Cool Season Gardening In Containers
Hello fellow Earthlings,
and welcome to the patio. In this discussion we will be touching on some
fun ways to extend our gardening addictions through the winter by gardening
in containers. So let's don our cool weather gear and take a trip out to
the potting shed.
Gardening in containers is a wonderful way to keep your
prized plants close to living spaces and, of course, mobile in case of
severe weather. During extreme cold plants in containers can be easily
moved to protect them, they can be moved out of severe winds, and can even
be brought indoors if weather conditions get too inhospitable. One other
great thing about gardening in containers is the window garden.
windows are some of my favorite spots for indoor window gardens. These
windows are often located right above the kitchen sink and the increased
humidity from this proximity to periodic running water and steam really
allows us to grow a number of different types of plants. Some favorite
plants for the kitchen window are certainly culinary herbs. There is nothing
like having the luxury of a sprig of fresh thyme or a few fresh basil leaves
when cooking. And when your family and guests compliment you on your culinary
prowess, you can show them your lovely herb garden in the window. For those
individuals who love colorful foliage plants, leaf lettuces make very decorative
houseplants during the winter season. I have a friend that transplanted
from California to Wisconsin, and really missed her orange and lime trees.
Two years ago I sent her one dwarf tree of each and now she has citrus
that ripens indoors. The trees are decorative and her guests really get
a kick out of her indoor (sunporch) citrus grove when it is forty below
outside. She takes the trees outside late in the spring after the threat
of frost is past and her trees spend the summer out in the sunniest part
of her patio. When the weather begins to cool and frost is eminent, she
moves the trees indoors to protect them. She has now graduated to a dwarf
avocado and is actually growing coffee beans in what are considered rather
impossible climate conditions.
As with all types of gardening, your passion
and your imagination are the only things that can limit the possibilities
for gardening indoors in containers during the cool season. If space is
an issue try smaller plants like herbs and some mini veggies. A pot full
of carrots is a beautiful display of greenery that looks a lot like a fern.
But the goodies under the ground will be sweet miniatures of the ones that
grow outdoors when the weather is warmer. Romaine, Endive, and some of
the designer lettuce varieties grow so fast that you can actually trim
a few leaves off to make a sandwich or salad each week or every day depending
on how many you grow. The idea of having fresh, nutritious food growing
in the house really lowers the occurrences of cabin fever and, although
it seems odd, brings more fresh oxygen into the house. These fast growing
plants are amazing air fresheners as well.
I think my favorite thing about
growing edible indoors in containers during cold weather is how children
begin to take active interest in the process. Kids are naturally inquisitive
and have a tireless hunger for knowledge. If you can provide them with
clever home projects when they are stuck inside, you will see that they
may take a more active role in family gardening projects when the weather
warms up. Pick some veggies that they like to eat and grow them indoors,
make a bit of a ceremony when harvest day comes around and let them pick
the veggies. They will be more likely to eat vegetables when they are involved
in cultivating them. This is also a very good way for you to teach them
lessons about how nature works and the benefits of growing food without
the need for potentially harmful chemical pesticides and fertilizers. They
will gain some interesting insights on the environment and on plant cultivation
that will make for active family sharing of ideas as well. Eating healthy
food that they grew themselves is a very rewarding experience for a child.
Try it and witness how they enjoy. Nurturing is a basic human attribute
that can be practiced by growing plants. This is especially true for you
apartment/ condominium dwellers without the room for domestic animals.
Materials for these projects are inexpensive, easy to obtain, and the choices
of containers can be as simple as a clay pot or any reflection of your
creativity. Potting soils, natural liquid plant foods, water, and light
complete the list of needs. Container gardening is a simple winter gardening
project that will reward you in many ways. Bring the garden inside this
winter, you'll be glad you did. Next time we will be discussing one of
my favorite topics, compost. See you in the Garden!
Back To Dr. Curly Index
Copyright © 2012