Winter can be tough, but container gardens and houseplants can be brought indoors to lively up your dishes and brighten your hearts year-round.
Why do I enjoy Container Gardening?
We are fans of container gardening around the Pixie’s Pocket homestead. Saffron, lettuces, herbs, tomatoes – they all live nestled into pots, tins, and buckets. They clutter up the porch and fill my windowsills in all seasons of the year!
There are a few reasons that we choose to plant in containers instead of in the ground. There’s only two of us, and one of us doesn’t enjoy veggies as much as the other. I can keep my harvests small and manageable when I’m gardening in pots. (And all the fresh tomatoes belong to me! Bwa-ha-ha!)
We are renters, and so do not wish to dig into the ground. Our landlords say that they don’t mind if we dig in a garden, but we aren’t keen on it. Not in this yard! Over the years, we’ve poked into the yard in various places. Each time, we’ve discovered buried tarps, chains, broken glass, and other trash. For every bit we pull out, there’s more waiting under the clay. It never seems to end!
Another reason that we enjoy gardening in pots is that they make the garden mobile. A plant needing more sun can move to a new spot, and vice versa. I enjoy bringing in many of my plants to winter indoors, as it means that every empty space is full of greenery!
Container gardening can take many forms. On my indoor plant shelves, you’ll find herbs in tea tins and flowers in terracotta pots. Any coffee mug that chips or loses a handle becomes a home for the ever-replicating spider plants. Many baby aloe vera plants live tucked in tiny pots here and there.
Those cups are suitable for now, but I daydream about bigger and better container gardens. A larger-scale setup, with pots or beds too large to bring indoors! Raised beds, strawberry towers, stone herb spirals…but alas. Those will have to wait until I have a bit o’earth all my own.
Since it is wintertime, there’s much less harvesting going on and much more planning. I love to browse the types of planters, plant pots, and garden containers that are available for sale. Even when I’m not ready to buy plant pots for the outside, I get inspired by the possibilities of what I can do indoors. I shop for seeds and I plan the garden that will be, come spring!
That’s not to say that I don’t have plants growing over winter. I’ve managed to sprout some thyme and basil in my warmest, brightest windowsill. There’s a single saffron crocus bulb currently pushing lovely green spikes above the soil. My Cuban oregano grows lush and verdant year-round, and I might just start some salad greens. Lettuce and chickweed in pots keep my household crunching fresh greens all winter.
Do you have edible plants growing indoors over the winter? If not, I suggest you give it a try. Not only are there fresh green plants for nibbling on, but indoor plants also clean the air. And there is something magical about the way that light filters through plants. It makes you feel warmer, happier, lighter – or maybe that’s just the experience of this crazy lil pixie.
As usual, I turn to familiar resources when planning my container garden. Here are some great bloggers with some guides that you might find useful.
- “How to Grow an Indoor Garden” by Grow a Good Life
- “Getting Started with Container Gardening” by Survival at Home
- “The Secret to Keeping Rosemary Alive Indoors” by Tenth Acre Farm
- “Grow Basil Indoors without Dirt all Winter” by Melissa K. Norris
- “Gardening for Beginners: Your First Garden and More” by Groom And Style
- “How to Grow Mediterranean Herbs” by HappyDIYHome
- Want to see my failed experiment in growing potatoes in containers? I’m proud of that one. 🙂
Whether you consider raised bed gardening, windowsill planters for a small urban garden, or hydroponic indoor gardens, there’s plenty of ways to eat fresh greens all year round. Experiment and find the best way for you and your home!