Container growing

As we sit here in the first official storm warning of winter, preparing for the first snowblowing worthy snowfall of the year my thoughts are of course on Spring and tasty things growing. My thoughts became strong to keep ignoring, so I began to make plans, I cleaned out the old Aerogarden and found some old flower pots and got ready to go. Unfortunately I can’t find much in the way of seeds I have hope for viability. Fortunately I have access to the internet and the some nice people agreed to send my seeds in exchange for my credit card number.

My Winter garden this year will be.

One straggly dwarf Meyer lemon tree that looks 90% dead all the time, only grows about 15 inches high and has at most 10 scattered leaves, but every year produces me one normal sized lemon, and it is almost ready, starting to yellowify.

One non-dwarf-dwarf lime tree that exists only in a two dimensional plane against the window, and usually gives me a lime or two a year, also currently as one lime growing and will likely be ready within a week or two.

One long window planter of garlic I started a few months ago, as an experiment, I’ve never done garlic before.

One pot of hot peppers; the seeds should only be 6 years old or so, so there is a chance they will still grow. They are a random hybrid of about 6 types of hot peppers I have had over the years that have cross-fertilized, and the seeds are dumped into a bowl for replanting when ever I cut them for cooking.

One pot of cinnamon basil that I doubt are very viable, but it’s damn near a weed so it might grow .

And sweet basil, Oregano, and Thyme coming in the mail for the Aerogarden.

What do you folks plant indoors to pretend the entire world isn’t completely dead?

People in year-round growing climates can shut up ;).

Where are you at for outside growing? Climate and do you have room?

For garlic you plant it outside at the end of summer, early October. Bust the head of the garlic apart and plant each individual clove like you would onion sets, pointy side up. The root will grow through all the cold winter and put up a thin green sprout. Then in the spring the tops grow and about July when the tops fall over you pull the plants, dry, keep lots for cooking and plant again in October. Perpetual garlic. Frost or freeze will not harm them. You could o them in a planter outside, I think they need the cold period.

I plant a sweet potato every winter.

Makes a very pretty vine.


Next Spring I will try growing potatoes.

With a potato bag container.

No thanks for me on the tater’s.
I have too much experience with accidentally growing potatoes, then accidentally fermenting those potatoes, shudder.

I haven’t heard of that. What makes a potato ferment?

I did have three sweet potatoes under my sink that rotted. I’d only bought them 4 or 5 weeks earlier. They were squishy and nasty. I used disposable plastic gloves to pick them up.

Just be careful with Basil, as some varieties smell like cat piss in a closed environment like an apartment or house.

My cats eat all the sage I try to grow.

A Rosemary bush is always good.

You can plant it any time in winter when the ground’s not frozen too solid. Garlic needs something like 2 months of ‘cold’ (iirc it’s below about 5°C) in order to split into cloves, if you plant in spring or in too warm a climate, it generally just forms a big single bulb. Some people grow it like that deliberately though.

I have outdoor space, but I’m not allowed a greenhouse there, and I have only one windowsill at home. It’s a bit limiting, light wise, so I’m planning on treating myself to some growlights for Christmas, to grow some herbs year round (no, not ‘some herb’, though it’s very hard to find reviews of indoor growing gear without that assumption) and to start stuff off for planting out.

I might see if I can find a good dwarf tomato variety as well, as my outdoor plot apparently gets potato blight every year, so tomatoes generally don’t live long enough to crop. And maybe a chilli, as the UK is a little cold for them to do well, they’re much happier indoors here. I might try a tumbling tomato in a hanging basket as well, as I have skylights.

So I shouldn’t mention that I’m still harvesting jalapeno, Fresno and Cowhorn chiles in the middle of December? Got it! :stuck_out_tongue:

We move all our porch/patio plants into the sunroom for winter. It’s a tight fit.

I travel a lot, so I can’t do any indoor plants that need long-term tending. So I grow sprouts and sunflower micro greens.
For the sunnies, I spread a very thin layer of potting soil in a shallow aluminum pan. Works beautifully. The seeds I’ve gotten from the local co-op didn’t work very well, but the sprouts I got from Sprout People in San Francisco have been fantastic. They have great blends, too.

But when i don’t have to travel so much, I have thought about getting an Aero Garden. What do you think of it? Or, if there are old thread/s on it, can someone link to it/them?

I used to grow few varieties of Lamiaceae, mostly as a hobby, when I was younger. Most of the plants I grew in oversized cups/small bowls with handles I bought at second-hand stores until there was just enough for use in a one or two serving dish. Others that I wanted more of, or wanted bigger plants from, I put in actual plant pots that were still small enough for indoor gardening.
Then I got married, had kids and got a cat.

I’ve never managed to replace the hobby

I’ve had Aerogardens for a while, and for a while I was a heavy user. When I lived in an apartment with no outdoor options and a couple tiny windows I had 2 7-pod extra tall ones. They were great and I got a lot of use out of them, however I never had much luck with Tomatoes which is what I really wanted.


The herbs are great, peppers were fairly successful. Lettuce grows very well, but each pod is such a small “plot” it took two of them to make a salad, so each crop was about three meals worth.
They problems for me were, being a very light sleeper, with a random schedule of when I finally get some sleep, the light coming on on morning schedule would wake me up, and many of the programs were for 18 hours of light a day. It was also a noticeable hit on my electric bill,and the bulbs were expensive and needed replacing fairly often. But altogether I was a deal I was happy with back then.
However few years ago I got a house and packed them away for those reasons plus since I had dirt outside and a couple nice big windows, and spent so much damn time fighting the relentless advance of all floras here in Michigan, green things were the enemy.

I have since got a small three pod one for winter herbs, which really is the best bang for the buck in my opinion. Herbs make a huge difference fresh, and don’t need huge volumes to make a difference in food. The lights are now grids of dozens of tiny LEDs which don’t burn out as often(although some die more regularly than normal LEDs), and are more efficient(they were florescent before however, so it’s not like an efficiency upgrade from incandescent to LED). The three pod uses enough less light to make it barely noticeable on the power bill, and is what I will be using when the seeds come, (today maybe? :))

I’m a big fan over all, depending on the options available to me, and it’s a much better option than having nothing growing.

I should also mention that on the old bigger ones, the clean-up was huge. A crop with decent roots would grow all throughout the water bowl, and through the pump nooks and crannies. Plus the calcium deposits, it took 2-2.5 hours of dedicate dcleanup with tweezers and dental scrapers to get the crap out of the pump and corners to start growing again.

The new small one is much nicer with a separate bowl for the root from the pump, and is just a 30 minute soak, then a quick wipe with a paper towel to start a new crop. I have no idea if the new bigger ones have a separate root bowl or not.

OK, this thread isn’t what I was expecting. Never mind, carry on.

I have a substantial indoor light garden in the basement and one upstairs bedroom. It includes about 100 pots of African violets, numerous other gesneriads and a bunch of Euphorbia milii (crown-of-thorns) hybrids as major players.

Seed starting helps me get through the winter blahs. Gestating (and hopefully germinating) right now are wax begonia seeds (they’ll readily bloom indoors), coleus, some flowering cactus varieties and gesneriad (gloxinia and African violet) seeds. The latter are only dust-sized and a bit tricky to handle until you’re accustomed to it, but easy to grow on to flowering-sized plants in several months time.

One of the best citrus varieties for indoor container growing is the Ponderosa lemon hybrid. Enormous lemons ripen on fairly small plants (as in only a couple feet high).

Ohh, That sound tempting, I wasn’t aware of that one, but I may have to look further.

It’s a really cool plant. I had several, years ago. I remember getting jabbed way too often. :slight_smile: