Even in the cold of winter, an indoor vegetable garden can bring bright colours to your days – and flavour to your table. There are plenty of plant varieties that will thrive in a greenhouse or in your home. Learn the best vegetables for indoor gardening, so you can always have a selection of fresh organic produce.
|Spring onions||Sweet or regular potatoes|
|Garlic greens||Leafy greens|
Indoor fruit and vegetable garden ideas
You can choose from a wide range of cherry tomato varieties that are rich in taste and a wonderful option for indoor growing in winter. Their root systems require proper airflow, as well as good drainage. Besides growing them in greenhouses, you can also use indoor vegetable garden planters such as fabric pots to provide optimum aeration and moisture levels. Pots need to be about 15cm deep, so even a 4-litre fabric container would suffice. You can use artificial lights to provide 15-16 hours of light a day, keeping them at 23-26 degrees C.
For more information on how to provide proper nutrition for your tomato plants, read our dedicated resource here.
Spring onions are a very easy indoor garden plant to grow. They don’t need much space or grow lights either. Just placing them near a window ensuring at least several hours of filtered light every day is good enough. You can reuse spare pots left over after summer.
Тip: Once you’ve eaten the green part on top of your spring onions, don’t throw it away. You can grow fresh ones by replanting the leftover root!
Their nutritional value and reliability make carrots some of the best indoor vegetable garden plants to grow. Plant them in deep containers (20-30cm), with enough space in between the individual plants, to ensure proper growth. Carrots need about 12 hours of light per day. They will do well at temperatures of 15-16 degrees Celsius.
Garlic greens are an easy way to add colour and flavour to meals such as soups, salads, and omelettes. Just place the bulbs in a pot close to the window and water them regularly. You can use the same plants for long periods of time, but they might wear down and need replacing at some point.
Radishes are quick-growing, unpretentious root veggies that you can grow in long, rectangular containers. This will give them enough room to grow. Use soil that doesn’t hold moisture.
Although it may seem too large, squash can actually be grown indoors. Use an unglazed pot that’s 30cm deep and 60cm in diameter, or a large-sized fabric pot. Plant several seeds in the middle of the pot, with a few cm in between. Water the plant on a daily basis.
With cucumbers, it’s best to choose varieties intended specifically for indoor vegetable gardens. Provide plenty of space, direct sunlight (or combination of natural and artificial light), and temperatures of 23-26 degrees C. They also love plenty of water. Don’t forget that cucumbers are climbers, so you need to provide a suitable support such as a trellis. You can also try a net system that can be fitted directly on top of your pot.
Sweet or regular potatoes
Believe it or not, potatoes grow well in containers. A single potato plant needs about 2.5 gallons (or 11 litres) of soil, preferably sandy. They’re often grown in bags, which makes it easier to harvest them at the end of the season. They can be placed on a closed balcony or porch in direct sunlight. Instead of using regular potatoes, purchase seed potatoes and sprout (or “chit”) them before planting.
Grow chilies indoors to give your dishes a spicy kick this winter. They need at least 10-12 hours of light every day and temperatures of around 21 degrees Celsius. Choose smaller varieties, so that they will ripen faster.
Leafy greens are an excellent choice for a DIY indoor vegetable garden because they ripen faster than most fruits and vegetables. While they may not grow as big as outdoor crops, they are just as delicious and nutritional. You can mix spinach, kale, arugula, rocket, and lettuce for the perfect salad combo. Cutting the plants about 1 cm from the ground will allow new leaves to grow back, bringing you a second harvest. Or, you can sow new seeds every couple of weeks to renew your supply. Leafy vegetables do require lots of light, so if you can, place them under a lamp for up to 14 to 16 hours of light per day.
Sprouts offer a quick way to add extra vitamins to your table – and they don’t even require soil to grow. You can purchase indoor vegetable garden planters or kits specifically designed for sprouts, or simply use a jar with a perforated lid or clean cheesecloth. You can use broccoli, fenugreek, lentils, radish, beans, mung beans, lentils, alfalfa, and more. Don’t forget to soak the seeds first to activate them. Then, wash them at least once a day and drain the excess water. In just a few days, your sprouts will be ready to consume.
Microgreens are tiny, nutrient-dense plants that contain up to 40% more beneficial nutrients and components than full-grown plants. You can try peas, broccoli, fenugreek, lentils, beans, collard greens, radish, turnip, and beets. Microgreens are slightly less mature than sprouts – they’re harvested once they develop their first leaves. They do require soil to grow, so you can place them in a propagator tray, keeping the soil moist. When the first leaves emerge, cut the plants with scissors just above the soil.
Indoor herb garden ideas
Herbs make a great addition to your indoor edible garden. Mint, sage, oregano, rosemary, thyme, parsley, basil, and dill – they can be used fresh, or even dried in a mesh drying rack. Herbs don’t require too much care or space. You can simply put them in pots on your windowsill for quick access. Or if you’re looking for more variety, they do well in space-saving vertical planters. For more information on what spots, temperatures, and watering schedules each herb variety prefers, check out our Indoor spice garden guide.
With these indoor vegetable garden ideas, you can have fresh ingredients at your disposal throughout winter. Whether it’s full-grown potatoes or tiny sprouts and microgreens that grow in a matter of days, you can pick the right plants based on your taste preferences and available space.