Gardening (and living) between the stumps. Anything is possible.

Growing Greens in Winter

Growing Greens in Winter

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Winter can be a tough time for a gardener. Don’t get me wrong: I do love winter, the snowshoeing and skiing and baking and catching up on all the things I don’t have time for in summer because I’m outside all the time. But the dinner table suffers a little. Salad is a nearly daily staple here, and when we’ve been spoiled on fresh garden greens through October, it’s always a sad day when I have to break down and buy lettuce at the grocery store.

That is, until I remembered I have a grow light in the basement!

I had been starting seeds indoors for years, and planting them in the ground as soon as conditions are right. Why not use the grow light for the whole process, seed to harvest?

Sunlight was the missing element, but the four-foot four-bulb full spectrum grow light is a suitable substitute. It runs on a timer to mimic summertime daylight. Heat is abundant, since the furnace also shares this space. I dug out my seed-starting mix and seeds, and after a couple hours’ work I had 34 little pots seeded and ready to grow salad and herbs!

Nine days later, my baby plants are thriving in their little basement home. I had to be choosy about what to plant since space is very limited, but the kale, basil, lettuce and others are growing healthy and strong so far. I can’t wait to be eating garden-fresh salad again!

8 thoughts on “Growing Greens in Winter”

  • These greens look amazing! This is such a great idea. I often have a hard time finding these in the stores during the wintertime and my family only likes mixed greens.

  • I love this! We grow microgreens and are experimenting with barley fodder for our rabbits. It tastes so much better than the grocery store stuff and I love how you can harvest it fresh. It seems like any grocery store greens go bad in just a few days, so in the end it saves money. That is perfect having your furnace do “double duty” to get the seedlings started!

    • Especially in winter, here in the northeast the standard winter produce travels so, so far before it reaches us…better to grow at home if you can!

  • That is brilliant! I can grow in my garage–if it’s warm enough–or the laundry room. Do you notice much of a difference in your electricity bill? Even if–you get organic greens right there!

    • The electric bill is always a little higher in the winter anyway, but I honestly haven’t noticed a difference from running an extra fluorescent light. I got super efficient bulbs, and haven’t had to replace them yet. It’s such a treat to have homegrown salad in December!

    • I had missed my garden greens in winter, so this seemed like a worthwhile experiment. It’s worked well so far! Thanks for reading.

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