Your New 2022 Supply List For Starting Hand-Growing Vegetables Indoors During Winter Right Now

Isn’t it depressing?

Waiting 3 [or more] long, cold months yearning to get your hands in some dirt, to see some green in the bleak vast white? Even growing houseplants indoors cant sate the desire to grow vegetables, or at least something edible.

Many gardeners go through this period yearly, and I know this feeling all too well. The thing is, there’s no need to restrict yourself like this. It is possible to keep growing vegetables indoors all year, not just when it’s warm outside.

In the last post, I talked about 5 vegetables that you grow in your winter garden now for spring harvest . And today, I’m going to give it to you straight and start you off with the essential supplies for winter gardening.

I’m also participating in a winter gardening challenge to show that ANYONE can start growing vegetables indoors in winter. If I can do it during 10 degree, 5 month, New York winters, you surely can! You can follow me along on my journey by following @theblossominggardener on Instagram. See you there!

Without further ado, let’s check off this list!

[All links to products are not sponsored. I’ve found positive results from using these products and recommend the best of the best to you]

1. Seeds [Or Plants If Available]

During the winter, many home department stores and nurseries are closed to prepare for next year. So unless there is still a place to get live plants, I recommend getting seeds.

There are many reasons to get seeds, but in short, you get more variety and learn more about gardening! When you can grow vegetables from seed, you can do anything.

When choosing vegetable seeds to grow indoors, try to look for heirloom seeds instead of hybrid seeds. Heirloom seeds are organic, time-tested, and are true-to-type. This means that you can save the seeds year after year and get reliable harvests for years.

Of course, this doesn’t mean that you can’t get hybrid seeds. Hybrid seeds are great for specific conditions, like being hardy. They are also great for beautiful unique plants that you can’t get from heirlooms sometimes.

A website that I always go back to for seeds is Pinetree Garden Seeds. They are based in Maine, so they specialize in hardy seeds. You can seriously get lost in their vast library of seeds, if you can name it, they have it.

plant flowers and potting soil for sale at outdoor market on a rainy day

2. Container Soil

Since you are growing indoors, you’re going to need container soil for our containers. Don’t skimp on container soil. Garden soil or any alternative soil that is not container soil is not good for your plant.

The only thing worse than cold soil is cold wet soil. Container soil is critical during the winter months because it is aerated and helps regulate moisture for the plant’s roots. Without this aeration, your plants will be sitting in soggy cold soil, and that is a disastrous recipe for root rot.

From experience, soggy, wet, rotted soil stinks like no other.

Growing vegetables indoors in terracotta pots in small business

3. Containers and Pots

Can’t start growing vegetables indoors without a container to grow them in! Choosing your container depends on how much space you have and what you prioritize.

If you can, use terracotta pots. Terracotta pots help aerate the soil and prevent root rot by allowing air and moisture to circulate.

Terracotta is also better for the environment, you can use it time and time again to cut down on plastic use. You can even use broken pieces on the bottom of your pot to help with drainage.

And in my opinion, it looks more elegant and atmospheric than a plastic pot.

Don’t forget to get a saucer for when water drains out from the bottom. If it’s not included with your terracotta pot, you can get some clay or plastic saucers for cheap on amazon.

For growing vegetables, I recommend a pot that is at least 6 inches in diameter to give your plants the space it needs. I’m experimenting with rectangular planters for clearer spacing, it can get quite difficult with round pots. I’ll update you on that on my Instagram.

gardener growing plants indoors watering plant on windowsill

4. A Compact Watering Can

When growing vegetables indoors, or any plant for that measure, you must economize your space. And one way to waste valuable growing space is to buy a bulky watering can. Not to mention your risk spilling water all over your floor and making a mess.

To avoid that, opt for a compact watering can! Get the ones without the shower head attachment for more precise watering. It also looks more discreet and refined.

Here’s a gardening tip: Water your plants close to the base, or try bottom watering!

When you water close to the base, you prevent moisture from getting on the leaves, which can act as little magnifying glasses that can burn your plant.

Bottom watering allows the roots to grow stronger as they grow straight to the moisture and waters evenly. I use this technique with all of my houseplants and it keeps them happy and healthy!

