Make Summer Last: Here's How to Grow Summer Vegetables Perfectly Indoors

Enjoy tomatoes, cucumbers, peppers, and even corn year round by growing an indoor vegetable garden
Make Summer Last: Here's How to Grow Summer Vegetables Perfectly Indoors

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The process of weeding out the weaker plants in a pot is called thinning.

Do you find yourself in a seasonal slump as summer fades into fall? Pumpkins and apples are great, but that doesn’t mean saying goodbye to fresh tomatoes, young greens, and bell peppers are easy. Luckily, there is a solution. You can have summer produce year round — even in the throes of winter — by moving your gardening indoors.

Click here for the Innovative Indoor Gardens slideshow.

No space is too small for an indoor garden. Windowsills work well for small herb gardens and tomato plants, but if you really want to take on indoor gardening, investing in grow lights will mean that even in the dead of winter you can harvest banana peppers, cherry tomatoes, and cucumbers. Maybe corn is a bit ambitious, but if you have a wash tub and ample space, why not give it a try.

A few things to remember when growing indoors:

Lots of Light

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Whether you use natural light, grow lights, or some combination, your plants will need lots of light to grow strong.

Your plants will need lots of light for them to grow. Choose a sunny spot indoors to position your pots. Add additional lights for plants, like corn, which need lots of light to grow.

The Container

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Choose the appropriate container size for the plant you want to grow.

Choose the container appropriate for what you are planting. Small windowsill pots work well for herbs, use a larger container for tomatoes (with a trellis), use a large pot for cucumbers (even smaller varietals need lots of space), and a large wash tub if you plan on growing corn. Check the back of your seed package to find out how much space you will need between plants.


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Use pots with holes in the bottom or gravel to keep roots from becoming soggy.

Add stones, rocks, or gravel to the bottom of the pot for drainage and to keep the roots from becoming soggy.


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Soil provides plants with nutrients.

Fill your pot with a 50/50 combination of potting soil and compost. Water the soil so that it is saturated but not soupy. Allow the soil to dry out slightly before planting.


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Once you have prepped your pot, you can plant your seeds

Plant your seeds in the pot according to the information on the back of the seed packet, taking care not to overcrowd the pot. Water the planted seeds until the soil is saturated but not soupy.


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Thinning is necessary to keep your plants strong.

Allow your plants to grow a minimum of two to three inches before thinning out the crop. Identify the strongest two or three plants and gently remove the rest of the plants. You can choose to thin out your plants more after they have grown to about 10 to 12-inches. Then, remove the other plants leaving the strongest plant.


Angela Carlos is the Cook Editor at The Daily Meal. Find her on Twitter and tweet @angelaccarlos.