Indoor gardening is fairly uncommon in the US. Many gardeners dream of building a greenhouse and put off the day because of the extra expense for what might be deemed a hobby.
I have gardened indoors, mostly starting vegetable seeds in the kitchen window. I also created a winter vegetable garden in a 5 foot nook in my basement apartment in Seattle, I called it gardening in the dungeon.
In Dallas I had a master bedroom with windows on 3 sides, and it was unbearably hot in the summer. I moved into the second bedroom with a big window facing the back yard and turned the sunny room into a garden room.
The bedroom had two doors and 4 windows, all painted white. I painted the walls Chinese red and filled the room with plants. Including lettuce and tomatoes all winter, and chile peppers. Most of the plants were tropicals because Dallas has nearly a 12 month growing season outdoors. I grew winter vegetables half the year and summer vegetables the other half.
For the most part, we have tropical plants indoors and vegetables and fruits outdoors.
This year I replaced most of my tropical houseplants with edibles. For example, I started Medjool date palms from seed. They make a pretty palm that does not outgrow your house for years. They produce dates at 5 years from seedling, or a year or two if purchased as larger palms. I put my 3 palms outside for part of the summer.
I now have chocolate mint, thyme, pineapple sage, oregano, onion chives, garlic chives, wild mustard greens, radish greens, beet greens, lettuce, and tomatoes indoors, replacing my houseplants. I have started an avocado seed which I will bonsai to about 4 feet.
I decided to turn a 3 foot nook in my kitchen into a lighted gardening alcove. I still plan to do that, it will brighten my kitchen. Snow and ice slow these projects down.
Yesterday I decided to turn my extra bedroom into a greenhouse. Next time I slip slide into Albuquerque I will buy more metal wire shelving for that room and add lights. Open wire allows light to pass through and makes it easy to attach lights. It doesn’t hold dust or residue, and I can clean underneath with a dustbuster.
I am surprised it did not occur to me earlier, but I spent my first winter shivering and winterizing on the just say no to expenses plan.
My second winter was spent working 6-7 days a week covering for short handed problems at work. I spent the extra commissions on paying my mortgage down to almost nothing. What time I had left I used designing and redesigning a small house for my retirement. I don’t have the energy I once had.
This is the winter of an indoor garden. Not the stuff of dreams, perhaps, but will become a nice food source and pleasant spot during my 7 month winter! Amazing that more Americans don’t covert a room in their massive homes to vegetable gardening.