5. A Plastic Tarp

Gardening gets messy, fast. And indoors it’s even more important to keep your space clean, and I’ve found a plastic tarp to be a great way to protect your floors from dirt. The plastic keeeps moisture from seeping out and making a mess when you’re repotting your plants or moving things around.

hands seeding vegetable seeds indoors into seed starting cell

6. Seed Starting Trays

If you have any of those black seed starting cells from the previous season, you can use them to start your seeds this winter. I find plastic seed starting trays to be the most practical option for keeping things organized. Not to mention you can get a bunch from Pinetree Garden Seeds for cheap.

This doesn’t mean that you have to use plastic seed starting trays. You can use 3 inch pots as well. Or you can direct sow straight to the final container and skip that whole step entirely.

One thing that I advise you to do is to avoid Jiffy peat pots, or peat pots in general. Peat pots can either hold on to too much moisture or release too much. Not to mention it can fall apart and grow mold if it stays wet and cold. So for your and your wallets sake, get the plastic pots.

a pair of garden shears

7. Pruning Shears

This tool has saved me countless plant lives and is my saving grace. Pruning shears are made for trimming, propagating, or pruning away dead growth on your plant. It also helps you keep your vegetables lush and healthy.

You can see how I use shears to cut down 2 inch thick sunflower stalks on @theblossominggardener on Instagram!

It’s better to use pruning shears than regular scissors because the grip is specific for precise cuts and the blades are sharp to prevent infection. It also prevents you from mixing up your food and your dirt.

You can even make an entire new garden, if you know to propagate the right way.

Image Credit: Pinetree Garden Seeds

8. Fertilizer

Winter can be long, and sometimes your winter garden might need an extra boost in nutrients. Especially if you’re growing leafy greens that need rich organic matter in their soil.

Your potting soil should have enough fertilizer for 3 months. After, you can apply a diluted, water soluble fertilizer every month [or more if directions state otherwise]. Make sure to pay attention to measurements, because too much fertilizer can burn your roots!

various plants in nursery with plant labels

9. Plant Labels

I can not stress getting plant labels enough. Neglecting plant labels cost me a season of plants.

Don’t be like how I used to be and neglect plant labels. Especially if you are unfamiliar with growing vegetables indoors in the first place. A lot of plants look the same as seedlings, so you need to be able to keep track of them so you don’t accidentally grow your vegetable the wrong way.

There are many ways to label your plants, it’s as simple as getting [Clean!!] popsicle sticks and writing the plant names in sharpie. One way my neighbor labels her plants is by sticking wine corks on wood skewers. Then she would write the plant name in sharpie on the cork.

Image credit: u/Key-bumps on Reddit

10. Grow lights

Making sure your plants get enough light is so important that I have an entire section dedicated to it in my book, “You are a Gardener: A Beginner’s Guide to Successful Gardening”. This is a handbook full of the gardening tips I wish I knew when I was starting out.

If you have awfully dark winters, consider investing in a grow light. Getting a grow light quite helped me with growing vegetables indoors from seed. It provided concentrated light and prevented spindly seedlings caused by not enough light.

Do not get the blurple lights that are on the first page of amazon when you search up ‘grow lights’. They do not provide enough lumens [brightness] to effectively grow a plant. Effective growlights look like giant lightbulbs, like this one.

So What, Sarika?

If you haven’t already, read this post, 5 Vegetables That Grow Quickly to get started on growing your vegetables indoors! I’ve praised Pinetree so much before, but you can get almost all of the supplies on this list for your winter garden on Pinetree Gardening Seeds.

If you want to learn about more plants to grow and get to know me personally, subscribe to my Plant of the Month! I share gardening experiences, and teach you about a new plant every month! You can always unsubscribe!

Before you go, don’t forget to snag your gardening dictionary! I collected and defined more the 100 of the most common gardening terms you’ll come across. So that next time you encounter a gardening word, you’re not scratching your head and saying, “Huh?”.

And that’s all for now. Happy Gardening, till we meet again.

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My name is Sarika, and I am the founder of “The Blossoming Gardener”! Let me tell you a little bit about myself…Read more

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