Vegetables And Herbs You Can Grow In Containers This Winter

Obtaining fresh vegetables and herbs during the winter time can be difficult in some regions without breaking the bank. Why not grow your own indoors? If you have a spare window or a room that gets a few hours of sunlight a day it is possible with the right vegetable/herb variety.


Vegetables and Herbs to try growing this winter

  • Kitchen Herbs
  • Potatoes
  • Carrots
  • Eggplant
  • Radishes
  • Beets
  • Swiss Chard
  • Green Onions
  • Spinach
  • Lettuce


Already know what you want to grow? Check out this article!

Kitchen Herbs

There are a wide variety of kitchen herbs that can be grown in containers. Below I have listed out some general requirements for each herb, remember there are many varieties of these plants choosing the right one will give get you started growing a good looking herb to put into your Holiday Dinner.

Basil

An easy plant to grow basil is used in a wide variety of dishes. One of my favorite things to do is put fresh cut basil leaves onto a frozen pizza. Toss them on about 10 minutes before its done cooking and the pizza will have the aroma and flavor of the basil. With proper trimming and pruning the basil plant can keep producing for you all winter long.

Excess basil can be stored by drying it in the oven or on a drying rack.

Sunlight: 6 – 8 Hours / day : Can grow easily in a sunny window.

Pot Depth: At least 6 inches (~15 cm), the more room the roots have to grow and expand the more the top of the plant will leaf out.

Water: Basil prefers to keep moist soil, not wet. Keeping the soil at the right moisture level will ensure no root rot sets in and your plant keeps growing and growing.

Caring for: Trimming and pruning your basil plant will cause it to explode with foliage growth. I have covered Trimming and Pruning extensively in a separate post.

How to Prune/Trim Basil for a Better Harvest (and how to store the all the extra)

Basil is a plant that benefits greatly from regular pruning and trimming. I have laid out some of the best ways to prune your basil and keep it growing further into the season. When trimmed properly you can obtain a large batch of basil with every harvest. No matter what type of Basil you areContinue reading “How to Prune/Trim Basil for a Better Harvest (and how to store the all the extra)”


Cilantro

A hardy plant that can thrive in partial shade. Using cilantro is up to your own taste buds. It can be used in vegetable salads, fish, relishes, soups, stews, curries, and tomato sauces.

Cilantro does not keep well, it is recommended that you only harvest when you are ready to use it. Once the top of your plant is spent don’t toss it out. Even the roots can be used, chop the roots finely to add a powerful flavor to any dish.

Sunlight: 6 – 8 Hours / day : Will tolerate shade.

Pot Depth: At least 12 inches (~30 cm) deep, cilantro produces a taproot which will use the extra depth to produce a larger foliage.

Water: Keeping the soil evenly moist will produce the best harvest. Attempt to avoid overhead watering later in the growth cycle as this will hinder seed production.

Caring for: With this plant, grab what you want to use as it is coming in. Taller stems may require staking and pinching off any flowers will slow the bolting process.


Lemon Balm

As a quick propagator and easy to grow plant lemon balm is a great addition to any kitchen garden indoors or out. This herb is great for adding a zest to sweet dishes. As a general rule of thumb any dish that uses lemon juice can be improved with the addition of fresh lemon balm leaves.

Sunlight: 6 – 8 Hours / day : Will tolerate shade.

Pot Depth: At least 8 inches (~15 cm) wide and deep.

Water: Lemon Balm is one of the few herbs that can handle moist soil. Do not allow it to dry out.

Caring for: Lemon Balm spreads underground which is what makes it such a good propagator. It is possible to over-winter your plant in a garage or covered patio as it can withstand freezing temperatures. Prior to freezing temperatures you will want to trim back the plant to 2 inches(~5 cm), it may freeze but will return in spring with new growth.


Potatoes

This vegetable requires a little more work than just plopping it into a container and watching your the fruits of your labor come to your dinner plate. Potatoes are grown using a process called “hilling”, I cover this in detail below.

Choosing the proper potatoes (meaning certified seed potatoes) for planting will give you a warm and fuzzy feeling knowing that you are using disease-free seeds. Most nurseries and certified seed distributers will carry what you are looking for.

The “Hilling” process

This process isn’t much different from the usual way that plants grow. It just requires a little human intervention. Starting out you will want about 3 inches (~8 cm) of soil, then placing your seed potatoes cuttings on top of the soil. After this cover your seeds with around 1 – 4 inches (2.5 cm – 10 cm) of soil. Now you continue to water and give it the right amount of sunlight. Once your plants are around 6 inches (15 cm) you are going to want to “hill” soil around the plant and bury 1/3 of it. The hilling process is essential to a good harvest and will benefit your belly greatly.

Sunlight: 6 – 8 Hours / day : Will tolerate shade.

Pot Depth: At least 15 inches (~40 cm) deep, the width can vary and will determine the amount of plants you can grow at one time. A container with a 14 inch (~36 cm) width has enough room to grow about 3 starts.

Water: You will want to give your potatoes plenty of water however, you do not want them to be soggy. With a well draining soil and cloth pot keep an eye on the moisture level of the soil as it can dry out fairly quickly.

Caring for: Water and sun will give you potatoes. Harvesting your potatoes will be done after flowering has occurred and the stems have turned yellow. Once your stem has turned colors stop watering for 1 to 2 weeks. Once the wait period is over, harvest your tubers from the ground and store in a cool dry place for around 2 weeks to allow for the them to cure.

Carrots

“Meh, what’s up Doc?” — Growing carrots in a container during the winter is a surefire way to be all the buzz with delicious fresh carrots in a stew on a cold day.

Growing carrots is simple enough it just requires a deep enough pot to support the deeper root structure of this plant. A 10 gallon grow bag can hold 24 to 36 carrots.

Sunlight: 6 – 8 Hours / day : Will tolerate shade.

Pot Depth: It is recommended to use a deeper container, the depth will have a direct impact on the size of your carrots. The 10 gallon grow bag is around 16 inches (40 cm) across. Root depth can range from 2 inches (5 cm) to 1 foot (30 cm) or more. Ensure you have a deep enough container for whichever seeds you choose.

Water: Not watering your carrots enough will result in small limpy things, I don’t think anybody wants that. Lightly moist but not wet is a good medium to keep your soil at.

Caring for: As your carrots grow it is recommended if any of the tops are exposed you perform the “hilling” technique discussed above. For harvesting you can pull them up as soon as the roots are large enough to eat, you do not have to harvest the entire crop at once.


Many many more options available

Growing your own vegetables and herbs indoors is an easy way and relaxing way to obtain some of the freshest ingredients. During the dead of winter the aroma and flavor added to a dish is like finding a warm patch of sun to snuggle up into.

The amount of options available are limited only by what you consider to be an acceptable amount of floor space taken up by plants. Maybe you want to grow a lemon tree inside all year? Maybe you want some fresh tomatoes to harvest in January and have no idea where you will put them when they get to be 8 feet tall. Just go for it, grow that food, start moving toward sustaining yourself.

If you found the article interesting or helpful in anyway please share it to Facebook or any other social media outlet as it helps me out tremendously.

Keep mother nature alive and prospering, your own livelihood depends on it.

I am an affiliate and links located throughout the article will provide me with a commission on any purchases made.

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Myers Greens LLC

Myers Greens is a nursery located in southwest Iowa. With the main goal of providing top quality microgreens and fresh herbs. Follow the blog to keep up to date on what we are growing.

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