Farmer's Market Fresh

It May Be the Middle of Winter, but You Can STILL Cultivate Your ‘Beauty Garden’ Indoors

Nobody can tell me that my frequent consumption of fresh organic produce from my kitchen garden hasn’t resulted in glowing skin. And that’s to no chemicals, it’s not glowing in a bad way.


This skin is brought to you by green smoothies from my garden, every morning.

My frequent updates about what I’ve already got growing outdoors in warm California has sparked some envy amongst my frozen-over East Coast friends, but even I’m limited on what I can grow during these short days and cold evenings. Melons, strawberries, tomatoes and peppers are NOT having it. And even when it’s warm enough in say, March or April, it takes months for these fruits and vegetables to reach maturity. So with some research, I learned about starting seedlings indoors in miniature “green houses” exposed to special light bulbs you can get at places like Home Depot for super cheap.

The Benefits of Growing In-Doors

  • You get a jump on spring and summer plants so you can enjoy them sooner
  • You have 100% control of the environment so you can start virtually anything
  • It’s fricking FUN to watch your plants grow, so long as you don’t leave the light on all night so your husband yells at you.


Items You’ll Need:

Philips 120 Watt Light Bulb $8.37

HDX 150-Watt Incandescent Clamp Light $8.27

Jiffy Seed Starter Green House $5.27

And of course, seeds and potting mix.

My little green house. And no; no Mary Jane is growing up in there.

mini green house

You’ll want to plant your seeds and keep the plastic dome over the plants to maintain sufficient humidity, because some seeds won’t sprout without them. If you have a wood or ceramic floor like I do, make sure you set your area atop a blanket or old carpet. Shine the light for at least six hours. Once you get 3-4 true leaves, take off the dome and keep your seedlings moist and under the light until you’re ready to transplant outdoors. Ease them into it slowly though…put them out during the day and bring them in at night.

For those of you on the East Coast, melons and strawberries aren’t an option, even after the final frost. Focus on starting carrots, broccoli, cauliflower, beets, peas, and leafy greens like kale, Swiss shard, spinach and collards. Salad greens and herbs grow quickly and you can enjoy those totally in doors. Salad mixes are “cut and come back” plants, so you can snip and eat, snip and eat.

Start your produce indoors, and then by April you can enjoy a vitamin-packed beauty garden of your own.




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