Gardening with Charlie – Growing Food Indoors

(Family Features) – While it might be cold and blustery outside, there are a number of edible plants you can grow indoors. Some of my favorites are herbs. Growing herbs indoors successfully is all about selecting the right varieties and having the right conditions to grow them.

Here are some tips for growing herbs inside in winter.

Bringing Herbs Indoors
Window boxes filled with rosemary and parsley can be moved inside before freezing weather. Some of my favorites to grow this way are parsley, rosemary, and chives. There are a few things to keep in mind:

  • Don’t worry about a few dropped leaves. Light levels in a house, even in a sunny window, are much lower than outside. Older, larger leaves will drop off and smaller, low-light-efficient leaves should form in their place.
  • Cut back on watering and fertilizing mature plants. They don’t need as much moisture or nutrients inside as they do outdoors.

Indoor herbs can be decorative as well as functional. Why not train a rosemary plant on a topiary frame for a whimsical look?

Starting New Herbs
Although a sunny window looks bright in winter, the available light can be only 1/10th of what’s needed for plants to grow properly. That’s why it’s best to grow herbs under grow lights. Select full-spectrum lights and leave them on for 12 to 14 hours a day. Keep the tops of the herbs close to the bulbs and the plants should thrive.

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