Can I make an indoor vegetable garden?

Sometimes you really wish to have some freshly grown vegetables rather than the veggies from the market. But you live in an apartment and don’t have a lawn or enough open space to make an outdoor vegetable garden.

Now you may be wondering that how this wish can become true. So, Can you make an indoor vegetable garden inside your house?

Yes, you can. All you just have to make sure your plant gets enough sunlight, water, and nutrients. Besides this, taking proper care of your garden can make your dream come true.

Only thinking of having an indoor garden is not enough. Rather than that you need to take some actions!

But what will you do? Well, for that I am here with this article to give you guidance about the indoor vegetable garden. Let’s dive in for more details.

From where to start?

Let’s start your indoor gardening journey by making the right plan for it. The right plan will help your way to achieve your dream.

You certainly need to ensure some things for your garden. Like plan for a garden location, then how you would like to make it: in a container or on the ground. So you have to think and plan all the following things to start.  

·        Choose the location

The first thing is to choose an indoor garden space for your garden. The location should have a proper lighting system. If you don’t have an open rooftop or balcony, then you can choose windows to set up your garden.

Most vegetables want sunlight for at least six to eight hours per day. Again, for some vegetables, 4 hours of sunlight is enough like lettuce, herbs. Some need direct sunlight or some need partial sunlight.

So choose a place where your plants can get maximum sunlight. Along with sunlight, you have to make sure that the temperature of your location is perfect for the plant.

Some vegetables need cool weather to grow like radish, beets, lettuce prefer to grow at around 15 degree Celsius. So give them a place where the sunlight stays only for 4 hours per day or less.

Some other vegetables prefer heat to grow like peppers, beans, and tomatoes. They need a temperature of around 20 degrees Celsius or above. So, ensure them having at least 6 to 8 hours of light.

·        Select the right containers

After choosing the right location, you need to think about what you will use for sowing. Basically, it is right to choose containers rather than open ground for indoor.

You can’t randomly choose any size of container. The size of the container will vary according to your plant. The container you have selected must be clean, solidly constructed, and has proper drainage holes.

Small size veggies like a salad green, radish can grow in deeper soil containers that are few inches deep. Large plants like tomatoes, cucumbers, beans need to grow with more root systems to support them, so use larger containers. Carrots, beets also need to grow in large pots as they grow under the soil.

·        Select the growing medium

Perfect soil will grow healthy plants and you will get good veggies. So, choose high-quality potting soil as well as high-quality seeds. 

It’s better to use a sterile potting soil mix for indoor gardening. It is super light and so you can move around your containers easily. Well, the best benefit of this is that it may save your plants from soil-borne pathogens.

Perlite, vermiculite, peat moss, and sand are equally mixed in this mixture. Some mixtures contain moisture-holding crystals and timed-release fertilizer though they may be a lit bit expensive for you.

·        Fertilizer for the medium

The plant may need to give nutrients from external sources though they collect their nutrients from the soil. Many times it so happened that the soil doesn’t contain enough nutrients. So, you have to provide them for plant growth.

You need it more when your plants are growing in a soilless mixture. You can use a water-soluble fertilizer, organic liquid fertilizer like fish emulsion, seaweed fertilizer, or some chemical-based fertilizer following the product instructions.

There are some other variations too like palletized fertilizer. It is a slow-release fertilizer that is mixed up with soil while preparing.

Be cautious while using any kind of fertilizer. If you use excessive fertilizer it may burn delicate roots or build up salts.

·        Water for your plants

You can’t live without water so as your plant. Ensure the right amount of watering for your plants so that they are moist enough.

Generally, tap water is okay for your plants. But sometimes, minerals from your tap water can be harmful to your plant. If so happen then definitely use filtered water or boil the water and cool it before use.

Excess water can make your plant roots get rotten. The roots may get loosen from the soil too. On the other hand, too little water can make the soil dry especially during winter when you use the heater for heating.

Indoor plants have a limited amount of soil and so they need more water to keep them moist. So, use a tray under the pots and some stones at the lower part of the soil.

The tray of water will keep the soil hydrated and stones will hold on to some water. However, mold on the soil surface, root rotting, leaves dropping off are the signs of overwatering. Ultimately, your plant will die.

