Indoor Crops

Vegetables you can grow indoors no matter what the weather


I’m the kind of person who looks at a backyard and sees garden beds instead of turf. That makes winter a bit hard for me, which is why I turn to indoor gardening.


Don’t let cold weather or limited space squash your green thumb. Here are nine vegetables and leafy greens you can grow indoors year-round.


  1. Lettuce greens

Lettuce is surprisingly easy to grow and does not take up much space, making it an excellent choice for a sunny window. Look for lettuce mixes marketed as cutting lettuces or leaf lettuce varieties. With these, you can harvest the leaves and the plant will grow back, giving you more lettuce for half the work.


Start your seeds in a pot or a plastic bag with drainage holes. Fill with moist potting soil and sprinkle five to 15 seeds on the surface. Cover them with 1/8 inch of soil and mist them with a spray bottle until the surface is damp but not soaked. Place them in a sunny window or under a grow light and keep nice and moist. Thin the seedlings once they germinate, leaving the strongest to grow into delicious, fresh lettuce.


  1. Carrots

You won’t get monstrous carrots from an indoor garden, but with a deep enough pot you can enjoy fresh carrots year-round. Shorter carrot varieties need a pot at least eight inches deep and longer varieties require 12 inches to reach their full size. Choose a moistened organic potting soil mix and fill your container up to an inch from the top. Plant your seeds 1/4 inch deep.


Keep your carrots in a sunny windowsill and keep them moist but not wet. Once they germinate, thin them so that each carrot is at least an inch apart from its neighbor. Plant a new batch of carrots every two weeks to keep them coming all year long.


  1. Arugula

Spicy and delicious, arugula germinates quickly and grows even faster. Each plant gives you multiple harvests if you cut the larger leaves and leave the small ones at the center. Arugula prefers cooler temperatures, which makes it a perfect vegetable to grow indoors.


Sprinkle arugula seeds in your container the same way you would lettuce. Water and place them in a sunny windowsill, thinning out weaker seedlings as needed.


  1. Kale

Once a garnish and now a superfood, kale is a great vegetable to grow indoors. Like arugula, you can harvest the bigger leaves and leave the small ones for a later harvest. Plant a few seeds in a medium-size pot and cover with 1/2 inch of soil. Keep the soil moist and thin to one plant per pot, as kale can get pretty large.


  1. Scallions

Scallions, also called green onions, give you that onion taste without the space requirements. You can start them from seed or you can pick up some scallions at the grocery store or farmers market. If they still have roots attached, stick them in the soil, burying them up to the top of the white bulb, and watch them grow. Harvest the tops periodically.


  1. Microgreens

Sometimes waiting for salad greens to grow is tedious. Microgreens are one of the best vegetables to grow indoors. They grow quickly, they require very little space, and they are absolutely delicious. To grow microgreens, simply sprinkle a single crop of mesclun or microgreen seed mixes in a shallow, well-drained container. Cover the seeds with a fine covering of soil, keep moist, and harvest once the first “true leaves” of the plant pop up.


  1. Tomatoes

I was surprised at how long my tomatoes lasted indoors the first time I moved a potted plant inside. Had I added fertilizer, I suspect it would have lasted even longer. Tomatoes do well in containers, but they do like sunlight so make sure your tomato gets the best seat at the window.


I highly recommend starting your seeds in a seed flat (egg cartons work well too) and transplanting them into a large pot when they are a few inches tall. This gives them sturdy roots. Trellis your tomato with a stake to offer further support and fertilize every two weeks.


  1. Ginger

Ginger is an attractive plant that looks a little like bamboo. The best way to start ginger is to pick some up at a natural food store, as these tend to use fewer chemicals. Even then, you’ll have to soak it in water for a few hours to remove any growth inhibitor chemicals on the plant.

Place your root in a wide, shallow container and barely cover it with soil. Keep it moist, sit back, and watch it grow.


  1. Lemons

Lemons are technically not a vegetable, but they go well with so many dishes that it seemed criminal to omit them from this list. Dwarf lemon trees make beautiful houseplants. They also provide full size, juicy lemons that pair nicely with meat and vegetable dishes, not to mention a hot cup of tea in the winter.


While you can start lemons from seed, most potted citrus enthusiasts buy a dwarf citrus tree from a nursery. It takes a long time to grow a productive tree from seed, and professional nurseries use a grafting process that keeps potted lemons small enough to grow inside.




