Part 1 – Plants for Decoration: When I came up with this title, I didn’t think of the plants pictured below. I thought of the kind you plant . . . then eat. But now . . . that’s part 2.
We buy special plants to decorate our homes at Christmas. Do you recognize any of these? The first two are flowers. The last two can either be bushes or trees.
First up is the Christmas Rose – I only recognize it from the Christmas Eve hymn. Its English title – “Lo, how a rose e’er blooming. I didn’t know it was composed in Germany. To learn more about this old hymn, click here: Es ist ein Ros entsprungen - Wikipedia. Don’t worry! The link is written in English.
The second flower is the one I think of when I think Christmas – the Poinsettia. They’re also called the Christmas Star. A lot of people buy them in November and December. I never do – I hate to kill plants! If someone gives me one, they only last a month or two, and then they die. Poor plant! I think it’s kinder for me NOT to buy one.
The third plant, Holly. I didn’t know there were 18 different kinds. I can’t decide what I like better – the waxy leaves, or the red berries. They look great in your yard, and they grow year-round without needing a lot of care. But whatever you do, don’t eat the berries – they’re poisonous! If you love the way they look, use them for decoration, or save them for your local birds . . . They’re safe for them to eat, and they love the taste.
The last one is everyone’s favorite – the Christmas tree. Some people buy artificial ones. Others go out to the woods to chop theirs down. Still others go to the store and buy one to decorate in December. If you’re into the environment, you could even buy one for Christmas, and then plant it in your yard. If you did it every year, you’d wind up with your own small forest of evergreens.
Part 2 – Plants That Grow in Pots: Like vegetables! That’s what I was thinking of when I decided to put up this post in December. Fresh vegetables are great to have anytime, but especially in the winter when nothing grows up north. But inside in a pot, plants can grow and thrive.
Back in August I got an email from Jen Stark, from Happy DIY Home.com. She had a link she hoped I’d share. Her turn came up this month, and it struck me that gifting someone with plants for Christmas, might make the perfect gift. If you have kids, growing vegetables is a great way to grow responsibility too, and your kids get to eat their profits.
The title of Jen’s post – 16 EASY VEGETABLES TO GROW IN POTS. They include – beans, beets, carrots, chard, chili pepper, cucumbers, kale, lettuce, peas, peppers, potatoes, pumpkins, radishes, spinach, tomatoes, zucchinis. That’s a lot of growing you can do when it’s freezing outside.
Jen’s Link: https://happydiyhome.com/easy-vegetables-to-grow-in-pots/
I must warn you – some vegetables are easier to grow than others. Lettuces and greens are easy-peasy. So are peppers. If you go to Jen’s link, it will tell you what size pot you need for each plant, and what kind of light they need based on your location. Some vegetables are climbers. They’ll need something to climb, like a trellis. The one I would never do inside – pumpkins. A friend tried a few pumpkin seeds, and they took over her whole backyard. I’d hate to put one in a pot.
Part 3 – Easy Plants to Grow During the Winter: The easiest ones – lettuces, greens, and herbs. After I read Jen Stark’s link from yesterday, I wanted to make sure I had the best ones for you . . . so I checked with Google. The link: can you grow vegetables inside during winter - Search (bing.com)
That’s where I found Dian Farmer. She did a post about best practices if you want to grow plants inside during the winter. She also had veggie suggestions. I posted basic information. Click Dian’s link for more specific instructions. Link: 7 Vegetables You Can Grow Indoors In Winter – Dian Farmer Learning To Grow Our Own Food
1. Use good potting soil. It should be a mix of peat moss, vermiculite, and perlite.
2. Pick pots that let the water drain out. Make sure the container fits your plant. Some veggies only need a few inches, but others need a foot of space to grow properly.
3. Place your containers in windows that face south. They get the most sunlight during the winter. If yours face a different direction, add lighting. Check out Dian’s site. It has a link to Amazon that will help you buy the right light.
4. Avoid drafty windows. They’re too cold. Don’t put your plants too close to heaters. That will dry them out.
5. Pick the right plants to grow inside in the winter. It makes a difference!
Dian’s Top Seven Suggestions: Garlic greens or chives, lettuce, kale, arugula, beans, peppers, and culinary herbs like rosemary, thyme, oregano, cilantro, lemon balm, and basil. If you feel more adventurous, you might consider alpine strawberries, brussels sprouts, Bok choy, Asian greens, broad beans, lamb’s lettuce, winter cabbages, or collard greens.
I found another helpful link. It had some of the same information, plus a few tips that were different. It also comes with links to the stuff you need to make your garden grow.
Link: Learn How Easy It Is To Grow Vegetables Indoors In The Winter (theedibleterrace.com)
My favorite part – his conclusions . . .
1. Start small, with lettuces, the come and cut kind. They’re easy, and they can help you learn as you grow.
2. Check with local plant nurseries. Sometimes they have classes or experts who can guide you into gardening.
3. Gardening can be tricky. Be diligent, patient, and determined, and you’ll grow as a gardener too.
Good luck, and happy gardening!
When I write, I can only have one voice in my head, mine. A little noise is fine. But too much, or worse yet, WORDS, and I must change rooms or pull out headphones. Then I can write on!