How to Grow Vegetables in the House in Winter

Overview

If you love eating fresh produce during the summer months, you may enjoy keeping a few garden vegetables growing during the cold, winter months. Although few vegetables survive outdoors during the winter, these tasty plants can thrive inside your home while the snow flies outdoors. A successful, indoor garden requires suitable plant types and proper growing conditions. Although not your typical houseplants, indoor vegetable plants can satisfy your craving for year-round fresh produce.

Step 1

Select plants with small growth habits, such as cherry tomatoes, spinach, radishes and peppers, to grow indoors in containers. Unless you have lots of open space under your roof, avoid varieties like squash and pumpkins.

Step 2

Plant your vegetable seeds in large containers during the late summer. Place a 2-inch layer of gravel on the bottoms of each of your pots. Fill your large pots with packaged potting soil to avoid introducing weed seeds and diseases that may be present in your garden soil. Place the seeds in your pots and cover with the amount of soil indicated on the seed packets. Gently tamp down the soil with your fingertips. Slowly apply water to the planted seeds to dampen the top few inches of soil in your pots. Cover the containers with clear plastic wrap and place in a warm, sunny area to germinate. An outdoor area in full sunlight can encourage these vegetables to begin sprouting.

Step 3

Check the moisture in your pots once each day. Add additional water when the surface soil begins to feel slightly dry. Remove the plastic wrap as soon as the seedlings begin to appear. Continue to keep the soil slightly moist while the seedlings begin to grow. Thin out the young seedlings once they develop their second sets of leaves. Pinch out all but the strongest seedling in each container.

Step 4

Bring your large pots indoors before the first frost in the fall. Spread your vegetable plants out on a table or countertop to allow a few inches of space between each of your pots for airflow and light exposure. Hang your grow light above your table, centering it to ensure even coverage. Keep your grow light on for 8 to 12 hours each day.

Step 5

Water your indoor vegetable plants regularly to keep the soil near their roots evenly damp. Provide about an inch of water every three or four days. Remove any excess water than drains into the drip trays below the pots.

Step 6

Feed your indoor vegetables about once each month. Use a plant food labeled for use on your varieties of vegetable plants and apply according to the instructions.

Things You'll Need

  • Seeds
  • Pots
  • Gravel
  • Potting soil
  • Water
  • Plastic wrap
  • Table or counter
  • Grow light
  • Plant food

References

  • Utah State University: Winter Vegetable Gardening
  • University of Arizona: Vegetable Garden
  • "The Green World Horticulture"; Gail M. Lang, Ph.D.; 2007
Keywords: indoor vegetable garden, winter vegetables, vegetable houseplants

About this Author

Laura Dee is a writer, artist, and the co-owner of Wallace & Wallace Copywriting,an online business which specializes in providing marketing materials and copy to various companies. She has written for Demand Studios since 2008 and is currently working on a series of childrens' picture books.