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Indoor Gardening in Utah 101

02-Nov-2018 | by Scott Bennett

It’s finally November and leaves are scattered all over the valley floors near Salt Lake City, Utah. Aren’t they beautiful? The air temperature is still in the 50’s and 60’s, but our lawns are telling us that the outdoor growing season is almost over. I’ve only mowed once in the last few weeks! 

With winter coming, you've probably done your sprinkler system winterization and all your other winter prep. And those of you who are already missing your garden and growing things have a great option for the coming winter months—move things indoors. Have you considered having an indoor garden? Did you know that you can grow flower, fruits and veggies all year along inside?

What can you grow indoors?

Almost anything! Many varieties of veggies, fruit, and flowers can be grown inside. Just pick something that doesn’t grow too big and can be happy in a pot. Here’s a list of a few favorites that are often successful:

Lettuce (cutting lettuce or leave lettuce). The great thing about this type of lettuce is that you can cut the leaves off, and they will grow back, so you can use this plant more than once.

  • Carrots
  • Kale
  • Tomatoes
  • Ginger
  • Scallions (green onions). You can just cut the green ends off and leave the bulbs planted in the soil.
  • Dwarf Lemon Trees (small but grow full-size lemons)
  • Many others!

How big of a space do you need for an indoor garden?

An indoor garden can be adapted to big and small spaces. If you have a windowsill, that can work. Or you can set a garden up on a table next to a window, or put plants on shelves. A covered porch or a greenhouse offer even more possibilities. It is best to set up your indoor garden in a room with a linoleum or tile floor to make cleaning up water drips easier.

What do indoor plants need to survive?
  • Well-drained soil. Use potting soil. Don’t bring in soil from outside. Sometimes it can by more clayish and can have weeds or starts of other plants in the soil.
  • Moderate temperatures. Most plants do well in temperatures ranging from 65-75 degrees. If it’s 10 degrees hotter or colder, most plants still do OK.
  • Humidity. The air inside our houses, warmed by furnaces in the winter, can be extremely dry. Plants needs some humidity to be healthy. Mist your plants often with water to increase humidity. You can also place a tray of wet lava rocks close to plants. As the water evaporates off the rocks, it will add humidity to the air near your plants. You could also set up an electric humidifier near your plants.
  • Light. All plants need light and in the winter months in Utah, getting enough light can be difficult. Even plants sitting on a window sill may need more light to be healthy. For example, veggies need 14-16 hours of good light. Luckily, there are many good plant lights on the market that can help provide enough hours of light.
  • Water. Be aware that overwatering is just as bad for plants as under watering. Start today!

Plants offer so many benefits. They clean indoor air. They can make a space more calming and relaxing. They can make any space more beautiful. They can provide us with organic produce. Start an indoor garden today! Lawncare in Salt Lake is just about over for the season and that is bitter-sweet. So, to bring some of that joy into your house, start an indoor garden!

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