7 Market Crops You Can Grow in a Greenhouse

Your farm income doesn’t have to drop just because the temperature has. Use your greenhouse to grow products for sale all winter-long.


When cold weather sets in, most farmers close up their market booth for the season and pack it in. However, a farmer looking to continue earning income in the off-season can turn to a greenhouse as a season extender, offering produce to hungry customers year-round. But what crops are best for greenhouse production? And what is the winter customer looking for? These are things you’ll need to identify before starting your greenhouse operation. While it will take a little bit of market research on your part, here are our favorite greenhouse crops, as well as how to maximizing your yields and get them into the hands of eager customers—though if we’re being honest, bring a fresh carrot to market in February and it will market itself.

1. Cut and Head Lettuce

Lettuce is a relatively hardy vegetable, and a popular one no matter what time of year. Grow a few different lettuce varieties for mixes, as well as some colorful lettuce heads, to draw customers in.

Grow It:

Sow seeds for leaf mixes thickly, preferably using a seeder, in tight rows 2 to 3 inches apart in 4-foot-wide beds. Cut leaves off one plant up to four times, tasting every time to make sure it hasn’t become too bitter. For head lettuce, sow or transplant seeds 10 to18 inches apart, depending on the variety. Succession-plant in early fall and late winter.

Market It:

Mix cut lettuce in plastic bags or enclosed totes, and display out of wind and sun. Dunk head lettuce in clean, cold water before market, and display on table. Keep both cut and head lettuce well-misted and prominent on the table. Few foods draw people in like fresh lettuce, especially the darker, redder varieties.


2. Spinach

Spinach is a classic greenhouse crop. It must stay watered and the farmer must avoid extreme temperature shifts by monitoring the greenhouse, but spinach can be cut from several times in a season and provide a dependable off-season income.

Grow It:

For full leaf spinach, sow seeds 1 to 2 inches apart, in rows 10 to 18 inches apart. For baby spinach, you can sow seeds in wider bands, in rows 6 to 10 inches apart. Succession-plant in early fall and late winter.

Market It:

If growing full spinach leaves, harvest from the stem, wash and tie in large, attractive bunches. Bring a baby spinach harvest in a tote or in individual bags, or consider consider making salad mixes with your spinach and lettuce.

3. Other Leafy Greens

Leafy greens like kale, collards and Swiss chard are not only wildly popular but are a great fit for farmers wanting to extend the growing season. The flavor of some greens, like kale, even improves with a little cold. These crops are also ideal because unlike broccoli or cabbage, where you get one cut and that’s it, these greens can be picked off of all winter and provide months of income.

Grow It:

Whether you sow seeds or use transplants, leave at least 8 to 10 inches between plants and about 24 inches between rows. Plant into fertile soil in early fall and late winter, and water regularly for best leaf production.

Market It:

Tie or bag your greens in large, attractive bunches. Keep leaves misted and out of the wind to avoid wilting. Come to market with a full load—you’re sure to sell out!

4. Microgreens

Microgreens are tiny, tender versions of familiar vegetables like mustard, cress, radish, beet, basil and kohlrabi that pack a huge nutritional punch. You can grow microgreens from fall to spring, but because they are somewhat esoteric, also consider finding a buyer before they you plant. The good news is that restaurants tend to love these tiny bursts of green, especially when there aren’t a whole lot of other greens available. Also, the two- to four-week crop turnover and high price tag they garner make them a pretty attractive option.

Grow It:

Fill small flats with soil, and follow the germination requirements for your chosen microgreen. Sow seeds thickly, cover with a small layer of soil mix, and keep moist, preferably from underneath the tray, as to avoid splashing dirt on greens. Plant from fall to spring.

Market It:

Even though it’s wise to find a buyer (such as a restaurant or grocery store) before planting, microgreens will sell well in a busy market. Harvest when the first true leaves develop and when the sprouts are about 2 inches tall, after about two to four weeks. Wash the microgreens and bring to market in either a tote or in individual plastic bags, tied off with plenty of air.

5. Carrots

Carrots aren’t always considered the best use of greenhouse space because they grow so well in the open with a little row cover. But also consider this: Most winters are wet, and if the carrots are ready but the garden is mud, it’s a lot easier to dig them out of a space where you control the moisture.

Grow It:

Sow seeds thickly in rows 16 to 24 inches apart. As plants grow, thin to 1 inch apart, and keep well-watered. Plant in late summer and late winter.

