Gardener’s Winter Survival Guide

It’s cold and you haven’t been able to play in the dirt for several weeks now. There’s only so much garden planning and seed catalog gazing you can do. It’s time to try a few new indoor gardening trends to tide you over until spring arrives.  Here are some activities to add to your Gardener’s Winter Survival Guide.

First of all buy a new houseplant!  Nurturing plants and watching them grow is what gardeners miss during the long cold winter. For color you may want to select something that blooms indoors such as amaryllis, violets, or orchids. Succulents and air plants are low maintenance houseplants that lend themselves to crafting and quirky little containers. Maybe try a new larger scale foliage plant such as a palm tree or Ficus tree. Greenery always enlivens a stale decor while cleaning the indoor air you breathe.

Plant a seed from your kitchen scraps. Experiment with trying to get an avocado pit to sprout. Put a pineapple top in a jar of water. Try to sprout some citrus seeds. It is fun to see what happens and you may end up with a decent houseplant.

Grow some herbs on a sunny kitchen window sill. Small pots of basil, thyme or rosemary are fun to grow and to cook with. Freshly harvested herbs have a way better flavor than dried ones. When spring finally arrives, you may transfer the herbs to your perennial border or vegetable garden.

Experiment with growing microgreens. Microgreens have been on the gardening scene for a while. They are the young sprouts of vegetable and herb seeds. They are smaller than “baby greens” and harvested later than sprouts.  You may use mustard, kale, arugula, beets, spinach, peas, cabbage, lettuce, and basil. Once they sprout and have grown an inch or two, harvest them with scissors and add them to salads or juice mixtures. They are full of nutrients and provide a variety of leaf flavors such as sweet and spicy. Easily grown in containers in a south facing window, you can enjoy a fresh crop every two weeks.

Indoor gardening will get you through the winter. Pick one or two of these plant projects and green up your indoor living space. These projects are great for simple family entertainment and will satisfy a gardeners need to get their fingers dirty. Keep calm and garden on!

A guide to growing microgreens