Winter Indoor Garden

Winter has arrived. And boy has it brought some cold weather with it. Christmas Day started a multi-day stretch of below zero temperatures and I can tell you there are very few things moving, let alone growing outside.

Impatient gardeners like myself move indoors and continue gardening wherever we can find space. For me, this is a small 6 foot x 5 foot area in my basement. It is a little corner area that is surrounded by cinder block walls on three sides. It seemed to be the best place to put plants that would not be in the way. You can only fit so many in front of a south facing window before it becomes an eyesore.

I began gardening indoors about 3 years ago and haven’t looked back. In all honesty, I find the winter months much more bearable now. It could be because the grow lights act as a mini sun and the greenery makes things feel much less desolate than the white and grey outdoors.

The main purpose of this garden is to supply us with fresh herbs and lettuce all winter long. I’m sure every one of you has come home from the grocery store with some sort of “fresh herbs” to cook with, only to realize that they were covered in mold. This happened to me, and now it’s homegrown all the way.

This year I am currently growing the following herbs:

  • Thyme
  • Basil
  • Thai Basil
  • Rosemary
  • Parsley

These are the ones we use most when cooking. Some are grown in my den window to make space in the grow room.

I’m also growing lettuce. I try to keep six plant rotations going at all times. Six will be mature and being harvested, while another six or more will have been started to replace the main ones in the near future. I find this gets me at least one meal of salad each week.

You have to have a little fun though. It can’t all be business. I tend to experiment in the basement because the conditions are so consistent. I don’t have to worry about not getting enough light, bugs, or specific diseases. So I am growing a number of plants that are a bit more exotic as well.

Lemon and Lime Trees

Otricoli Orange Berry

Unknown Plant

This plant sprouted up in one of my starting trays. It was not labeled, but I thought I’d keep it anyway. My thought was that I would be able to guess what it was when it got bigger. The thing is, I have no idea what this is. It doesn’t resemble any plants that I have seeds for. To me it looks very similar to a strawberry plant. Time may tell what it is, but for now it is a mystery.

Venus Fly Trap

Come the end of January, things will begin to change a bit. Seeds for next years outdoor garden will begin to be planted and this room becomes packed!

I intend to make some upgrades and changes this winter to the layout and equipment being used. I hope to talk more about this in a future post, but as of now, the only big change has been the reflective material that we attached to the wall from floor to ceiling. It’s a mylar material that supposedly reflects over 95% of the light back to the plants. Cinder block just absorbed the light that hit it which was a big waste. I have seen a noticeable change in the plants since putting this on the walls.


With more changes on the way, this winter should turn out to be an interesting one for the indoor garden.

Let me know in the comments below if you grow indoors as well and what types of plants!

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About the Author

Geoff has been growing plants and vegetables consistently for the last 6 years and actively experiments with, and writes about, all aspects of gardening.

1 Comment

  1. Wow your Winter Garden is looking Great. The plants all look so healthy. Enjoy seeing the photo’s.

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