Market It:

Harvest, wash and tie carrots in large, attractive bunches, with partial greens on. You can leave the entire greens on, and some customers enjoy that, but others will find the greens cumbersome. The greens may also take up a larger portion of your market display than you would like and hide the other bunches.

6. “Summer” Crops

Tomatoes, peppers, eggplants and cucumbers might not be the crops you want to sell at the winter market, but you can at least extend their season by growing them in a greenhouse. You can also grow starts of each of these plants to sell at market in the spring.

Grow It:

Following the basic growing guidelines for the summer crops you wish to grow, start them in late winter then plant in early spring, or start the crops in mid-summer and plant in the late summer. Also consider that these plants don’t typically tolerate temperatures below 35 degrees F, and need lots of sunlight, so they must be tended to and covered when temperatures drop.

Market It:

You will not need much help selling these items in the off-season. If you do want to improve their visibility, however, the fall is a great time for pickling and canning, so consider marketing these crops as “canning veggies.” Of course, being the first or last to arrive at market with tomatoes and peppers will make you a popular vendor no matter what.

7. Herbs

Whether it’s basil, cilantro, tarragon, rosemary or thyme, if you have good control over the temperature of your greenhouse, herb starts are another highly marketable product. Keep in mind that germinating and raising herbs requires a little more attention to detail but can be profitable under the right conditions.

Grow It:

Follow the growing guidelines for each herb you wish to grow, paying strict attention to temperature and water requirements. Try to have starts ready to sell for spring markets when gardens are being replanted and starts are most in demand.

Market It:

Selling herb starts can be a great business, especially in terms of perennial herbs, like oregano and rosemary, but even annual herbs do well. Bring them to market in attractive trays and consider growing them in or moving them into biodegradable containers that can easily be planted into the ground. Also, provide some simple growing tips for each crop––customers will definitely appreciate the extra effort.

  1. Avocados


Yes, you can grow your own guacamole maker’s right in your own home. Since avocado trees can grow up to 80 feet in height, for your indoor or container garden, look for dwarf varieties. You could also try starting your own avocado plant with a pit, but Gardening Know How cautions, “A plant produced from a seed is less likely to produce fruit, but it will make a lovely tree.” They also recommend using a stake to keep the avocado tree straight and its main stem sturdy. And when the tree outgrows its pot, transplant it to a larger container.



  1. Strawberries


Fresh strawberries right at home is a dream come true with the proper lighting and soil. In fact, the strawberry plant is perfect for planting in something like a hanging basket because it doesn’t require a lot of space and it grows just as well in a container as it would in the ground. Ever-bearing varieties produce fruit in the summer and again in early fall.


  1. Carrots


Carrots are a great source of vitamin A, fiber, and alpha and beta carotenes. And, it’s not only the root that’s edible, you can also eat the fern-like foliage. Carrots grow best in light, sandy soils and full sun.



  1. Cucumbers


Growing cucumbers indoors can ensure you have a never-ending supply of cucumbers. They do need plenty of water and full sun to ensure they are healthy. Also, look for varieties that are better for containers. According to Grow It Organically, “although most varieties of cucumbers grow well in containers (as long as they’re at least 5-gallon size!), bush cucumber varieties are bred for compact vines, and are less rangy on decks and in small-space gardens.”


  1. Green beans



Green beans are a yummy, healthy and easy veggie to grow in a container. When purchasing your seeds, remember there are two main plant types. There are beans that grow as vines (usually referred to as pole beans) and bush beans. For indoors, the bush beans will take up less room and do better in containers. Another consideration is lighting — green beans need at least six hours of sunlight every day. If that’s not an option in your space, a grow light would work as well.


  1. Salad greens


Salad greens are probably the easiest and quickest to grow in your small space. Gardener’s Supply Company says that a sunny window is the best spot to put your salad greens container garden, preferably a south-facing window. The company sells a Mobile Salad Garden cart that is practical and adorable. It’s on wheels so you could even roll it out onto a deck or balcony.



  1. Garlic greens


Growing garlic plants indoors is an easy and delicious way to have a healthy ingredient at your fingertips. The garlic greens taste like scallions but with an added garlic flavor. You can use them in any recipe that calls for garlic or scallions.

