This weekend, my husband and I have been thinking and talking about what I should plant this winter. We are beginning to see empty spots in the grocery store, and news outlets say that the problem is going to get worse. This summer and fall, we have been eating from my small garden, mostly squash, as a vegetable for meals. Summer is coming to an end, and soon the squash will also.
I plant a tomato plant, and a few peppers for to grow in the house during the winter months, providing us with a fresh grown treat from time to time. He and I both feel I should plant more, but what and where. I have two windows that provide enough sunlight to grow plants in the winter. The answer to what to plant deals with space. I do not have enough space to grow many plants inside.
His idea is to build a greenhouse of sorts. One thought is to put a small structure up on our cement patio. The sun is strong on the patio and it is protected from the cold north wind. The patio is also fenced so the sheep will not be trying to get into the greenhouse during the winter. If a heater was needed on real cold nights, electricity is available. Or we could set up a “solar heating system” that my cousin designed and see if that would work on keeping the greenhouse warm enough for our Texas winters.
Some vegetables that do well in the Texas climate for winter gardens are cabbage, radishes, beets, turnips, carrots, and potatoes. There are more, I have not grown them. With a greenhouse these plants would thrive. I would also be able to plant peas, as long as I kept the frost away.
I already have a few herbs growing in the window sill of the kitchen window. Herbs are good to grow inside on a window sill as they do not take up much space. Fresh herbs have a stronger seasoning, and I use half the amount called in recipes when I use fresh herbs. Herbs I have growing are rosemary, basil, and oregano. I grow the herbs in disposable plastic cups. Although I never seem to dispose of the cups I use for planting unless they get broken. I use two cups, one for the plant to grow in, a small rock in the second cup used for drainage. The herbs grow well, and I always have them handy for cooking.
I have also grown bell peppers using the same planting system of two plastic disposable cups. The two bell pepper plants produce peppers, although they were a little small, the peppers had strong flavor for seasoning.
Another plant I have done well in growing indoors is leaf lettuce. Last year I grew two types of leaf lettuce in pots. I would cut the leaves to add to our salads. I would trim the larger leaves off the plants, and the plants would regrow in a weeks time. If I put the lettuce in a size larger planting pot, I would be able to grow enough for our eating needs, as we do not eat salads every meal.
And if we did build the small greenhouse, I would be able to grow enough vegetables to keep us going through the winter, then transplant them in the spring into the garden area. Which the garden area is going to be bigger next year.
Just some thoughts and ponderings concerning ways to have a variety of vegetables with the talks of shortages. Also a way to lower our grocery expense with the current inflation, that is said to go higher.
Will keep you posted on our decisions and adventure in growing food for the table.