Indoor winter gardens grow

Sunday, November 28, 2010 by: Michelle Koren
Tags: indoor gardens, winter, health news

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(NaturalNews) Now that winter is approaching and our gardens are dried up it raises the question of how we can still sustain our own food supply. It's quite possible to grow many fruits and vegetables indoors with the right tools.

First, it's essential to have artificial lighting in order for your plants to grow fruit. Most plants need a minimum of 10 hours a day of sunlight so a southeast facing window is helpful as well. The most energy-efficient lights are HID, or high-intensity discharge, grow lamps but they require a lot of heat and are quite expensive. You can also use florescent lights but you will need more of them to get the same results. The benefit is that the temperature is cooler and the plants can go right underneath them without burning.

Next, the plants will not have access to rainfall and will need you to supplement their water intake. You must water them often but be careful to avoid root rot and over saturation. Buying an organic fertilizer will also help in the success of the plants because the watering will wash nutrients out that will need to be replaced. Make sure to dilute the fertilizer for indoor plants or you may burn them.

Temperature is a factor when growing food indoors too. Some plants like tomatoes require temperatures in the upper 70's during the day while vegetables like lettuce are satisfied with cool temps around 60F. They should never be allowed to experience temperatures below 40F.

Finally, some of these plants need pollination. Believe it or not there are male and female parts to plants. Without fertilization the plant will not produce fruit. When plants grow outside they have the help of wind and animals. Other plants are self-pollinating and indoor plants need humans. There are many ways to help with this process but the following two seem to be the simplest. Some recommend simply shaking the blooms every few days so the pollen drops to other blooms where fertilization can take place. The other method is a little more complicated. You take a small and soft paintbrush and swirl the pollen gently out of the male part and then swirl the brush inside the center of the female blossoms. The female blossoms will have tiny fruit behind them so they are easy to recognize. Tomatoes and squash are examples of plants that need a hand in cross pollination.

Beans, beets, carrots, chives, cucumbers, green onions, lettuce, peas, peppers, tomatoes, zucchini and several herbs such as basil, bay, chives, oregano, parsley, rosemary, sage, tarragon, and thyme are all plants proven to grow indoors. So growing your own food is possible all times of the year, and it also allows people who don't have a yard to partake in their own health and nutrition year round.

About the author

Michelle is a wife and mother of three girls. Her passions are homeopathy, herbalism, nutrition and alternative medicine. Her goal is to educate people and give them the knowledge they desire to become healthy, happy, and whole. Where there's a will there's an alternative way. Take the road less travelled to make it wider for others to see.

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