From Rodale’s Organic Life: “To grow tasty garlic plants, all you need is a 4-inch pot (or a quart yogurt container with some drain holes poked in the bottom), a small bag of organic potting soil, and a saucer or tray to set the pot on to catch drips.”


  1. Peas


There are few flavors as delicious as freshly picked peas.


  1. Jalapeno peppers


The best peppers to grow in containers are smaller chili peppers, which is perfect for anyone wanting to add a little spice to your recipes. They grow well indoors and will produce fruit for more than five years if tended correctly.


  1. Radishes


Radishes are super easy to grow, quick to sprout and ready to eat in only four to five weeks. The site Quarto Knows recommends when selecting a container for growing your radishes, chose a “narrow, rectangular pot to mimic the way that radishes would grow in the field. They need to be at least a few inches apart for adequate growth, so putting them in a long container will create a nice row that’s also visually appealing.”


Best Healthy, Edible Plants to Grow Indoors

From farmers’ markets and Community Supported Agriculture, to urban farms and rooftop gardens, to produce delivery services, more and more people across the U.S. are embracing farm-fresh food.


And for good reason: Locally grown produce tends to be better for the environment and for local communities than its store-bought counterparts. Growing food at home also ensures that growers know exactly where their food comes from and how it was grown (no need to worry about deceptive food labeling). If you’re not whipping out the pruning shears yet, consider this: Learning new skills is good for our brains.


Luckily, you don’t need to be a farmer (or even live near a farm) in order to reap the benefits of home-grown produce. If you have a sunny window (or two, or five) and a bit of extra time on your hands, then you’re capable of growing your own food right at home. Read on for our roundup of 16 easy, healthy plants to cultivate indoors — and how to get them growing!


General Growing Tips

Before you get started, here are a few tips that will be handy to keep in mind no matter which of the plants from this list you choose to grow.

  1. All of these plants require well-draining soil, which means you will either need to use a pot with holes in the bottom or pile up some stones in the bottom of your pot before adding soil (so that the water can drain through the stones). If you choose to use a pot with holes in the bottom, be sure to put a shallow drainage container under the pot so the water doesn’t drain onto your floor, shelf, or windowsill.
  2. For each of these plants, feel free to purchase potting mix at a garden center or make your own (You can also choose whether or not you want to stick with organic soils). Each plant grows best in a slightly different soil environment, but this general potting mix recipe will help get you started.
  3. Many of these plants grow best in areas that receive lots of sunlight and remain fairly warm throughout the day. Sunny windows are extremely helpful for growing plants indoors. However, if you don’t have sunny windows (or if the area is a low temperature), grow lights will be your new best friend — they help maintain optimal light and temperature conditions for plants regardless of outside weather or indoor conditions.


Fruits and Veggies

  1. Avocados

Why They’re Healthy: Avocados are chock full of healthy fats in addition to vitamins E and B6 and carotenoids, which are high in vitamin A and have been linked to a reduced risk of cancer, heart disease, and eye degeneration. No wonder these fruits are one of our favorite superfoods!


How to Grow: It’s possible to grow an avocado tree from an avocado pit, but doing so may not yield edible fruit. If you want to eat what you sow, it’s best to purchase a dwarf avocado plant (varieties that yield the larger green-skinned fruit or the more common black-skinned fruits are equally good) . To tend for your tree, add some sand to the bottom of a large, well-draining pot before filling it with regular potting mix and planting your tree. Water the tree regularly but make sure the soil is never soggy — avocado roots don’t take well to being waterlogged. Prune the shoots regularly, and be sure to place the tree in an area with high ceilings — even dwarf trees can grow higher than 10 feet!


How to Harvest: Green varieties are ready to harvest when the fruits’ skin turns slightly yellow, while darker varieties are ready when their skins have turned almost black. Ripe fruits can be left hanging on the tree for a few weeks, but any longer than that and they’ll start to lose their flavor and texture.




  1. Carrots

Why They’re Healthy: Carrots are a good source of a variety of vitamins and minerals, including thiamin, niacin, folate, manganese, potassium, and vitamins B6, A, C, and K. They also supply carotenoids, which are a big boon for eye health .


How to Grow: Purchase carrot seeds and a pot or window box that’s at least a foot and a half deep and wide, with drainage holes at the bottom. Fill the container to within an inch of the top with a humus-rich potting mix. Water the soil before planting the seeds. Plant the seeds one inch apart in rows that are six inches apart from each other, pressing the seeds gently into the soil and covering them with a thin layer of soil. Water. Place the container in an area that receives tons of light. Keep the soil moist, but not soaked. To help preserve moisture, soak some peat moss in water overnight and then spread it on top of the seeds. Expect the seeds to germinate (i.e., start sprouting) in about two weeks.


