(NaturalNews) For many who love warmth and the outdoors, summer can, by far, be their favorite season. With summer, too, comes growing seasons, and gardeners who love to produce fresh fruit and vegetables for themselves, their families and their friends.
Still, while June, July and August might consist of the year's prime growing season in most of the country, being outside during that time of year isn't for everyone; summer heat and humidity can certainly make gardening quite a challenge, especially if you're predisposed with certain medical conditions.
So, what's the answer if you like to garden? With a little bit of advanced planning and preparation, you can turn part of the inside of your home into a gardening area, one that will serve as "a tropical wonderland in winter," according to the Live Love Fruit website.
"If you'd like your indoor garden close to where you'll be cooking," the site says, "you'll need quite a bit of light. Some inventive ideas, or even a minor kitchen remodel can make the difference between a fantastic idea, and a disappointing experience."
Now, onto what you can grow indoors:
Tomatoes: Just about any variety of tomato plant will grow pretty well in a container that you can keep indoors. But because tomatoes are rather heavy, your plants will need to be supported; while you might use a trellis outdoors, you can use plant rods that you can pick up at your local home improvement store indoors. "Cherry tomatoes will spawn the biggest yield as far as sheer numbers go," says Live Love Fruit, adding that kids seem to love these more since they are more suited for them, size-wise.
Carrots: Root veggies like these are surprisingly easy to grow inside. In addition, carrots can be used in a host of recipes, so you likely won't have to worry about a surplus (plus fresh carrots are wonderfully healthy snacks). Most times, it's easier to find them as seeds; you can get these at grocery stores, home improvement stores, gardening centers and so forth. Grown inside, carrots don't have much of a season; you can grow successive crops throughout the year.
Garlic: This is another root that also has major health benefits. But best of all, garlic grows with nearly no assistance from you, and this is evident if you've ever bought too many garlic cloves and then watched as they sprouted, just by sitting around. Just remember that new garlic cloves will have to be dried and stored before eating.
Salad greens: These are great to grow indoors, but Live Love Fruit advises "to keep an eye on the kind you choose." That's because "[s]ome of these lettuces can get pretty big, and unless you have a rabbit, you may find that you've planted too much to make use of." Also, greens will need plenty of pot space, so once they begin to sprout, you'll need to pull all but the healthiest ones to ensure that you have a good crop. Then, just trim off what you need for salad.
Mushrooms: No fooling: It's just about the only plant that you can water and then literally toss into a dark closet. These are ideal for beginning gardeners; all it takes is buying a bag of compost and some spores, watering them and then placing them in a closet or cupboard. They should be ready to harvest in a few weeks.
Herbs: These aren't technically vegetables, but they are certainly excellent to grow indoors. And, you can use them all year long. Plus, they will make your home smell amazing (mint is really good for growing indoors). Oregano, thyme, verbena and rosemary also grow well indoors.
"If you've decided to start an indoor garden, you've chosen one hobby that's sure to get some attention," says Live Love Fruit. "It's not many people who have fresh vegetables in the middle of winter, or who manage to bring in the harvest without breaking a sweat."