Grow Vegetables Indoors Over Winter




Introduction: Grow Vegetables Indoors Over Winter

About: I work in the IT industry and enjoy motorbikes and elecrtronic. I like to get my kids to help built things to expand their minds.

During winter it's hard to grow your own veggies without them freezing to death. We still want our fresh vegetables but don't have a glass house to put them in, so I decided to build myself an indoor window box.

What you need:

Square section tin spouting
Untreated wood about 20mm thick
Wood screws
Rubber feet

Step 1: Materials

I went along to a local building supply recycler and found a length of tin spouting. The spouting was about 130mm square, 1800mm long and made from colour steel which is tin with a baked on colour coating. The spouting cost me NZ $8.00.

After a look thru my wood pile I found some untreated 150x150x20mm timber for the ends of my window box.

Step 2: Assembly

Measure the inside of the spouting, across the bottom and up the sides.
Mark and cut two pieces of your untreated wood so they fit snugly in the ends of the spouting.

Pre-drill the spouting about 10mm in from the edge and put a bead of sealant along the edge. The sealant is simply to stop water leaking out around the ends onto my window sills.

Use wood screws to secure the ends of your window box on.

I used four self adhesive rubber feet on the bottom of the window box so the screws on the bottom dont scratch the window sill.

Step 3: All Done

Now its time to fill your window box with soil and plant some vegetables. I put my window box in a nice sunny window, after a few days I could see the lettuces had grown!!

Happy growing.



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    43 Discussions

    Good idea. I,ll make one, if I ever divorce my wife.

    Nice job like the idea , have a look to my hydroponics garden

    great idea !!! May I ask. which direction that the window faces ? west or east or another ? And how long the estimate time of plants get the sunlight ? Thank you

    1 reply

    Hi. Thanks for the comment. The window was facing north (I'm in the southern hemisphere) so it got sun most of the day. I can't remember how long they took to grow, I would pick leaves off as required for making lunches etc.

    Brilliant idea. I had a similar one for work as a way of inspiring staff to make their own lunches and grab herbs and salads from the windowsill garden. We haven't done it yet, but this certainly gives inspiration.... thank you, I'll pass it on in my Facebook page.

    Kind regards

    what do you do about drainage issues? This seems to be the perpetual problem with indoor gardening.

    2 replies

    We just dont over water it. Just enough water to keep it damp but not moist enough for bugs to populate.

    This build looks more like a box than something I'd depend on to really hold water, especially if I'm picking it up as a second-hand gutter. (Ever seen someone throw away a gutter that was perfectly leak free?) I'd seal it and then line it with plastic. Another alternative is to use PVC with holes where you want the plants or cut lengthwise into two long troughs. That way you have caps and sealant easily available.

    Additionally, this needs to be in a South-Facing window with zero shade from neighbors or trees.

    I made one of these last year just out of an aluminum gutter - I put gravel on the bottom of the gutter and used straws as "vents"...  details here on my blog

    Isn't it nice to have fresh veggies growing in the winter?!  Late last winter I grew peas just to enjoy watching something GROW in the winter. 

    4 replies

    Don't you have to worry about bugs. I tried growing inside once and had a bunch of little flies/bugs. not to sure what they are, but was a real nusince. Any ideas.

    Sometimes. If you use good-quality planting soil it isn't bad. I don't think I've gotten bugs with this planter, but I've had it in storage outside for a while while I am working on other projects. Usually you get bugs when your soil or plants are contaminated with aphid eggs. I also had trouble with them when I lived in an old apartment from them coming from the next-door apartment, presumably.

    I think the biggest problem with any indoor flowering plant/vegetable is cross-polination. I made a point to shuffle the plants with my hands when they were flowering to hopefully help in that. (or use a paintbrush) It's not really sturdy enough (at least mine, at nearly 5 feet) to carry outside for the day, but you could try that or simply take the screen off the window for a few hours. Just make sure you have a fly swatter around!

    You can also buy a spray from a gardening center usually called blossom set.
    then give the flowers a spritz ( follow directions on product ) Note: Fruit / veggies will be seedless! Great for tomatoes used for juice or sauce

    Did you purchase your soil or did you use soil obtained from outdoors?
    To catch the little buggers find a bottle or use an empty plastic soda bottle ( clear is best so you can see how many you trapped) and pour in some vinegar 2 tablespoons is enough but enough to cover the bottom is better. Roll a piece of paper to make a funnel so that you have a hole that is pencil diameter or smaller. ( top diameter the larger the better but large enough so that it will not fall into your bottle) Use tape to secure your funnel together and then tape the funnel to the top of the bottle. Set your trap near your soil.. Happy hunting

    Do the plants grow from just the light of the sun? If so what longitude do you live at? If not what sort of light do you use?

    What a great idea! I can make it whatever length I want, and it will fit right in the window sill! Thanks for sharing!

    HELP! when ever I start seeds indoors they get all spindly and die, What am I doing wrong?

    4 replies

    If you put your plants as close as possible to the light source,"GROW LIGHT" or shoplight, I mean 1/4" away that will help greatly...the shoplight won't give off any heat to hurt your little plants...grab it and find out, its cool to the touch barely warm, I let them touch the lights, also if you want strong stems turn a fan on low or medium and let it gently stir the stems in turn they will become strong and stocky....try it ok!

    awesome information, thank you! I will try all of your suggestions and let you know how I do

    How did your plants do this time, after putting them close to your grow lights?

    They did much better, I am actually eating the cucumbers as we speak! Thank you for your help it was much appreciated!