How to Harvest: Carrots are ready for harvest when they’ve grown to about ¾ of an inch across the top (just below the green stem). If you can’t see the carrot itself, gently brush aside some soil around the stem so you can size it up (Note: Though it may be tempting to see how big carrots can get, they’ll start to lose their sweetness and flavor once they surpass their peak size.). To pick the carrots, grab them firmly at the root and wiggle them around a bit, then pull straight up. If you find that the soil is quite hard, water it and then wait an hour or so before retrying the harvest. Once the carrots have been pulled from the soil, remove the greens immediately, wipe off any excess dirt, and let them dry before storing them in the fridge.



  1. Garlic Greens

Why They’re Healthy: Pungent garlic is a member of the cancer-fighting allium family . It’s also a Greatist-approved superfood that’s been linked to improvements in high blood pressure, high cholesterol, heart disease, and certain types of cancer.


How to Grow: Note: Growing actual garlic bulbs indoors is a bit tricky, but you can easily grow garlic greens, which can be used just like scallions. Start by purchasing a few garlic bulbs with small cloves, and don’t be afraid to buy a shattered bulb (i.e., one that’s started to burst or is fully pulled apart). Select a four-inch pot with drainage holes at the bottom (a quart-size yogurt container with holes poked through the bottom will also work) and a small bag of potting soil. Fill the pot with soil to about half an inch below the top of the container. Break the bulbs into individual cloves (leave the peel on), and push each individual clove about an inch into the soil, pointy end up. Plant about 12 cloves close together. Water well and place the container in a sunny spot. Water regularly, making sure that the soil remains moist but not soggy. Green shoots should appear in about a week.


How to Harvest: Once the shoots are 8-10 inches tall (this will take a few weeks), clip off whatever you need with scissors. When the cloves start putting up more sprouts, compost the contents of the pot, fill it back up with fresh potting soil, and plant new cloves (Each clove only sprouts good greens once; to have a constant supply, you need to keep re-planting).



  1. Lemons

Why They’re Healthy: A Greatist superfood, lemons are packed with vitamin C and antioxidants, which could help decrease heart disease risk, reduce inflammation, and fight some cancers .


How to Grow: If you want the option of harvesting fruits right away, purchase a two-to-three-year-old dwarf tree at a nursery. Choose a clay, ceramic, or plastic pot slightly larger than the root ball of your tree, and make sure it has several holes in the bottom. Fill the drainage dish with stones to allow air to circulate. Use a potting soil specifically formulated for citrus trees, or choose a slightly acidic, loam-based potting mix. Place the plant in an area that will receive eight to 12 hours of sunlight each day and will ideally maintain a temperature between 55 and 85 degrees Fahrenheit. Water regularly, but be sure not to over-saturate the soil (it should be moist, not sopping wet). Citrus trees like moist air, so regularly misting the leaves with a spray bottle will help keep the leaves perky.


How to Harvest: Most lemons will ripen in six to nine months. Test for ripeness by looking for full color and gently squeezing the rind — a slight “give” indicates that the lemons are ready for eating.


  1. Mandarin Oranges

Why They’re Healthy: These sweet little fruits are a decent source of antioxidants, calcium, phosphorous, magnesium, and fiber.


How to Grow: Purchase dwarf mandarin orange trees for the best chance of growing fruits successfully indoors. The trees will grow best in spacious pots with drainage at the bottom, and in rich soil. They also require a sunny location (rotate the plant regularly to ensure that it receives light evenly on all sides). Water regularly, allowing the soil to dry out slightly between waterings. The trees can grow up to six feet tall, and their root system grows along with them — when the roots begin to grow back on themselves or out of the drainage holes, it’s time to re-pot in a container that’s at least 2 inches larger in diameter.


How to Harvest: Mandarins need to be harvested as soon as they turn orange in order to preserve their flavor. When the fruits turn orange, clip or carefully twist and pull the fruit from the tree, making sure that the “button” at the top of the fruit remains intact.



  1. Microgreens

Why They’re Healthy: A big bowl of leaves can be a stellar source of vitamins A, C, K, and folate. And microgreens (a.k.a. seedlings of herbs and vegetables) might have even more nutrients than their full-grown counterparts .


