How To Grow Peppers Indoors All Winter Long

How To Grow Peppers Indoors All Winter Long

There are few things that you can grow in your garden that are as versatile as the pepper. Hot, sweet, red or green – even yellows, oranges and purples can add a touch of the exotic to your next dish. For most gardeners it simply wouldn’t be the same without a nice harvest of peppers come late summer and early fall.

But why limit yourself to fresh peppers for only a few months of the year? Unbeknownst to many of us who do not live in a desert climate, peppers are actually perennial plants that can live for many years if given the proper care.

There are two main ways that you can grow peppers indoors. The first is by starting a plant from seed, and the second is by bringing your existing plants indoors at the end of your normal outdoor growing season.

Starting Peppers Indoors

Starting your peppers indoors from seeds is fairly simple and can be done at any time of year. Seeds should be planted in a mixture of peat moss, vermiculite and sand (roughly equal parts of each). Place two seeds in each pot near its center, and push the seeds just below the surface of the soil. Keep soil moist but not wet, and keep pots in a spot where they will get sunlight throughout the day.

If you are starting peppers from seed, then you will have the advantage of selecting a variety that will grow to the ideal size for your indoor space. If you have lots of room, then you can grow larger plants such as red bell peppers or Hungarian wax peppers. If you are short on space, however, then try more compact varieties such as dwarf chilies.

Bringing Your Outdoor Peppers Inside

If you’ve already got pepper plants in your garden, you’re ahead of the game. Peppers in containers can be brought directly inside.

For peppers that are planted directly in the ground, the process for bringing them inside is trickier – but so worth it! Start this process well before your first frost. Using a sharp shovel, you can dig around each plant and lift it out of the ground, placing it into a plastic (not terra cotta) pot. This should be done during the evening so that the plant has the cool of the night to recover.

How To Grow Peppers Indoors All Winter Long

If there is extra room in the pot, you can add some compost, but avoid adding extra garden soil. Water you plants and place them in a shady spot outside, and leave them for a few days. Inspect you plants for any pests or aphids and rinse them off very well and then move them to a different spot. Repeat as necessary, until you can’t find any pests. After a few days, you can bring your plants into an in-between spot like a porch.

Finally, bring your pepper plants inside and place under florescent bulbs.

Keeping Your Peppers Fruiting

It is possible to keep your pepper plants fruiting the entire winter – but you will need to keep them toasty warm and give them sufficient light if you are to be successful. Ideally, the room that they are in should be a constant 65-75 degrees. Using very bring florescent lighting or a combination of sunlight and florescent light is best. Peppers tend to need more light than other plants, so if you want fruit you should plan on leaving their lights on for 14-16 hours per day. Some people control this using a timer, but it is also fine to leave the lights on 24 hours a day. Once plants have flowers, they should be fertilized on a weekly basis.

This New All-Natural Fertilizer Doubles Garden Production!

Watering may be done whenever the soil is slightly dry. It is important to never let your peppers sit in a pool of water, as this can cause disease.

Finally, in caring for you plants, remember that peppers are sensitive to air quality. They should not be kept in a room where people smoke or where there are other pollutants in the air, as this can damage the plants.

When fruit is ripe, you may harvest it using a sharp knife. This will help to prevent you from inadvertently damaging the plant.

Growing any type of fruit or vegetable indoors gives you greater control over your growing environment and provides an extended growing season. Peppers are a perfect choice for those who love to make spicy Asian or Mexican dishes to beat out the chill of winter.

Even if you decide that it is too much trouble to keep your pepper plants fruiting over the winter months, there is still good reason to bring this season’s plants indoors and keep them healthy. That’s because next season, you’ll be able to re-plant your mature pepper plants – instead of seeds or starts from your local garden center.

And those mature plants will start producing peppers fast, and you will be the envy of the neighborhood. Your only problem will be trying to figure out what to do with all of those peppers!

How To Grow Tomatoes, Outdoors, During Winter

Winter weather is here, which means it’s time to put away your garden tools and daydream about spring and warmer weather … right? Well, not really. Winter is a great time to continue gardening, as you can grow and harvest dozens of types of vegetables – including certain varieties of tomatoes – outdoors. But you have to know what you’re doing.Winter gardening is the topic of this week’s edition of Off The Grid Radio, as we talk to Caleb Warnock, one of the nation’s foremost experts on the subject and whose Backyard Winter Gardening book is among the best resources on the subject.

