container gardening

Container-grown cauliflower will be ready for harvest in the spring. ATTRIBUTION: LollyKnit (Flickr)

During those long winter months when maintaining a garden outside isn’t feasible, I like to bring my favorite plants, produce, and herbs indoors. While not all plant varieties are suitable for indoor growing, there are numerous options that can be grown on tables or countertops, in windowsills, or in containers on the floor. By bringing clippings of my outside garden indoors, I’m able to enjoy the fruits of my labor year-round.

Container Gardens

Container gardening is the ideal solution for gardeners who have limited indoor space and value portability. Plants can be grown in nearly any type of container, from glass mason jars to decorative ceramic pots. Containers require far less care than a full garden, resulting in minimal maintenance. One of the biggest downfalls of container gardening is the need for constant watering. Most indoor plants require watering a minimum of one to three times per week.

Hydroponic Gardens

Hydroponic gardening involves growing plants with just water and nutrients. As no soil is used, it’s possible to grow a sizable garden indoors. Another major benefit of hydroponics is better protection against soil-borne diseases. While hydroponic gardens are generally easy to maintain with some basic care and knowledge, the initial cost of setting up a hydroponic garden can be high.

Windowsill Gardens

If you’re new to gardening indoors, you may want to test your skills on a small scale. A windowsill garden is a simple way to grow flowers, herbs, or some types of produce. Place a small box container in a sunny window in your home for optimal growth. Windowsill gardens require very little water and are relatively easy to tend. Do your research before placing plants in a windowsill, as not all plants can survive in such an environment, such as species that require full shade.

Tower Gardens

A tower garden is a type of vertical growing system that allows gardeners to grow numerous plants in a limited amount of space. Tower gardens generally use less water than normal gardens and require no soil. The primary drawback of tower gardens is the initial cost, which may include the purchase of grow lights, a garden support cage, and a fan to facilitate air circulation.

Hanging Herb Gardens

Save room and create an impressive indoor display by hanging up your herbs. A wall-mounted herb garden allows gardeners to grow a wide variety of herbs in small containers. One of the biggest perks of a hanging herb garden is instant access to fresh herbs when cooking. While a hanging herb garden is convenient, most herbs require a great deal of sunlight to thrive. Some of the easiest herbs to grow indoors include basil, chives, thyme, rosemary, sage, and parsley.

Terrarium Gardens

A terrarium is similar to an aquarium but is made for plants instead of fish. The equipment needed to build your own terrarium is fairly inexpensive, and setup is straightforward. Terrariums create a self-contained plant habitat, which results in a low-maintenance experience. Only some plants are suitable for terrarium life. For partially or fully closed terrariums, the plants must have the ability to live in a low-light, high-humidity environment.