How to Grow: Start by purchasing a variety of seeds, such as radishes, kale, Swiss chard, beets, basil, and dill. Fill a shallow tray (no more than 2 inches deep, often called “seedling trays”) or a shallow pot with a drainage hole and fill the tray to the top with potting mix. Moisten the soil with water, making sure that it’s damp but not wet. Sprinkle the seeds evenly over the soil (they should be close to each other but not touching). Sift a thin layer of soil over the top to cover the seeds. Using a spray bottle, lightly mist the soil. Place the tray on a sunny windowsill in a room that’s between 60 and 70 degrees Fahrenheit. Mist or lightly water the soil daily so it remains moist; don’t let the soil dry out, but also make sure that it isn’t waterlogged. In about three to five days, the seeds will likely germinate — once they do, make sure they get 12-14 hours of light every day. Keep the soil moist at the roots, but avoid soaking the leaves.


How to Harvest: Once the seedlings have grown to one or two inches in height (expect this to take three weeks or more) and have about two sets of leaves, they’re ready to eat! To harvest the greens, hold them at the stem and use a pair of scissors to cut off the leaves, making sure not to cut into the root (by leaving the roots intact, you ensure that your greens will yield multiple harvests). Eat the microgreens right away or store them in a plastic bag in the fridge for up to five days.


  1. Salad Greens

Why They’re Healthy: Just like microgreens, salad greens (which include iceberg, spinach, romaine, red leaf, and arugula) are chock full of vitamins A, C, and K, and also contain folate and iron.


How to Grow: Begin by purchasing starter plants or seeds from a local nursery (You can also order seeds online). Choose a planter box that has drainage holes in the bottom and fill it with potting soil. Use your finger to poke holes into the soil about four inches apart.


If using seeds: Sprinkle a few of them into each hole, then pat the soil back over the hole to cover them up.


If using starts: Massage the roots before placing each start in a hole, filling in around them with soil.


After planting seeds or starts: Water the soil. When plants start to appear (if growing from seed), pull out all but the largest, healthiest shoots. Water the soil regularly, making sure that it always remains moist to the touch.


How to Harvest: To harvest mixed greens, pull off only the outer leaves to allow the plants to keep growing, and be sure not to disturb the roots.



  1. Scallions

Why They’re Healthy: Like garlic, scallions are part of the allium family of vegetables, which has been associated with cancer prevention and may help protect the body from free radicals (by-products of cellular processes that can cause cellular damage) .


How to Grow: No seeds required! To cultivate your own scallion crop, simply buy a bunch of scallions, wrap the bulbs together with a rubber band, and place the whole shabang (greens, bulbs, and all) in a glass with an inch of water. Change the water daily. When new green shoots appear and the roots have doubled in length (in about seven to 10 days), plant the scallions in a shallow pot or other container (not too big). Keep the plants evenly watered (i.e., don’t let the soil get too dry before watering) and in full sun.


How to Harvest: Snip the green tops (leaving at least an inch or two of the plant in the dirt) as needed. To use the white part of the scallion, harvest the plants when they’re six inches tall. Gently pull the white clump from the soil. Washed and trimmed scallions should keep for a week in the refrigerator (To maximize freshness, wrap them in a moist paper towel and store them in a plastic bag.).



  1. Tomatoes

Why They’re Healthy: Tomatoes contain lycopene, which has antioxidant and anti-inflammatory properties and may help prevent coronary heart disease [wysiwyg:citation:[Functional+properties+and+health+benefits+of+lycopene%5D.+Cruz+Bojorguez%2C+RM%2C+Gonzalez+Gallego%2C+J.%2C+Sanchez+Collado%2C+P.+Nutricion+hospitalaria%2C+2013+Jan-Feb%3B28%281%29%3A6-15] .

How to Grow: Start by selecting one six-inch pot (for one plant) or a larger pot (approximately 12 inches) if you’d like to grow two plants. For a continuous supply of tomatoes, start one or two new plants from seed every two weeks. Fill the container(s) with starter potting mix and plant seeds about ¼ inch deep. Water, keeping the soil moist but not soggy. Place the container in an area that receives substantial sunlight, turning the pot(s) occasionally so all sides have even access to the sun. Expect the seeds to germinate in five to 10 days. When the seedlings are about three inches tall, transplant them from the starter mix to potting soil. About two weeks after transplanting, add an organic fertilizer to the mix. Water the plants thoroughly; again, keep the soil moist but not soggy. As the plants grow larger, they may need to be staked to avoid broken stems. When plants bloom, tap the main stem and larger side branches with your finger — this will help to encourage pollination.


