Planting the Winter Garden

The Gear The Hunt

Planting the Winter Garden

Today, a day that barely made it above freezing here in Boulder, CO, I planted my winter garden. My house has a large, south-facing, glass door in the back of the house. For the past couple years I have kept a small garden on a wire shelving unit in this window. It is pretty remarkable how much you can grow even in the middle of winter, when the sun doesn’t rise above your neighbor’s house quite enough for your garden to ever receive direct sunlight.

Here’s the setup:
1 wire shelving unit with 4 shelves, 14″ x 36″ x 54″

6 window box liners for the bottom three shelves

a few various planters for the top shelf (or 2 more window box liners)

With this setup you can produce tons of herbs and greens. I never buy salad greens in the winter. And come springtime I just drag the whole setup out onto the porch.

The past couple years I have tried to grow beets and radishes and had no luck–likely because these window box liners have no drainage. This year I did what I really should have done the first time and drilled holes for drainage and lined the bottoms of all the planters with gravel.

Now this obviously creates an issue where the garden will drain onto the wood floors. Right now it is sitting on a waterproof rug with a towel to catch any drips, but I have a solution on the way:
a 46.5”x15.5” heavy duty boot tray that I can set the whole garden in.

This kit, if ordered from amazon, will set you back just over $150, but it’ll last a lifetime and I can tell you that just having some beautiful green plants growing in the living room in the middle of the cold Colorado winter brings me great joy.

Here’s the plan from the bottom up: Beets, Radishes, Lettuce, Arugula, More Lettuce, Spinach, Basil, Parsley, Dill, and then a pot of poppies and a pot of columbines because flowers are even prettier in the middle of winter.