After listening to him for five minutes, you’ll understand why people pay to hear him teach.


Caleb shares with us his three favorite wintering gardening methods, and he also tells us:

  • How any homesteader, no matter the location, can grow vegetables during winter.
  • Which vegetable varieties can deliver a harvest within one month.
  • How to grow tomatoes outside during winter – without a greenhouse — and which varieties work best.
  • Which popular winter gardening method he doesn’t

Caleb lives in the foothills of Utah’s mountains; when we spoke with him he had a foot of snow on the ground. In other words, if he can grow food within his frigid climate, then pretty much anyone can … anywhere.

If you have a green thumb and want to try something new this winter, then this week’s show is for you!

How To Grow (And Harvest) Ginger Indoors … Without Killing It

How To Grow (And Harvest) Ginger Indoors ... Without Killing It

Ginger is one of those ingredients that warms you from the inside out. It is especially great to have during winter as part of soups, teas, juices, Asian dishes and herbal remedies.

And if you like to grow your own food, you’ll be happy to know that ginger is very easy to grow indoors – and for most of us in North America, growing this herb indoors is actually preferable than growing it outdoors.

Ginger is an extremely low-maintenance plant that does well in partial sunlight. Because it takes about 10 months to mature and does not tolerate frost or strong winds, growing it as a houseplant is the best solution for most vegetable gardeners.

The roots can be easily dug up and bits removed for cooking, and the remaining root re-covered. In other words, once you’ve started growing this bright and spicy root, it’s possible to have a never-ending supply.

And because it is so low maintenance, it is a great plant for anyone who is new to indoor gardening, provided they have the necessary patience to wait for that first harvest.

Selecting Your Ginger

For best results, it is recommended that you purchase seed ginger from a garden center or from a fellow gardener who already has a healthy plant.

Look for a rhizome that is plump with fairly smooth skin. You should notice several “eye buds” on it – similar to potato eyes. If you’d like to start more than one plant, you may cut the root into sections as long as each section has a few eye buds.

Ginger root purchased from a grocery store might not work, since it’s possible it was sprayed with a growth inhibitor which is meant to prevent it from sprouting after harvested. Store-bought ginger also may have pesticides and other chemicals on it.

If you do decide to try growing a plant from store-bought ginger, it is recommended that you soak the root in water overnight. This will help to remove some of the growth inhibitor and pesticides and give you a better chance of success.

Ginger root grows horizontally rather than down, so the best pot for growing ginger indoors is one that is fairly wide and shallow. Fill your pot with well-draining potting soil.

Planting and Caring

Begin by soaking your ginger rhizome in lukewarm water overnight. Then plant your ginger one to two inches deep with the eye bud at the top. Cover the root and water well.

How To Grow (And Harvest) Ginger Indoors ... Without Killing ItPlace the pot in an area of your home that is warm but that doesn’t get a lot of direct sunlight. Ensure that you keep the soil moist, either through light watering or with a spray bottle. After a few weeks, you’ll notice tiny shoots emerging from the soil.

Continue to mist regularly and keep the area warm. Some gardeners like to put their containers outside during the warmer weather and bring them in for colder months. As long as your plant is kept sheltered from strong winds, too much rain and direct sunlight, this is fine.

It also is OK to keep the plant indoors year-round.

Will My Ginger Flower?

Many people understandably get confused between the beautiful red and orange flowering gingers that they see in garden centers and culinary ginger, which is the topic of this article. While culinary ginger does flower after the plant is about two years old, its flowers are small and green – and not the flashy showpieces that the ornamental varieties produce.

Harvesting Ginger

The ginger plant is a slow grower, so in the early stages it is necessary to have some patience. Once the shoots emerge from the soil, you should wait another three to four months before you begin harvesting. But don’t worry – the wait will have been worth it!

To harvest your ginger, pull back some of the soil from the edge of the pot until you find part of the root underneath. Cut off the amount that you want and then cover the remaining root back up with soil. At first, you should only take small amounts, but since a little ginger can go a long way this will be ok for most recipes or herbal remedies.

Should you wish to use a larger amount of ginger, you may dig up the whole plant. Just keep in mind that in doing so, you’ll have to start the whole process over again if you wish to continue growing ginger.

If. however, you are patient and don’t take too much in those first few harvests, you will soon find yourself with an abundance of rhizomes that you can use in your kitchen, divide into other pots and share with friends and family.

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