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Gardening is a proven positive in people’s lives, providing something calming and therapeutic to do, as well as some exercise and delicious food. Unfortunately, we can’t always be outside in the garden. Sometimes the weather is a little uncooperative, either raining us indoors or growing too cold for piddling. In such instances, there is still gardening to be done.

There are a lot of indoor garden projects to work on when the weather isn’t right for being out. In fact, some gardening tasks just work perfectly for days stuck inside, and they are worth keeping in mind when you’re pining for the garden on a snowy day. Rest assured, there is still valuable and rewarding labor to be done, as well as some fun stuff.

Some of these DIY indoor garden projects can provide food for the kitchen or greenery in the house. Others will prepare you for those days when you are back in the garden.

1. Make a Container Garden

Container indoor gardens are an important movement for the future. In a world becoming increasingly more urban and the price of food miles ever more apparent, localized and home food production is hopefully going to become commonplace. Plenty of food — culinary herbs, salad greens, even vegetables — can be grown in containers in a sunny window. It’s like having a greenhouse but without having to pay for it.

2. Dry Culinary Herbs

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Fresh culinary herbs are fantastic, and they up the flavor of a meal. On the other hand, they don’t last forever. Many fresh herbs thrive in the summertime and wilt away or go dormant in the winter, so it’s good practice to get them while the getting is good. Prune those overly rambunctious herb plants and dry them to store for leaner times.

3. Design the Landscape

For those who take a minute to think through their gardens, to develop a design rather than wing it, the outcome can pay in huge harvests with minimal effort. Rather than waste a rainy day feeling glum, we can spend it daydreaming about our gardens, designing them to take advantage of the space and make the most of what we’ve got at hand.

4. Build a Hanging Garden

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In the same vein as container gardens, hanging indoor gardens can be grown near a sunny window, and by using the vertical space, several productive plants can be grown in the same square footage. The hanging gardens also provide a beautiful lush corner of the house from which you can pluck tomatoes, green beans, strawberries, or lettuce leaves on a daily basis.

5. Create a Vertical Pallet Planter

If hanging gardens aren’t in the cards, pallets can be easily transformed into amazing vertical planters, with a series of mounted pots and window boxes growing all sorts of produce. With just a little sanding and staining, an old pallet can become a featured item, and it’s all the better if said item is wrought with fresh vegetables.

6. Plant an Avocado Tree

Unless you are blessed enough to live in a location suitable to growing avocados, there is little likelihood that starting an avocado tree will result in a harvest, but that doesn’t stop it from being fun. For those with children, it’s a fantastic little endeavor for them to be part of, and the seeds, while not yielding, do often succeed in growing into trees.

7. Start a Seed Bank

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Smart farmers save seeds, and that’s how it was done up until very recently. For folks into growing heirloom varieties and organic vegetables, it’s time to get back in the game. Many plants go to flower, and the seeds can be dried out on the branches. Leave them in the pods until a rainy day when they can be shelled.

8. Root Clippings

This activity pairs wonderfully with drying fresh herbs. Most culinary herbs can be grown from clippings, so instead of tossing the stems away, stick them in a bottle with the cut ends hanging in water. Adding a tiny amount of compost to the water for nutrients sometimes helps as well. It’s possible to multiply your garden supply for free.

9. Mend the Tools

Though it’s probably more productive than fun, depending on your particular tastes, mending tools is a great rainy day garden project. In the middle of the storm is the perfect time to replace a shovel handle. While a drizzle is drenching the field is the ideal opportunity for sharpening the hoe. Mending tools isn’t always fun, but it is very rewarding.

10. Prepare Seedling Pots

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Eventually, the rain is going to break, and it will be time to plant again. Don’t wait for that time to get the seedling pots ready. Instead, take advantage of being stuck inside to prepare your DIY biodegradable seedling starters so that, when the time is right, it can be used for planting seeds rather than making pots.

11. Grow Sprouts

Get a sprouting station going. Take advantage of indoor growing spaces and propagate seeds, legumes, and grains to provide some sprouts. They are super healthy, easy to grow, and are one more area of home productivity that can be easily achieved. Growing sprouts is a picture-perfect indoor gardening activity.

Gardens are busy places, full of things to do and rewards to be had, so don’t let a little rain distract from that. Save these indoor activities for the right time and enjoy the garden while you can.

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