Below Zero Gardening: How to Build the Perfect Winter Garden

By: Melaina Gasbarrino

When you hear the words winter and gardening in the same sentence you're probably thinking what a strange combination that is, as there certainly is no way you could possibly garden in below zero weather. Gardening, many think, is all about finding that perfect plants, using the right soil, and having the best of sunlight coming your way. Brush away all those winter gardening worries, as these simple tips will creatively enable you to develop your own indoor garden.

For all of those really adventurous gardeners who live in icy cold weather, you're best bet is to create a greenhouse. Now I know this may sound like a tough feat if you don't live in suburbia, but if you have some extra space and love the thought of growing your own vegetables all year round you certainly can produce a greenhouse, no matter what the size of your living space is. If have a spare room or nook in your kitchen, simply craft a greenhouse out of a few tools.

The basic tools you'll need to convert your space into a greenhouse are utility shelves, shop lights, fluorescent light bulbs, light timer, and a power strip. A small fan is optional. Once you have all the necessary tools, follow the step-by-step greenhouse gardening guide and soon enough you'll be swimming in fresh vegetables during those cold winter days.

If growing a greenhouse is out of the cards for you, not to worry, you will still be able to dive into winter gardening if you have a little gumption left in you before all the holiday planning comes into play. Here are a few tips that will get you thinking about winter farming in the summertime.

  • Find a window in your house, apartment or condo that gets 6 to 8 hours of light a day. If you don't have one, artificial lighting will do just fine. With direct sunlight for that long of a period this will ensure optimum growth of your vegetables.
  • Purchase containers that are large enough to supports fully grown plants, hold a decent amount of soil, have adequate drainage, and aren't toxic to people or plants. By purchasing the right containers, soil and fertilizer you will soon find out just how much of a breeze it is to create your own little winter farm.
  • When purchasing seeds for your new indoor garden, ensure you are aware of their indoor gardening needs. Ensure you plant your new seeds in an area of your house that doesn't have drastic temperature changes, as this can damage your plants.
  • Once all your vegetables are planted, ensure you give them a little tender love and care throughout the winter growing season. Check out this list of vegetables that are feasible to plant inside using containers.

With these tips you're that much closer to perfectly crafting your own winter garden today.

Photo: Tassike.ee - Marju Randmer 

Melaina is from a small town in Ontario, Canada and as an avid environmentalist with a passion for focusing on healthy living. Having traveled the world and written about it every step of the way, she one day hopes to develop unique environmental educational programs for kids. 

For more tips from Melaina, follow me on Twitter (@MarcusCooks)