The onset of winter does not necessarily mean an end to growing your own vegetables. You can easily grow vegetables indoors in the winter when it is impossible to grow them outside due to freezing temperatures and frost. Growing them indoors also prevents scavengers from destroying your crop, thus ensuring healthy and bountiful produce. Vegetables such as carrots, cucumbers, radishes, tomatoes, peppers, lettuce and onions are grown indoors with successful results. Compact varieties of vegetables are best for indoor gardening. With a little care and attention, you can harvest a rich healthy crop for yourself or your family.
Select containers for your indoor vegetable garden. Make sure they are large enough to encourage roots to grow and spread and have adequate drainage holes in the bases. Grow your vegetables in hanging baskets if space is a problem. Containers include aquariums, wastebaskets, washtubs or large flowerpots.
Select a suitable spot indoors, depending on the type of vegetables you want to grow. Vegetables such as peppers and tomatoes require a warm environment such as a heated garage or basement, while leafy and root vegetables require cool temperatures. Try to place the container near a south-facing window.
Mix equal amounts of good quality, lightweight potting mix and compost and pour the mixture into the container until an inch or two below the rim.
Follow label directions for appropriate seed depth and spacing when planting in a container. Cover the seeds with a thin layer of soil mixture. If planting saplings, space them apart so the leaves do not touch.
Water the containers frequently to ensure the soil is evenly moist at all times. Place a large flat container or saucer under the container to collect drained water. Place a layer of gravel, small stones or broken crockery pieces in the base of your container to help improve drainage. Do not allow the soil in the container to go dry between waterings.
Supplement lighting by hanging grow lights six inches above vegetables seedlings that do not receive six hours of sunlight daily. Raise them as the seedlings grow.
Feed your indoor vegetables a balanced fertilizer specifically for indoor vegetables. Remove pests such as spider mites or aphids by hand, or spray an antibacterial soap solution over your vegetables to deter pests.