Wednesday, June 20, 2012

10 Indoor Winter Gardening Ideas

When it comes to winter I soon run out of gardening projects for the kids to do, and with it being so wet, windy and cold the kids would rather be indoors. So why not create something inside?

There are so many different ideas that they can be used by adults as well as in the class room.

Here are 10 great indoor winter gardening activities to get you started.

Pot a Seed/Flower
As simple as it sounds, grow plants in a pot indoors. If you are doing this project at school, you could turn it into a growing competition to see whose plant grows the tallest each week. This encourages tending to their plants, their nutrition, as well as a lesson in maths.

Plant in the Dark
Both mushrooms and snow pea sprouts need surprisingly little light to grow. Just one tip, they do need daily watering which cannot be neglected over a weekend. But the rewards are so quick and delicious!

Cook from your Garden
If you have an established vegetable garden, then it really is time to get harvesting and finally create something you can all enjoy together. Soup, casserole, pizza... If all else fails, make scones and bread for a great winter warmer. Add herbs to your mix.

Seed Saving
Open up your vegetables (non-modified) or seed heads and remove the seeds for drying. The trick is to use your best produce as they will create the best new plants. The easiest veg to get seeds from are tomatoes and pumpkins. Drying the seeds out is an essential lesson to learn. Making the packets is the next fun stage!
Visit: HowToSaveSeeds
Visit: International Seed Saving Institute

Sow into Planter Trays
It maybe too cold and wet now, but there will always be a break in the weather for a day of planting out. So get your next crop ready by planting seeds into seed raising mix in your planter trays or homemade newspaper tubes. Keep them in a protected sunny place such as a windowsill or small greenhouse to sprout. Make sure you choose the right plants for the season.
Learn how to make newspaper pots from Dig The Dirt.

Pot a Fruit Tree
Since winter is the time to plant fruit trees, why not pot a tree for sunny position against the building? Make sure that you only plant trees that are grafted onto dwarf root stock. Come summer time you should see the first signs of fruit. It may take a couple of years to really get started but they really do add a little extra cheer to the garden. The added bonus is that they can also be moved if you move.

Paint a Pot
Even adults like this one!
It can be as simple as using poster paint, or as interesting as image transfer. Transferring an image onto a terracotta pot is so easy. Simply print out your image/wording from the computer BACKWARDS, apply Mod Podge Outdoor Glue over the image front and stick it onto the pot. Rub out any air pockets gently so as not to break the paper, allow to dry for 24hrs. Once fully dry, wet your fingers with water and rub the paper off, leaving the image behind on the pot. To make it really stand out, paint the pot first.
Learn how to make an image transfer flower pot from Heaven's Walk.

Plan the Garden
Every good garden needs a plan. What climbs or spreads? What could be permanent? What sunny position have we not yet used? Can we vertical garden? When are our holidays? Yes, plan it all and ask the kids what they would like to eat. You maybe amazed with the ideas thrown into the ring. Order roses, fruit trees, deciduous trees and vines now. The garden catalogues are at their best during winter. Check out Garden Express among many others online.

Worm Farm
Purchasing a worm farm from the shops can cost as much as $70 to $130, and that is without the worms! But for only a few dollars (or even for free, if you are lucky) you can use polystyrofoam boxes with lids from the fruit 'n' veg shop. Put a few holes in two of the three boxes. Fill it with soil, organic matter, and a few worms. Keep it shady and moist, but not too wet. Add kitchen scraps (vegetables only!) Worms will help teach your kids about the interdependence of plants and organisms as they turn vegetable kitchen scraps into valuable compost. And remember to use a worm blanket as not to suffocate your worms. Worm stock can come from the local hardware stores or from other worm farming gardeners who have an abundant worm stock to share.
Worm casting liquid is pure gold for watering the garden with! The plants just love it, although my neighbour tells me that Australian native and succulents do not like it. Strictly for the yummy veggies and flowers!

Learn about micro climates.
All you need is a large jar such as one for pasta sauce, mayonnaise or Vegemite.
Add a little gravel mix at the bottom for drainage, a layer of charcoal and a good quality potting mix over the top. Not too much soil or it will spoil the look. Keep moist at all times. Adding moss can help hold the moisture more successfully. When adding plants, reduce their roots by half. The perpetual moisture of the terrarium will see to their moisture needs with reduced root stock. Once you have chosen your plants, add little accessories such as pebbles, driftwood or a plastic tiger or two!
Learn how to build a terrarium from Front & Main.


  1. Wow! thanks for nice and interesting ideas! Usually I was interested in winter flowers and I saw some great ideas on house-plants. biz, but here I was surprised by ideas about mushrooms! I guess it is very useful and interesting way to spend time and space at winter!

    1. Glad to have inspired you! Every year I find more and more mushroom kits become available. Not every kit even needs soil, some kits come with a cork board to mimic a damp tree trunk. Mushroom spores need to purchased seperately, so you can choose your mushroom type. Such a great idea. Very popular.