So if you don’t want to lose your plant, please take care of them by giving them the right amount of water.

·        Pest attacks! Are the saving materials ready?

An indoor garden is much easier than an outdoor garden when it comes to animal attacks or pest attacks. If you use sterilized potting mediums and containers, then you have to worry less about the pests.

There may be mealy bugs, spider mites, aphids, or whitefly when you already have houseplants. You can control these pests just by spraying organic insecticidal soap.

Follow the instructions are written on the packet to use. Don’t overuse or use it when it’s almost the harvesting time. Wash the veggies before use if you use pest control products in the garden.

What to grow? When to grow?

You have got all the necessary things ready to make your garden. But wait! Where is the plant?

Okay, don’t worry. Relax a bit.

I’m going to tell you when you can start your gardening and the veggies that you can grow indoor for example, you can’t grow corn inside your house.

·        Right time to start an indoor vegetable garden

“When should I start making my indoor garden?” Probably this question is rising in your mind.

Well, you don’t need to concern about the season or perfect time for indoor planting. In an indoor garden, you are controlling the growing environment of the plants. So, it is 40 degrees or minus 40 degrees Celsius temperature it doesn’t matter.

Besides, the choice of vegetables also plays a great role here. Some veggies love to grow at a cool temperature like lettuce, radish, and beets. Try to grow them during winter.

Again, some prefer hot weather to grow like peppers and tomatoes. So, choose them to grow in summer.

Like this, growing times will vary but you can ensure controlled temperature and LED light to grow your veggies indoors anytime!

11 Easiest vegetables to grow inside for beginners

There are almost dozens of plants that you can plant in your garden. So, let’s check it out.

1.      Herbs:You can choose to grow herbs to make your food tastier. You can even put the potted plants inside your kitchen beside a sunny window.

Though they are not vegetables, you can plant them to get fresh herbs as well as for saving money. As a beginner, it will be easy too for you to make an indoor herb garden. Just directly put the seeds in the soil.

2.      Greens: You can make your garden greener just by planting lettuce. It will also give you continuous harvest without using too much sunlight.

Besides this, you can grow other leafy greens like spinach, Swiss chard, kale. This green portion will ensure you a good salad! You can also regrow them from food scraps.  

3.      Carrots: Only some good soil and a deep container you are all ready to grow carrots. It is mainly a vegetable for cold weather.

4.      Radishes: Along with carrots, you can grow radishes too in your garden. It needs only 4 inches of soil and you can grow it as a beginner. It will provide you a quick harvest.

5.      Potatoes: It is a little bit difficult to grow them. They need large spaces to grow and need a lot of sunlight after establishment. But if you love them all these difficulties don’t matter.

6.      Scallions: Scallions are low maintenance and quick harvest giving vegetables. You can use seeds to grow them or regrow them from the scraps. Plant the white bulb in the soil and get a continuous harvest.

7.      Tomatoes: There are various types of tomato plants that you can harvest inside your house. All you need proper sunlight, large size pots, and enough root support system to grow this large plant. But honestly, dwarf tomatoes are easy to grow inside.

8.      Peppers: Small chili pepper, shishitos, and many other types of chilies can be grown indoor. It is easy to grow pepper plants as they are small in size. Like tomatoes, they also need proper sunlight.  

9.      Microgreens: Basically miniature greens from radishes, mustard greens, chard, broccoli, lettuce, and more are known as microgreens. It is a good addition to your salads and can easily grow in an indoor garden. Putting in a shallow container, place the container in a sunny place. 

10.  Celery: It is a re-growing plant that you can put in your vegetable garden. Plant the seeds or put the stump (about 2 inches tall) inside the container or in water. Put the root side down and new celery will be started to grow.

11.  Mushrooms: Mushrooms are not vegetables but you still can grow them if you don’t have enough sunny spots. Button mushrooms, oyster mushrooms are easy to grow. You can use a wood log to grow them or can use grow kit easily.

The last thing is that grow your favorite vegetables but know every single detail of your plant before planting. But if you want to get a quick harvest from the first gardening batch, then plant carrots, radishes, microgreens. They are easygoing too!

