Amidst the plummeting temperatures, social activity stand-stills, and inevitable window ice-scraping, it’s no wonder that nearly 15 percent of the population has experienced some variation of seasonal depression or despair during the treacherous winter months.
In comparison to the sunny summer season, it can sometimes feel like life has been put on stand-by from November to early March, with chilly temperatures and frost blankets devouring up all budding life in its icy path.
But we’ve come quite a ways since continuous frostbite and fireplace heating. Whereas the only location you could find indoor winter gardens used to be in elaborate, expensive greenhouses, today’s technology has provided a unique window for gardeners to cultivate their beds year-long, with the help of a few crucial winter garden tools.
Though your grandparents may have scoffed at the notion, winter gardening – minus the massive expense of a giant greenhouse – can be enjoyed, even in the absolute dead of winter.
For avid gardeners, the evolution of indoor cultivation has been a breath of fresh air – quite literally – when it comes to winter gardening.
Gardeners receive all the benefits of a flourishing plants and produce, from the comfort and heat of their own home – minus any weather-related chaos brewing outdoors.
Lettuce, collards, spinach and kale are four leafy greens that actually take a liking to cooler temperatures, so you won’t have to monitor your home temperature as diligently.
However, the holy grail for winter gardening is undoubtedly herbs. Herbs are incredibly low-maintenance plants, but pack a serious punch in terms of fragrance and flavor. Although you’ll still need to monitor your household temperature, a bit of cooler air (for ventilation purposes mainly) won’t irritate them too much.
While indoor gardening comes choked-full of seasonal advantages, plant monitoring will require a bit more attention throughout the winter months. Be careful when using a fixed warming light, as plants tend to gravitate as close as they can to the warmth, often swaying – or breaking – their stems.
Although it might seem somewhat of an oxymoron, cultivating an outdoor garden – even amidst an icy winter chill – is an achievable feat. That is, with the proper kind of supplies.
Though greenhouses tend to be your best bet for safe and temperature-stable winter gardening, they’re hardly an economically feasible buy.
One cheaper – but easy-to-leverage – vehicle for winter garden are row covers. Devised from a light-weight, warm temperature-trapping fabric, these covers act as a kind of drape for plants. And because the fabric is somewhat sheer, an ample amount of rain and sun (should there be any left) can still reach the plants – minus any biting frosts.
That being said, row covers don’t come with a winter gardening guarantee in terms of crop life. Avid soil moisture checking, insect blocking, and varmint warding will be required, as the haven will likely be tempting for more than a few backyard walks of life.
Although winter gardening might require a bit more nurturing than a traditional summer bed, a budding winter garden can still be attained; given the proper steps, nurturing and diligence have been applied.