With spring here and summer just around the corner, ’tis the season – for vegetable gardens. People all over the country are planting their radishes, corn, onions, peppers and more. For those of us living in apartments or houses without a backyard or plot of land, planting a vegetable garden can seem impossible.
We just have to be a little more creative.
Indoor Vegetable Gardens: Everything You Need to Know
An indoor vegetable garden is just what it sounds like – a vegetable garden you grow inside your home. There are a few plants that don’t do as well indoors, but most vegetables can be grown just as easily inside. Some even grow better indoors.
The most important thing you can do if you want to grow vegetables inside is to buy the right equipment. It doesn’t take much to make an indoor vegetable garden: a sunny window (or some specialized light bulbs), the right growing containers, and some nutrient-rich potting soil.
Natural sunlight is best, so if you have a nice, big window that fills up with the sun and isn’t too close to any heating or air conditioning vents, that’s a prime spot for vegetable growing. If sunshine isn’t something your house has in abundance, these grow lights by GE are an excellent backup plan.
The best type of potting soil is actually different from plant to plant. If you don’t want to take the time to research which potting soil is best for each vegetable you want to grow, however, Perfect Plants has an organic potting mix that’s great for most indoor vegetables and plants. You can also order or make your own homemade plant food to keep your plants thriving.
The type of pot you use is less important than the soil and the sunlight, but we like these, known as Potato Grow Bags, especially for root vegetables. Again, it’s always best to tailor your pots to your specific plant, but in a pinch, any pot will do. Just make sure you plan for the mature size of the plant. Otherwise, you may find yourself having to re-pot or risk your plants not having enough room to mature fully.
What Can I Grow Inside?
An indoor vegetable garden can include many different vegetables. Smaller vegetables are easiest and take up the least amount of room, but you aren’t limited to herbs and scallions. People successfully grow all kinds of veggies – and even fruits – inside their homes. If you’ve never grown vegetables inside before and are nervous, you might want to stick to the easier ones until you feel more comfortable.
The easiest things to grow inside are herbs. There are many pre-packaged herb kits you can buy that come with everything you need to grow herbs like basil, cilantro, chives, sage, oregano, dill, thyme, and more.
These kits are incredibly convenient because they literally come with everything you need except the sunlight and a little water. You simply follow the step-by-step instructions on how to plant the seeds, put them in a sunny spot, give them a little water, and watch them grow.
Greens are also extremely easy to grow indoors. Whether you enjoy lettuce, cabbage, kale, spinach or chard, you can easily grow some inside your home. Most people growing indoors grow micro or baby greens. There are kits for growing these as well, but you can do just as well buying the seeds and planting them yourself if you’d rather be more selective with the types of greens you’re growing.
When it comes to favorite vegetables, tomatoes rank high up on most people’s lists. Because tomato vines get so tall and take up so much room, people often think they can’t be grown inside. This isn’t true at all. Tomatoes actually grow really well inside the house. They’re less prone to attacks by harmful bacteria and bugs.
When growing tomatoes inside, you need lots of sun. Additionally, you’ll also want to make sure you get a pot large enough to sustain the plant. Once your tomato plant starts growing, you may also need some stakes or tomato plant cages to keep them upright.
If you don’t want to put in that much work to grow tomatoes in your indoor vegetable garden, you could instead choose to grow the smaller varieties of the plant. These include Tommy Toe, Tiny Tim, Vilma, Orange Hat, Yellow Canary, Florida Petite and more.
Carrots & Radishes
Carrots and radishes have a lot in common. They both prefer to grow in cooler areas, so they often do better inside than outside. They’re both extremely easy to grow indoors. The only thing you really need to remember is to plant them in a deep pot. They’re both root vegetables and will grow down, not up. Be sure to leave them plenty of room to grow. The grow bags we mentioned earlier are perfect for growing carrots and radishes.
Leeks & Scallions
Just as carrots and radishes have a lot in common, so, too, do scallions and leeks. They’re both easily grown inside, needing only some sun and water to do well. In addition to being grown from seeds like other veggies, scallions and leeks can also be grown from other pieces of the plant you’ve cut off while cooking. As crazy as that sounds, it’s true. In fact, you can even grow scallions by cutting off the end of a white or Vidalia onion and planting the whole end in some soil. A few days later, a scallion plant will pop right up.
Other Easily Grown Plants
These are only a few of the most popular options for indoor gardens. There are so many more. With the right conditions, you can grow strawberries, eggplants, lemons, beets, celery, garlic, broccoli, avocados, peas, peppers, and even mushrooms inside. This planting season, don’t let your lack of outdoor space deter you from growing the indoor garden of your dreams.
Looking for more about gardening in 2020? Read this post about creating your own victory garden here.
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