Do you miss eating delicious fresh salads in the winter season, or feel frustrated by the lack of fresh veggies and fruits when the cold seasons arrive? You can easily turn winter into spring by starting up your own indoor garden.
With a home indoor garden, you will have access to fresh produce all year long, and best of all you will know that it has been grown in the healthiest and most organic way possible as well. Plus, imaging how much money you can save from buying overpriced vegetables and fruits from your local grocery store, if you have your own garden within the realms of your apartment or house.
Starting up and caring for an indoor garden is actually easier than it may seem. All you need to do is know the basics about indoor gardening and follow a few basic tips.
Here are the 5 most important indoor growing tips for newbies
1. Use high quality lighting
Even if you live in a sunny home, the sunlight during the winter season can be scarce, so make sure that you purchase and install good quality grow lamps for your potted edible plants. Light is essential for photosynthesis and for the healthy development and growth of plants, so making sure that your home garden plants get sufficient lighting is key for the overall success of your home gardening mission.
You should choose top quality grow lamps or lights which are safe for the plants, and which will give your plants the light they need to grow and flourish even during the shorter days of the winter season.
Remember to choose grow lamps which have energy saving lightbulbs, and leave them on for at least 14 to 18 hours per day for the best results. Don’t forget to let the plants rest just like you do at night, and allow them some dark time as well. The fact is, plants tend to grow the most when they are resting so don’t overdo it with the lighting!
2. Lower the frequency of the watering
Indoor plants where the environment is much more controlled than outdoors need less frequent watering. If you are planning on using an automatic watering pump, you should set the timer to 45 minutes off and 15 minutes on for your indoor garden. By reducing the watering cycles, you will save energy, water and also prolong the life of your watering pump.
Always choose containers and pots which have holes for drainage of the excess water. This will allow for the water to flow freely through the soil and roots, and then leave the pot without causing potential damage to the roots.
3. Choose the perfect location for your indoor plants
Choose a part of your home where you can have easy access to the plants when cooking, especially if you are planning on growing edible plants. If your kitchen is large enough you can set up your indoor garden directly in it. Of course, not everyone has a huge kitchen or living space, so you should pick the location in accordance with your available space. You can always use a grow tent in your garage or set up a greenhouse if you have the space and means available too.
If you are planning on relying on natural sunlight, then pick a spot where there is sunlight for at least 4 to 12 hours a day. This can be tricky in the winter when the days are shorter, but if you are lucky enough to live in a home where there is a lot of sunshine, you can save money from having to buy artificial grow laps and for the electricity they will use.
If you are going to grow delicate plants, keep them away from shady places as well as from places where there is a draught. These can cause the plants to suffer from the lower light conditions and from the decreased humidity levels from the air circulation.
4. Choose plants which will grow and thrive well indoors
Indoor gardening does have its limitations, as not each and every plant will thrive well inside. Choose crops and plants which can deal with the space, lighting and pollination indoors.
If you want to grow fruiting plants such as tomatoes, cucumbers or squash, keep in mind that these grow pretty big and will cast a shade on the lower plants, and can outgrow the height of your grow lamps.
For the best results, choose some of the following plants which are the most suitable ones for indoor gardening: arugula, basil, Asian greens, cress, cilantro, celery, chives, dandelion, dill, fennel, frisee, kale, mint, lettuce, lemon balm, mustard greens, parsley, oregano, sage, radicchio, sorrel, Swiss chard spinach, watercress or thyme.
5. To ensure that your plants grow healthy and reach maturity always pick strong seedlings
By giving your home grown plants a strong start, you will ensure that they develop and grow well and end up with a strong finish and a lot of yield. To do this, grow your plants from seeds if possible. If you want to start with seedlings - pick strong ones from a reputable garden, farm or producer. One of the best parts of indoor gardening is the fact that there is a much lower possibility of pest problems than those which can occur in outdoor gardens. So, if you start your plants from seeds, there is no risk of bringing in bugs and eggs into your garden. If you are buying seedlings, do make sure they are pest free and strong enough to give your indoor garden a fresh and strong start.
Growing your own crops, herb, fruits and vegetables at home will not only provide you with an enjoyable hobby, but will also ensure that you have fresh produce all year round.
This can save you a lot of money and time for shopping, as well as from the frustration of having to pay huge sums for not so fresh veggies, fruits and herbs from the grocery store.
With proper care, you will be able to grow a wide array of fresh produce yourself, without the need of a backyard or outdoor space.
All your home indoor garden will need is some light, water, proper temperature and humidity, as well as with some love and caring from your side and it will give back delicious and healthy fruits and vegetables back for your time and your efforts.