How to Harvest: Tomatoes grown indoors will not grow to be as large as outdoor tomatoes, but they’ll still be full of tomatoey taste. When the fruits are red and firm, but with a slight “give” to the touch, they’re ready to eat. Either clip or gently twist and pull the fruits from their stems.



  1. Basil

Why It’s Healthy: This flavorful herb is believed to have anti-inflammatory properties thanks to the oil eugenol, which can block enzymes in the body that cause swelling .


How to Grow: Start by purchasing seeds or a starter plant online or at a nursery or grocery store. Choose a container that’s at least four inches wide and has good drainage holes. Basil likes warm temperatures and lots of sunlight (at least six hours of direct sunlight each day). Fertilize the soil about once a month with organic or slow-release fertilizers such as compost tea. Water often — about once a day when the temperatures are really hot, or every other day in less intense conditions (If the soil is dry, water it!). Pruning will also help you maximize your basil yield: When the top leaves reach about six inches in height, start pruning them. Continue to prune as the plant gets bushier, also being sure to pinch off any flowers that appear.


How to Harvest: Gently snip a few leaves from each plant, making sure not to remove all of the leaves from any one plant.


  1. Chives

Why They’re Healthy: Chives are filled with antioxidants, vitamins A and C, and phytochemicals (which have antioxidant-like benefits) .


How to Grow: Start by purchasing seeds and selecting a pot that’s six to eight inches in diameter. Fill it almost to the top with potting mix. Plant the seeds, making sure they’re covered by a light layer of soil. Place the container in an area that is partially shaded. Water regularly, making sure the soil never dries out.


How to Harvest: Gently snip leaves from each plant, being sure not to remove all the leaves from any one plant.


  1. Cilantro

Why It’s Healthy: Cilantro yields high concentrations of carotenoids, a good source of vitamin A that may help protect against heart disease, stroke, and cancer .


How to Grow: Begin by purchasing coriander seeds (fun fact: coriander is actually cilantro in seed form) or starter plants and selecting a container that’s at least eight inches deep and has holes in the bottom for drainage. Fill the container with soil, leaving about an inch or two at the top of the pot. Press the seeds into the soil, then water the soil until moist. Cover the container with plastic wrap, securing it with rubber bands. Remove the plastic wrap once the seedlings have germinated and are pushing against the plastic (this should take a few days). Water the seedlings every day or so and keep the container in an area that receives a substantial amount of sunlight.


How to Harvest: Gently snip a few leaves from each plant, being sure not to remove all the leaves from any one plant.


  1. Ginger

Why It’s Healthy: This spicy superfood is known for calming nausea and motion sickness and reducing inflammation There’s also some evidence that raw ginger might ease sore muscles, alleviate symptoms of arthritis, and maybe even slow the growth of cancer cells.


How to Grow: This one’s easy: Simply purchase a chunk of ginger at the grocery store and cover it with soil in a container, making sure the freshest-looking buds face up. Place the container in an area that receives indirect sunlight and wait for new growth to sprout out of the soil (You’ll also notice roots start to grow into the soil). Keep the soil consistently moist, so that it is never dried out and never waterlogged.


How to Harvest: Pull the entire plant out of the soil, cut off as much as you need, and then replant the ginger using the same process described above.


  1. Mint

Why It’s Healthy: Beyond being tasty, this bright green herb can aid digestion. Mint tea has also been known to soothe hangovers.


How to Grow: Start by purchasing seeds or starter plants and a large, deep pot (about 10 inches in diameter) — mint will sprawl. Fill the container with potting soil and plant the seeds or starter. Place the container in an area that gets plenty of sunlight and water regularly, making sure the soil doesn’t dry out.


How to Harvest: Gently snip a few leaves from each plant, making sure not to remove all the leaves from any one plant.


  1. Rosemary

Why It’s Healthy: The heavenly-scented herb is rich in carnosic acid, an antioxidant that may help limit weight gain and improve cholesterol levels .