Take care of your plants

It’s not like you just plant a tree and now your duty is over. The plant will take care of itself and give you some great veggies out of gratitude for planting them.

No, after planting your duty is to take care of them.

·        Balance the sunlight and make sure your plant must get adequate light. Too much sunlight can damage the cold season plants and vice versa can happen with your summer season plants.

·        Maintain the soil moist. Make sure your soil is not too dry or too wet.

Also, check the drainage holes. Are they too much to drain all the water? Are they too short to keep all the water inside the pot? So, make proper drainage holes.

·        Identify if your plants are healthy enough or not. Are they suffering from plant diseases or pest attacks?

Are they dying? What can be the cause, overwatering or under watering, light leveling, or your negligence?

Know the problems and apply the solutions.

Solution of common problems for beginners

You are new to gardening and it is quite normal for you to face problems. You can face different types of difficulties. But here are 1 or 2 common problems that almost all have faced.

How to know when to water your indoor plant?

I know plants can’t talk but you can understand when they need water. So, here are the tips –

·         Use a soil probe to draw some soil out of the pot. You will get to know what the condition of soil under the surface is.

·         Another tool moisture meter will tell you how dry your soil is by using a measuring scale.

·         Usually, you can lift the container up. If they feel heavy then they are hydrated enough.

·         If you notice brown crispy edges of the leaves, they need more water. If the leaves’ edges are brown and mushy, they get excess water by frequent watering. 

·         Sometimes yellow leaves indicate that they get too much or too little water. But it may not be the case all time.

How to grow plants without sunlight?

Many indoor gardeners face the problem that there is not a required amount of sunlight. So, what will you do? Give up gardening!

Well, that’s not the solution. You use an artificial light source for your plants.

Plants can get benefits from cool and warm fluorescent lights like natural lights. If the sunlight is not enough, replace sunlight with full-spectrum CFLs and LEDs for more efficiency.

Sometimes you need to choose one 1000 watt to grow light bulb that has the same wavelengths as the sun. A regular light bulb may not work.

Put the lights in a chain for easy movement and place the lights 6 inches away from the plants. For light reflection, you can even use aluminum foil or a whiteboard around the container surface. This will maximize the effects.

Especially, when you sow the seeds or bulbs, arrange for the lights if the plants can’t get enough natural light. After germination when the seedlings come out, you better place them under artificial lights.

When the plants get sunlight for partial hours, you can put them where they can get light both from natural and artificial light sources.

Advantages that you will get from indoor vegetable gardening

The indoor vegetable garden will help you to relieve stress. In this era of technology, we spend too much time using devices and get stressed. So, it will give you happiness without using devices. Also, it will add some kinds of fun to your monotonous life.

We don’t have time to do the shopping for fresh veggies regularly and cook them. So, having an indoor vegetable garden will ensure a healthy diet for you.

Nowadays many dishonest businessmen use chemicals to keep the vegetables fresh for a long time. So, if you own an indoor vegetable garden, you won’t have to worry about what you are eating.

It can save your money too. Many herbs and veggies available in the supermarket are costly.

Besides, less shopping means less usage of plastic wraps. Less buying means less production and less usage of chemical fertilizers. So, can you imagine how much eco-friendly your garden is!

Last but not least, an indoor garden will give your home a fresh feeling.

Some extra tips for you

Who doesn’t love to get some extra? Everyone, right?

So, here are some extra tips for your garden

·        You can grow veggies all year round by ensuring the basic needs of the plants. Just choose the seasonal vegetables to grow as a beginner. Otherwise, if you choose to make a summer garden in winter, it will be a little difficult for you now.

·        You can recycle materials in your garden. For example, use plastic water or oil containers for your garden. Coffee grounds, food scraps, and banana peels as fertilizers too.

You can find so many recycling ideas for your garden. So, show you creativity!

Last words for you

Now you know that you can make an indoor vegetable garden. So, what are you waiting for?

Get the essential elements and indoor space ready, choose your vegetables, make your garden, harvest your indoor veggies, and add some green to your home.

Always remember that you can have your own choice while selecting a veggie and modify your garden according to its requirement. But don’t take too much hassle as a beginner and don’t choose too big plants for indoor.

Wish you all the best. Happy gardening!

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