Around the House — January 12, 2015 at 5:00 am

A Guide To Indoor Gardening This Winter

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One of the chief complaints about winter is the lack of color. Bare trees and white snow can be beautiful, certainly, but months on end without the brightness of flowers or the lush green of leaves can be downright depressing. Remedy this situation by cultivating your own indoor garden this winter, using our handy guide full of tips on which plants to choose, how to care for them, and how to up the odds of botanic survival, all in the name of keeping this winter green and cheerful.

Pick Your Plants
Even the most valiant attempts to cultivate an indoor oasis will be futile if you don’t select the right plants for your space. Head to a nursery where you can consult with experts on what will work for you and know your limits. If you choose something that requires hours of direct light but you only see the sun for a brief period of time per day, it’s probably best to move on. Avoid tropical plants if your house is bone-dry, make sure that you choose species that are safe for pets and kids if you’re sharing your quarters with either, and consider how much time and effort will be required to keep your garden in bloom.

Know Your Containers
Some would argue that a healthy garden is only as good as the container it’s in. When you’ve got the great outdoors at your disposal, it’s far easier to plant with reckless abandon (well, not reckless but you get the idea) than it is when you’re limited to pots and containers. When choosing your plant’s new home, be mindful of things such as drainage, capacity, and durability. A good idea is to use a container that is the same size, or 2 inches larger than the one that your plant came in. Anything too big will result in excess water retention which can lead to rot, something best avoided. Always be sure that the pot you’ve chosen can withstand getting wet and as a precaution, use a dish or other protective layer before placing your plants on wood or other easily marred surfaces.

Get Creative
One of the best things about indoor gardening is that you’re the master of your own creation. Fancy curated groupings of complimentary plants? Go for it! Prefer scattering greenery throughout the house? You’re the boss! Because you have the ability to choose your plants based on your environment, you can tailor your garden to meet your specific needs. What may wither away in the bedroom could very well flourish in the bathroom so there’s no need to limit yourself to just a few species.

Work With Your Space
Find yourself wondering how you’re going to find the space to accommodate your dream garden in your 3rd story walk up? Don’t fret, there are plenty of options. Explore vertical gardening by mounting pots on your walls which not only saves a ton of space but looks incredible, too. Suspend terrariums from the ceiling, tuck tiny containers on windowsills and shelves, or set up a small herb garden in your kitchen where you’ll never have to worry about things growing out of control.

Grow Some Food
Unless you’ve got an endless desire for root vegetables, it can be hard to find fresh produce that doesn’t make your tastebuds want to revolt by the time February rolls around. With indoor gardening, you can plant and harvest your own fresh foods, ensuring that you’ll always have something tasty to snack on, even when a blizzard hits. Carrots, micro greens, mushrooms, salad greens, and tomatoes are all solid options, providing you possess the know-how to keep them alive. It’s not complicated, just do a little research and then bask in the fruits of your labor.

Be Patient
Like most good things, gardening takes time. While it’s possible to hit the botanical jackpot straight out of the gates, chances are you’ll experience a few obstacles along the way. Stubborn soil, sickly roots, and uncooperative lighting situations can all create moments of frustration for even those with the greenest of thumbs. Just persevere and don’t be afraid to start over. Winter is long and there’s plenty of time.

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