What vegetables should I grow in my chilly room?
January 27, 2013 1:15 PM   Subscribe

Inspired by onions sprouting in my cupboard, I'd love to plant some veggies inside. I have and area about 4'x2' to plant, in front of a south facing window that gets plenty of sun. But my house isn't very warm. Suggestions?

The problem is, our house is poorly insulated and in the high 50s to low 60s most of the time. The window is not drafty, but the room is far from balmy 70s.
Therefore, it seems that tomatoes and peppers (often suggested for indoor growing) wouldn't grow very well.

I'm going to plant the sprouted onions, but am looking for other suggestions. What else would grow well? What could I plant now and move outside when summer comes? I would also love good indoor growing resources and advice!
posted by Grandysaur to Home & Garden (7 answers total) 8 users marked this as a favorite
 
Off the top of my head, I would recommend leaf lettuces and spinach. The plants are small, and mine have been growing in about that temperature outside for the past few months.

My other thought, just based on temperature, was cabbages. But those plants are so big that I think they would overtake your space really quickly.

Basil might also work, as well as other herbs.
posted by CathyG at 1:21 PM on January 27, 2013 [1 favorite]


Don't forget garlic. You can grow the older segments in much the same way as onions. I'd also suggest growing a bit of mint, as that stuff is indestructible and smells nice.
posted by The River Ivel at 1:53 PM on January 27, 2013


Kale and many of the brassicas are great cold weather plants. These probably won't sprout and grow too much if you start them off in the cold room right now though. Baby kale is good too, so maybe it'd grow now?
posted by glip at 2:20 PM on January 27, 2013


Members of the mustard family (brassica) do great in cool weather. Off the top of my head, I'd recommend starting with arugula, radishes, mizuna, kale, and mustard greens. These are all quick growers that give you a big payoff for the amount of space they need. Onions may or may not form a bulb, that's triggered by long days with lots of hours of sunlight. You can definitely harvest them as green onions though. Garlic is also neat to harvest when it looks like green onions, you can chop it up and use it like a garlic-flavored scallion. Great for stir frys.
posted by TungstenChef at 2:23 PM on January 27, 2013


Oh yeah, not a ton of people grow it but kohlrabi also likes the cold. We always had it in our garden growing up and it's so sweet and delicious in cooler spring weather.
posted by TungstenChef at 2:27 PM on January 27, 2013


Second on the peas and beans.
posted by jfwlucy at 2:36 PM on January 27, 2013


I would grow greens. Both microgreens and baby greens. You can either make salad or lightly sautee the baby greens. In that space, you could grow more than enough greens to always have a nice supply.

My favorite baby greens for salad are: swiss chard, beets, creasy greens, tatsoi, ruby streaks mustard, any lettuce, and pea shoots.

For microgreens, you can grow almost anything, but I think mustards, brassicas and radishes are the best (and radish microgreens are quite zippy).
posted by OrangeDisk at 3:41 PM on January 27, 2013


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