By starting your own indoor garden with your own home-grown vegetables, herbs, and fruits you will be able to enjoy fresh, clean and organic produce all-year round.
This will not only make your meals more delicious and healthy but will also save you a lot of money for grocery shopping of overpriced fruits and vegetables during the cold seasons.
Also, a garden inside your home will bring nature inside, as well as freshness and cleaner air.
Last but not least, taking care of an indoor garden is pure joy. You will love watching your plants grow, thrive and give fruit. Pretty soon indoor gardening will turn into your favorite pastime.
But before you get started with the planting, here are some of the basic tips you should keep in mind if you want to have a thriving garden and a positive indoor gardening experience rather than frustration.
You will need to find a place for the garden
The best thing about an indoor garden is that you can choose exactly how big you want it to be. Your garden can consist of a few containers placed on the windowsills in the kitchen, or you can dedicate a special space or even a whole room for it. This all depends on the space you have and on the plans you have for your garden.
So, choose an area where you will place your pots or containers where there is sufficient light and where the temperature and humidity levels can be controlled. If this is not possible, you can install your indoor garden even in the darkest place like in your basement with the help of a grow tent. The temperature, humidity, and lighting inside the tent will ensure that your plants thrive and produce fruit no matter where you have located them.
Think about the practical side before setting up your garden indoors like whether it will be easy to clean up any spilled water or soil, as well.
Plants need light, so make sure there is enough of it
Light is an essential element for the life, photosynthesis, and growth of every plant, so you need to make sure that your home garden has sufficient lighting.
The best light for plants is natural sunlight of course, but if you do not have an available area with enough direct sunlight, you can easily replace it with good quality grow lights instead.
You should pick a warm spectrum grow light for any fruiting plants and a cool spectrum grow lamp for seedlings, herbs and leafy greens.
Check how much light your plants need per day and also make sure you turn the lamps off at night because just like us, plants need to rest too.
Make sure the temperature level is suitable
The most suitable temperature for an indoor garden is somewhere in the range of 65 to 75 degrees Fahrenheit, so make sure that you place your indoor garden in a room or area which has air conditioning or central heating, or where you can provide the plants with a constant temperature level. Any drastic deviations in the temperature can harm and even kill the plants. You may want to get a thermometer to alert you if the temperature falls or rises, so you can take timely precautions.
Don’t forget to watch the humidity levels as well
Humidity is another essential factor for the wellbeing and proper growth of plants. Keep in mind that usually in the colder seasons when you turn the heating on, the humidity level will most likely drop. This can cause the leaves of the plants to go brown or fall off.
In order to keep the humidity level healthy for the plants, you can mist them daily, or place a vessel with water and lava rocks next to the pots so that it can evaporate and keep them moist. It also helps to place the pots closer together so that the moisture is captured by the leaves rather than evaporate.
Choose proper containers
Plants have roots which grow, so make sure that you choose pots or other containers which are large and deep enough to provide the space needed for the growing roots. A good rule of the thumb is to choose a pot which is at least 6 inches high and deep. The bigger the pot, the larger the plant will grow.
Another important thing to keep in mind is that every pot needs to have drainage holes. Without them, the water will get stuck in it and can damage the roots of your plants.
Get the best growing medium for your plants
Don’t be tempted to bring soil from outside, because you can bring in pests and weeds to your indoor garden. Instead, choose a suitable mix for indoor growing. It should be fluffy and loose so that the plants can be aerated properly and so that the water can flow through it freely and reach all of the roots and then leave the container.
If you want you can add compost, bark or coconut hair to the soil, to make it richer and fluffier.
Also, you can try a soilless growing medium instead, if you don’t want to deal with dirt at home.
If you choose hydroponics, you can ensure that your plants get all the nutrients they need to grow much faster than in soil, and plus you will protect them from pests and other diseases. Hydroponics is a great medium to choose if you have limited space, as you can grow the plants in much smaller containers and place them vertically or wherever you want.
Be careful when you choose the plants for your indoor garden
Choose the plants you want to grow indoors wisely. You don’t want to pick a plant which will grow to be gigantic, as well as a plant which requires professional gardening skills. There are plenty of veggies, herbs, and fruits which are small enough and easy enough to grow inside, and are still delicious. Choose herbs like oregano, basil, rosemary, or vegetables like tomatoes, peppers, cucumbers, zucchini, salad greens, micro greens. You can also easily grow delicious strawberries or mushrooms too. Citruses also grow indoors pretty well.
Proper watering is essential
Watering plants may seem like a simple task, but the fact is that this is where most indoor gardening newbies make the most mistakes. Plants do need water to live and grow, but too much water can damage and kill them. So, be patient and don’t water your plants too much and when it is not needed. To check whether the plant is ready to be watered simply stick your finger in the soil to get a feeling of it. If it is all soaked, then do not water the plant further. If the soil is dry, then water it immediately.
When you water the plants, always make sure you water them sufficiently so that the water reaches all parts of the roots. Water until you see water seeping out of the drainage holes of the pot.
When it is warmer or sunnier, your plants will need more water because it evaporates faster. In the winter, you won’t need to water the plants so often.
As you can see, it is not that difficult to set up your very own indoor garden, so go ahead and get those pots and gardening tools out right now!