Q My daughter is trying to earn her greenhand degree in FFA. She has to grow something this winter that she could also sell. Could you help us find something easy to care for that could grow indoors since we live in the city and have no room for any planting other than a small container on the deck? —Becky Drenon
A Given the growing time and space limitations, starting from seed indoors might be her best option. Light levels are much lower during the winter months, so a south-facing window would be ideal, but horticultural grow lights are also an option. You might also look into community gardens in your area. The agriculture and horticulture agents at your local Cooperative Extension Service will be a great local resource for her.
Is she required to grow edibles or are ornamentals an option? Edible options that can be started from seed indoors later this winter include lettuces, spinach, kale, broccoli, cabbage, peas, carrots and onions among other cool season crops. Use the information on the seed packets to correlate the planting time to when they need to be sold. Garlic—a great option for a community garden—can be planted now directly in the soil and ready for harvest next spring.
Ornamental options include spring flowering bulbs. They can be potted up now and left outside all winter long. Pansies/violas, snapdragons, dianthus, sweet alyssum and sweet peas are cool season annuals that can be started indoors from seed.