Imagine a winter where fresh vegetables and herbs can be harvested even when snow is falling outdoors! This time of year may always require a bit more patience and resilience for those of us who find joy in tending to our gardens and caring for fruit trees outdoors, but we can continue growing indoors all through the winter. Grow some nutritious leafy greens with the South Sea Salad Trees or Okinawa Spinach and add in some extra flavor with our newest Herb varieties. A south facing windowsill or simple grow light is all that’s needed to have fresh leafy greens all winter long! And they make very attractive edible houseplants too! And for those of you in USDA Hardiness Zones 9-10 you have the option of growing these greens outdoors as well!
Be sure to check out tips for growing an indoor edible perennial garden below!
Tips for Growing an Indoor Edible Perennial Garden
1. Keep perennial vegetables and herbs planted in a rich, well-draining soil medium. It is recommended to choose an organic potting soil mix and amend with 20% perlite or vermiculite to help with drainage. Since growth slows during the winter months, it is recommend to fertilize with a balanced organic liquid fertilizer in early spring and throughout the summer months to keep your perennial veggies and herbs happy and thriving.
2. Choose the right indoor location. Be sure that your perennial herbs and veggies receive adequate sunlight. For the plants listed below to look their best, at least 6-8 hours of sunlight is recommended. A south facing window will be best, but east and west facing work too.
3. Provide a warm, humid environment. Many of these perennial greens come from humid sub-tropical climates. You can add a little extra humidity by keeping a spray bottle on the windowsill and giving them an occasional spray.
4. Be mindful of when to water. Most herb and perennial vegetables prefer to be well watered, but to help limit overwatering and root rot, it’s best to allow the top layer of soil to dry before providing the next full watering.
5. How much to harvest and when? Just like any other vegetable plant, it’s important not to harvest too much of your perennial greens at one time. Harvesting one leaf for every 5-10 that are still growing is often a rule that’s used, but most of these plants grow so fast, even in winter, that you won’t have to worry much about over-harvesting. Just be sure to remove the oldest leaves first just like you would on a kale plant. If plants become too leggy, pinching the tips will cause them to branch out lower.
At OGW we offer a diversity of food plants and their companions from around the world. We offer unique and rare fruit and nut trees, shrubs, and vines. We've been sharing our passion for edible plants and organic gardening since 1994. We are a family owned and operated nursery in Portland Oregon. We ship our seeds & plants to all 50 states. At our retail garden center we offer seasonal fruit tasting, preservation and plant care classes as well as hold events in the community. We support local food sovereignty- grow your own One Green World!