be getting cooler doesn’t mean you can’t reap the benefits of home-grown produce – all you need is a sunny window and a little bit of time to have your own indoor garden!
In fact, having control over temperature and the elements can actually make your fruits and veggies grow stronger. So get the potting soil ready – here’s a list of great fruits and veggies you can grow in the comfort of your own living room.
Carrots contain high levels of beta-carotene and fiber. It’s a great source of vitamin A, which improves eyesight. Carrots also contain plenty of other vitamins and minerals while packing a great veggie crunch. It’s a great family favorite to try to grow on your own.
Growing Carrots: Start by buying seeds and placing them in a window box that’s about 1.5 feet deep. Fill the box with humus-rich potting mix, and water the mix to moisten the soil before planting. Plant the seeds exactly one inch apart from each other.
When growing your carrots, give them plenty of light and lots of moisture. To keep your carrots extra crunchy and moist, place soaked peat moss on top of the seeds to preserve moisture in the soil.
Harvesting Carrots: You should harvest your carrots once they have grown 3/4 inch out of the soil. Pull the carrot by its top, rinse and peel before eating. Your eyesight will start improving in no time!
There’s a reason Popeye loved spinach so much! While this veggie may not always be a family favorite, it’s an easy plant to grow indoors. Spinach is low in fat and cholesterol, and high in protein and fiber. It also contains a number of vitamins and minerals to keep you healthy, including vitamins A, C, E and K.
Growing Spinach: To grow your own, go out and buy an eight-inch container for the plant. Plant the seeds 2 to 4 inches apart in the container. Keep them well watered and in a shady place; direct sunlight will make the spinach wilt.
Harvesting Spinach: Harvest your spinach once it’s grown four to seven inches tall. Cut six to eight leaves at a time and rinse well before serving. You’ll have extra fresh salads in no time!
It’s surprisingly easy to grow one of the trendiest fruits of the year at home. Whether you enjoy making fresh guacamole or layering it on a piece of toast for breakfast, avocados have exponentially increased in popularity as a great source of healthy fat. This superfood packs a bunch of vitamins, and is known to reduce the risk of cancer, heart disease, and eye degeneration.
Growing Avocados: Look for a plant that yields either large, green-skinned avocados or the small, black fruits that are popular in grocery stores. Purchase a large, well-draining pot for your tree. Place sand at the bottom of the pot, and cover with regular potting mix.
Make sure to water your tree regularly, but look out for soggy soil: waterlogging your avocado tree could create issues down the line. Place your tree in an area with high ceilings so it has room to flourish.
Harvesting Avocados: Watch the avocado fruit’s skin to know when to harvest. If you have a green variety, harvest your avocado fruits when the outer skin turns a slight yellow color. If you’re growing black avocados, harvest when the skin is almost black. if you wait too long to harvest your avocados, they start losing flavor.
These small greens make classy salads or decorative additions to any meal. Researchers found that microgreens contain significantly higher levels of vital nutrients than the matured versions of the plants.
Growing Microgreens: Buy a variety of seeds such as radish, kale, Swiss chard, beet, basil and dill seeds to create the best and tastiest combination of microgreens. Take a shallow tray or pot with a draining hole and fill with potting soil. Moisten the soil with water before sprinkling the seeds evenly in the pot. Cover the containers with a light sheet of plastic to get a higher yield.
Place your microgreens on a sunny windowsill, keep the soil between 60 to 70 degrees Fahrenheit, and try to mist the plants every day with a spray bottle. After three to five days, start exposing your microgreens to more sunlight, about 12 to 14 hours a day.
Harvesting Microgreens: Harvest your microgreens by snipping sections with scissors. Wash and have fun spicing up your meals with a touch of fresh greens!
Strawberries thrive in an indoor climate. In addition to being easy to grow, they’re very healthy. The low-calorie fruit is a great source of Vitamin C, and provides a good amount of dietary fiber.
When picking your strawberry plant, choose either June-bearing strawberries, which only produce once a year, or everbearing strawberries, which produce twice a year (or possibly more!). The most popular type of strawberry to grow is the Alpine, which tends to clump and consolidate – this is a great option if you don’t have much space.
Growing Strawberries: Strawberries can be grown either in pots or in hanging containers. Do not overcrowd strawberries in their container, as they can become vulnerable to mold.
Purchase control release fertilizer and standard fertilizer, and combine the two as a base for your strawberry plant. If you are using a plant rather than seeds, soak the roots for an hour before planting. As the strawberry plant grows, check it every day and water the plant appropriately. The plant usually needs water daily until it grows, and after that only needs to be watered when the top inch of soil is dry.
Harvesting Strawberries: Once the strawberry flowers, cut them immediately so the plant puts its energy into fruit production. Switch to soil made up of just standard fertilizer after the flowers bloom, and fertilize your plant once every 10 days until harvest.
Harvest after four to six weeks, or once the fruit is a full red color. To best preserve your strawberries, cut them off of the stem and wash before storing them in the refrigerator. You can even throw your washed strawberries in the freezer – they can last for up to two months!
When there’s a will to grow fruits and veggies indoors, there’s always a way to make it work. Now you can enjoy fresh, home-grown produce all year long!