How to Set up a Winter Garden in Your Basement

vegetables in basketsYour unfinished basement probably doubles as a storage unit, but did you know it could also double as a garden?

Of course, in summer you can grow plants and vegetables outside, but harvesting crops all winter long is also possible. Guardian Basement Waterproofing is here to explain the mechanics of setting up a winter garden in your basement.

Is an indoor garden a good fit for you? Find out by answering the following questions:

-          Do you enjoy gardening and taking care of plants?

-          Do you buy a lot of fresh vegetables during winter?

-          Do you like to cook?

-          Do you have a basement space that can be used to set up a mini garden?

-          Do you have a few minutes a day to dedicate to gardening?

If you answered “yes” to all of those questions, then you could really benefit from setting up a mini garden in your basement. Imagine fewer shopping trips and the convenience of fresh produce one flight of stairs away.

NOTE: If your basement is on the humid side and you occasionally find mold down there, forget about the garden and call your local Maryland mold removal professionals instead. Growing plants in your basement will only increase humidity and worsen the mold issue.

So what do you need to grow plants in your basement during winter?

Light. Plants need light to grow. It’s great if your basement has windows that provide access to natural light, but this natural light won’t be enough. Because it gets dark so early in winter, your plants will need another source of light. This could be a high-intensity grow lamp or a series of fluorescent tubes, depending on what kinds of plants and how many you are growing.

Pots. Plants need some space to grow. While they are small, you can repurpose various household containers to house them. As your herbs and vegetables keep growing, you will need larger pots to support their ever-expanding root systems. If you trap a tomato plant in a pot that is too small, expect slow growth and small fruit.

Soil. Plants get the nutrients from soil. Depending on what you are growing and how big the pots are, you might need a lot of soil to keep the plants healthy and happy.

Water. Because it doesn’t rain in your basement (unless you have frequent flooding), the only water your plants receive is the one you supply. Expect to come down and water your garden every other day if you want to see results.

Besides light, water, soil and pots, you will also need seeds to plant, a relatively warm basement and time to dedicate to taking care of your garden. Most of the items on the list, besides the soil, will require a one-time investment.

The initial cost of your winter garden set-up would depend on its size and your basement’s conditions. Here is a good break-down of costs for an average basement garden. The costliest part will be paying for electricity to power the grow lights and the cost of lights themselves.

Do you have experience growing herbs and vegetables in your own basement? Please, share your stories. As Baltimore basement waterproofing specialists, we are always interested in hearing how homeowners take advantage of their dry basements.