How to Grow: Start by planting seeds (or propagating cuttings) in a container with holes in the bottom for drainage. A soil made from a mixture of two parts potting soil to one part coarse sand works well. Add one teaspoon of lime (the agricultural kind, not the citrus fruit) per five-inches of pot in order to make the soil alkaline. Place the container in a sunny area of the home; rosemary will grow best with at least six hours of direct sunlight each day. Water only when the top of the soil is dry to the touch (but be sure not to let the soil dry out completely).


How to Harvest: Gently snip a few sprigs from each plant, being sure not to remove all of the leaves from any one plant.



Parents, your own home is the first field in which you are called to labor. The precious plants in the home garden demand your first care. To you it is appointed to watch for souls as they that must give account. Carefully consider your work, its nature, its bearing, and its results.  {AH 200.2}


Your home is the first field in which you are called to labor. The precious plants in the home garden demand your first care. Consider carefully your work, its nature, its bearings, its results, ever remembering that your looks, your words, your actions, have a direct bearing on the future of your dear ones. Your work is not to fashion beauty on canvas, or to chisel it from marble, but to impress upon a human soul the image of the divine.  {CT 130.3}


Parents can associate God with the works of nature. While beholding his works, the beautiful trees, and plants, and flowers, they can awaken an interest in their young minds for the glories of Heaven. By making home and its surroundings attractive, they will lessen the desire for exciting pleasures and amusements which are injurious to the physical, mental, and moral health of children. You can beautify your homes with fruit trees, and shrubs, and flowers, and encourage in the minds of your children a love for these things. You can teach them in relation to the better life, by connecting the beauties of nature, so marred, and imperfect, and short-lived, with the never-fading and immortal beauties of Eden restored. You can unite with nature’s your lessons of the love and mercy of our beneficent Creator, who has given them all these things for their happiness. You should seek to draw their hearts from nature up to nature’s God, and connect the mercy of God with the morning light, and the glories of the setting sun. His mercy is seen in the musical, murmuring streams, and even in frowning storms. Direct their minds to the mercy of God in the summer’s heat and winter’s cold. We can trace before them the mercy and wisdom of God in the falling of the blessed rain to refresh and enliven the parched earth and vegetation, and direct them to a love and wisdom that is infinite. Young hearts will respond to such lessons as these, and parents will be blessed in seeing the fruit of their labor in the physical, mental, and moral improvement of their loved ones.   {HR, March 1, 1871 par. 10}


Ellen White was fascinated by anything related to nature. She was much more interested in planting her flower garden than she was in purchasing furnishings for the new home. She notified her husband, “I do not wish my mind diverted from my work to even go and select furniture.” (Letter 8, 1876). But she was quite willing to take whatever time was needed for the garden. In some of her other letters we find these details:  {7MR 281.3}


“Last evening the two Marys went with me to Brooklyn for a few flower roots for our garden. Sister Grover gave us as many as we could carry.”–Letter 3, 1876.  {7MR 281.4}


“We came home and I set out my things in my garden of [the] new house by moonlight and by the aid of lamplight. The two Marys tried to have me wait till morning, but I would not listen to them. We had a beautiful shower last night. I was glad then I persevered in setting out my plants.”–Letter 4, 1876. {7MR 281.5}


A week later she noted, “Our hedge is growing nicely. The things we have set out in rose bushes and a few choice shrubs are doing well.” (Letter 6, 1876).  {7MR 282.1}


In one of Ellen White’s letters to her friend Lucinda Hall, who was in Battle Creek at this time, appeared this request:  {7MR 282.2}


“Will you send me one of my straw hats by Frank Patten? If you could dry a few peony roots and let her take them in her trunk, and send a few slips of Queen of Prairie and a few choice seeds, as summer greens and pansy seeds, I should like some of these things so much. Send me verbena seeds. [From] our old place in the field which we sold, I wish you could send a slip of snowballs and a trumpet vine. These would take but little space and if you could send them I could have something new here which they have not.” Letter 61, 1876.  {7MR 282.3}


Genesis 2:8: And the LORD God planted a garden eastward in Eden; and there he put the man whom he had formed. 9: And out of the ground made the LORD God to grow every tree that is pleasant to the sight, and good for food; the tree of life also in the midst of the garden, and the tree of knowledge of good and evil.15: And the LORD God took the man, and put him into the garden of Eden to dress it and to keep it. 16: And the LORD God commanded the man, saying, Of every tree of the garden thou mayest freely eat:


Animals dwelt and dwell with plants, how do they survive?

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Indoor Crops

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