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Sonoma County Gazette
In your Garage garden
In your Garage garden, make use of any windows, but fluorescent lights are an inexpensive option for dark areas. Photo:

How to Transform Your Garage 
Into a Winter Gardening Oasis

Dec 2, 2019


By Emma Croft

You can use rope hung from the ceiling for climbers such as these succelents. Image courtesy of PixabayAs the seasons change, many outdoor plants shrivel and wither away due to the cold, while only a few hang on.  Gardeners everywhere are tempted to pack away the shears for a few months, while others get creative and bring their garden indoors.

The  health benefits  of gardening can be felt at any age, so it makes sense why more and more growers are finding ways to set up successful indoor gardens without investing in a state-of-the-art greenhouse. If you’re one of the people searching for a way to keep up the healthy hobby, consider transforming your garage into an indoor growing space.

Claim a Corner … or the Whole Garage 

Plant growing in a garage. Image courtesy of Pixabay.Once you commit to the idea of creating a garden indoors, clear a space to build your setup. You’ll need room for a humidifier, lights and more, depending on the plants you choose to grow. Before you start shopping for supplies, figure out how much room you have. 

For those who don’t have a finished garage or spare space in the garage, there’s always the option of constructing a standalone wood or steel garden shed. Steel structures last longer  than wood, but they tend to be more costly and can rust if the framing is made with red oxide primer. The way around this is to go with a company that guarantees the steel structure won’t rust. The fact that steel requires little to no maintenance can be worth the high cost.

Wood is an attractive building material, and it’s cheaper than steel. However, due to being susceptible to weather and termite damage, it needs to be maintained often. Be sure to weigh the pros and cons of each material before making this big purchase.

Before you start constructing the building, make sure you acquire any permits  or licenses in accordance with your local and state laws. Build your space or clear your garage corner and start getting the basics for your indoor garden figured out.

Does It Feel Right?

Find a way to monitor and manipulate the temperature for your indoor garden. Unless you’re lucky enough to have a thermostat in a fully finished garage, the outside elements have a way of letting themselves in.

Insulate the garage and go around any windows, sealing cracks or holes with caulking or spray foam found at any nearby hardware store. This should eliminate some leakage and aid your battle against the elements. However, if you’re still having a hard time maintaining the temperature inside, invest in a thermometer,  space heater and fan you can leave in the garage.

Light It Up 

Place your plants under a fluorescent light. Photo: thereadystore.comIf your garage doesn’t allow any natural light in, don’t consider it a lost cause. There are plenty of  indoor lighting options available for gardeners. One of the most affordable and popular grow lights are fluorescent lights.

As far as efficiency goes,  fluorescent lights   are an inexpensive option, but there are other lights better suited to certain plants, budgets and goals. If you decide to go with another option, make sure your plants or seedlings can handle any heat coming off of the light.

Move the Plants 

When it comes time to bringing your plants indoors, you can choose between nutrient-rich soil and a   hydroponic system.   If you go with the latter, messy soil is left outside, and setting up your own DIY hydroponic garden will end up saving you more money in the end. And since hydroponic systems require less space than soil, you can grow more plants indoors than you realize.

With these tips, you can simplify the entire indoor gardening process and focus on watching your plants grow. Take your gardening indoors to continue your personal growth all year round. Who knew a garage could be so lush?



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