Start a Winter Garden!

Start a Winter Garden!

Want the fun of your plants to last all winter? Start growing some from seed, cuttings, or plants that are already started from your local farmer’s market, in appropriate containers from your windowsill.

Some herbs and plants, like aloe, can last throughout the winter- and even all year if taken care of appropriately.

Aloe

Aloe has been used for centuries to keep skin soft, healthy and smooth. Aloe has an abundance of vitamins, including C and E, which are both known to protect the skin. Aloe vera also promotes anti-inflammatory and antibacterial properties.

This plant is easy to grow all year-long. All you need is a sunny window that receives plenty of direct sunlight.

Aloe vera cuttings can be started from an existing plant, or a plant can be purchased at your local greenhouse. To do this, cut of an off-shooting plant, or a ‘pup’ plant. These are separate plants that grow from a Mother Plant and share the same root system. Simply cut away the pup plant, leaving the roots intact. Plant your aloe vera pup in a separate container with good drainage, and leave for approximately 3 days without watering. After this, give the plant some water and watch it grow!

According to Home Guides, in order to start a cutting from a Mother Plant, you can do the following:

“Insert a knife into the soil next to an aloe offset that has grown to 1 to 2 inches tall. Cut through the base of the offset and remove it cleanly from the mother plant. Repeat for each offset of suitable size.”

You should leave these pieces to dry and ‘scab up’ for about three days, before planting them in small containers with feeding soil and adequate watering.

Basil

Basil is an excellent herb to add to any dish, and it also carries some health benefits.

Basil is best to start from seed between two layers of paper towels: two on the bottom, then the seeds, and then another two paper towels placed on top.

According to horticultural officials, during colder months, basil should be kept in a warm room with steady levels of moisture. The plant should also be pulled away from close proximity to windows if the weather becomes very cold.

Peppermint

Peppermint is an excellent plant with fresh appeal. It can be great for adding flavor to dishes or teas, and is said to help aid in digestion and ease stomach issues.

Peppermint can be started from seedling much like basil. Keep this plant in a sunny area with appropriate sunlight exposure. Peppermint is said to be a sturdy plant that can make it through many conditions. Just make sure that its leaves don’t get too cold, so pull it away from a window if you notice browning leaves.

Chives

Chives can be started from seed in paper towels, and planted in a box planter or small containers for germination. According to Gardening Know How, chives should be kept in a southern-facing window where there is at least 6 to 8 hours of sunlight exposure available each day.

Not only chives, but all of these plants, should be kept in a pot or container with draining holes. If water collects, this can make the roots available to drowning, rot and/or mold.

While too much moisture can be bad, chives also need a little bit of humidity.

“Humidity¬†for indoor chives may also be provided by nearby pebble trays filled with water or miniature water features nearby. Misting with a water bottle can also help prevent low humidity,” suggests Gardening Know How.

Cilantro

According to MGO Dental, chewing on cilantro can not only help with digestive problems, but it can actually help with the overall health of your smile.

“Chewing a few leaves of cilantro can not only help fight bad breath, but also help with digestion!” the group says.

“Other herbs, such as parsley, dill, mint, cilantro and basil can hide your bad breath. Chewing on these herbs also gives you added health benefits because they all contain a high level of chlorophyll.”

Cilantro can be bought, but it is better and more hearty when begun from seed, sources say. Growing this herb indoor is not a problem. Just ensure that it receives plenty of sunlight in a southern-facing window.

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