Gardening can be a very fun activity, especially if you know what you are doing. Unfortunately, many people don’t have access to a large, open space that could be turned into a beautiful garden. They are only left with the choice to maintain an indoor garden. Fortunately, growing a garden inside your home is not as difficult as you might think.
The best way to grow vegetables inside your home is to use the appropriate supplies and educate yourself about the best practices for growing different types of leafy greens and herbs. Given below are a few tips to help you get started.
Get the correct supplies
It’s crucial to use the correct supplies and equipment to help grow your plants. Otherwise, they would be able to grow in optimal conditions. In fact, it can completely stunt the growth of your vegetables and prevent them from surviving for long.
Here are a few important supplies that you need for growing vegetables inside your home:
1. Growing medium – You should never use soil from the garden or transfer leftover soil from other plants since it’s not a good growing medium for growing plants in containers. In fact, soil can become waterlogged due to being too heavy and even bring in insects, pests, or diseases.
The best way to grow vegetables inside in containers is to use compost and combine it with an organic soil or potting mix made for vegetables. These are lightweight, drain quickly, and provide good aeration for healthy root growth and optimum harvest. Alternatively, you may use a basic seed starting mix for growing plants from seeds.
2. Fertilizer – It’s important to feed your leafy greens and herbs with natural liquid fertilizer containing fish, seaweed, or humus at least once a month to keep a stable harvest. Be sure not to over-fertilize the plants since they can get damaged. However, if you are also growing fruiting plants, you can fertilize them twice a month since fruiting crops are heavier feeders.
Your best bet would be to follow the instructions on the product label to ensure you are using the right amount of fertilizer and feeding them at the recommended frequency.
3. Light – Natural light may not be sufficient for growing veggies, especially during the winter. Thus, you need to set up a few artificial light sources to make sure your plants receive adequate lighting. Typically, these include led or CMH grow lights. led lights are a more energy efficient solution while CMH grow lights offer better warmth and brightness.
4. Containers – It is recommended that you use large containers or window boxes with a depth of at least 8-10 inches to allow the roots of the plants to grow without obstruction. The containers or window boxes must also include a few drainage holes to allow the water to drain properly.
5. Air circulation – When growing plants indoors, you have to take care of the air circulation to prevent problems such as mold, fungus, pests growth and assist with pollination. An electric fan with a digital timer can be set up to promote good air circulation around your indoor vegetables every few hours.
6. Water and humidity – It can be challenging to ensure your vegetables are getting the right amount of humidity indoors. This is especially true during the winter months when most people have a heater running almost all day. Without enough water or humidity, your plants can wither, lose leaves, and turn brown at the tips.
You may use a spray bottle to mist your vegetables regularly or use an automated mister or humidifier. It is also important to keep your potting mix moist.
Follow a suitable growing method
Every plant cannot be grown in the same set of conditions. Some thrive in lower temperatures with less light while the opposite is true for other types of plants. Thus, the best way to grow vegetables inside your home is to learn about the optimal growing conditions of the plants that you intend to grow in your home and follow suitable growing methods.
Let’s look at the optimal growing conditions for plants that are suitable for growing indoors:
1. Herbs – Herbs include plants like thyme, basil, oregano, sage, rosemary, spearmint, peppermint, and more. These thrive in a temperature of about 70°F/20°C and require 12-16 hours of moderate to intense light every day.
2. Microgreens, leafy greens, and other cool-tolerant veggies – These include plants such as spinach, kale, arugula, peas, radish, and more. Microgreens, leafy greens, and other cool-tolerant veggies thrive at a temperature of about 60°F/15°C and require about 12 hours of moderate light every day.
3. Vegetables for warm climates – These include plants such as peppers, tomato, strawberry, and are the most difficult to grow indoors since they require 14-20 hours of direct sunlight or very intense light every day. These thrive at a temperature of about 70°F/20°C.
Take care of your plants
It’s essential to properly nurture your indoor plants to allow them to thrive and achieve a good harvest. Thus, you must make it a habit to check the plants for any signs of damage to make sure they don’t die, allow them to recover quickly when needed, and ensure you provide them with the ideal growing conditions.
Here are a few things to look out for:
1. Water – The growing medium or soilless potting mix should always be moist but not waterlogged. If you notice it getting dry, apply a little water to it to remoisturize the soilless potting mix.
2. Air circulation – Ensure that the electric fan is working properly and providing adequate air circulation to your vegetables.
3. Light – Check to see whether your growing lights are working properly and providing enough warmth and light. If you are relying on sunlight, make sure to position your plants in a location that offers ample natural light.
4. Pests, molds, disease – Inspect the potting mix and your plants to catch any signs of pests, molds, or disease.
5. Pollination – Plants such as tomatoes may require some help with pollination. You just have to dab your fingertips on each flower to distribute the pollen from one flower to another.