Gardening is not limited to outside in the summer. I'll teach you how in my upcoming program The Edible Indoor Garden. As I researched and prepared for this program, I was amazed by how many food crops you can actually grow indoors.
Some types of edible indoor gardens to try include window gardens, containers, special systems, and indoor greenhouses. The most limiting factor for growing plants indoors is light, so whichever option you choose must include a bright window or supplemental lighting.
Window gardens are very easy to do, especially when using prepared herb kits. I have small pots of cilantro and lettuce growing on my windowsill right now. I simply sprinkled some seed in a small container, gave it a little water, and placed it all in a mock greenhouse. My favorite mock greenhouse is one of those zippered plastic bags that linens come in, but Ziploc bags work too.
There are many possibilities with container herbs. I often grow rosemary indoors in the winter since it doesn't overwinter outdoors. Another great idea is to do a mixed container of herbs in a large container or strawberry pot. Or try a small patio or salad tomato grown in a 5 gallon bucket.
There are many products on the market today that make indoor gardening easier. Examples include self-watering containers and the earthbox.com system. I have an Aerogarden in my kitchen where I grow herbs and greens all year long. An Aerogarden is a hydroponic system that grows plants in water using a premixed nutrient solution. The system has lights that raise and lower to match plant growth. It is all contained and quite simple to use.
In my upcoming program I will cover the indoor growing environments and provide several examples to try in your own home. This is the third session of the winter Four Seasons Gardening program from University of Illinois Extension.
The Edible Indoor Garden will be held on Tuesday, March 3rd at 1:30 p.m. and on Thursday, March 5th at 6:30 p.m. There is no charge for the program but advance registration is needed. Please register at web.extension.illinois.edu/fmpt (website) or contact 309-543-3308309-543-3308. The Tuesday afternoon session will be held at the Peoria Extension office and on Thursday evening in the Lewistown Extension office. It is also available for home viewing. The presentation will be presented via the University of Illinois teleconferencing system, allowing live discussion between the presenter and gardeners throughout Illinois.
Following the live program, all 2015 Four Seasons Gardening programs are made available on our University of Illinois Extension Horticulture YouTube channel.
Keep the freshness going all year-round by growing your own herbs, vegetables, sprouts, or even mushrooms indoors this winter. Hmm, Hmm, Good!