With the cooler weather beginning to settle in, indoor gardening can be a great way to keep your green thumb alive this winter season. While you may not be able to grow as much as you could in your outdoor garden, there is still a wide variety of fruits, veggies, and herbs that can be grown indoors!
When starting your indoor garden, choose a location in your house with adequate light and ventilation. A sunny windowsill works great, especially a southern exposure window. If enough sunlight is an issue, you can invest in artificial lighting such as fluorescent bulbs or LED lights. Make sure there is enough space for the plants to grow.
The supplies you will need to start with are more or less limited to soil, containers, and seeds or starter plants. You can also invest in smart gardens or aerogardens. These are hydroponic systems that provide an optimal environment for growing healthy plants. These often have built-in lights and are easy to use. Do some research and decide which gardening type is right for you.
You will also need to choose the right pots and containers depending on the size of the plants you are growing. Small herbs will grow sufficiently in shallow pots, while larger vegetables may require deeper ones. Simple terra cotta pots are commonly used, and traditional round posts or longer rectangular planters are perfect for a windowsill. Make sure you choose something with drainage holes to release excess water to avoid root rot in your plants.
What to Grow
While you may not be able to grow as many plants as you are outside, there are still a lot of plants you can grow indoors. Plants that are known for growing well inside are:
- Leafy greens such as salad greens. This is one of the most reliable types to grow indoors such as kale, arugula, or spinach.
- Microgreens are easy to grow, compact, and packed full of nutrients. These small edible greens can be harvested when they reach 1-3 inches tall.
- Potatoes can be grown from old potato scraps. If you have a potato that has begun to sprout, cut it up into chunks and lay them sprout side up in your planter. Set these with 4-5 inches of soil below the sprouts and then cover with another 4-5 inches of soil. These may take longer to grow and will need a larger pot.
- Herbs are a great one to grow but do require lots of sunshine and grow best in warmer temperatures.
- Sprouts are another popular option that have different growing options including in mason jars.
- Green onions can also be planted using scraps. Just save the root end of the onion after using the greens and you’ll have a fresh new onion.
- Carrots can be grown indoors too, but make sure to give them plenty of vertical space.
- Tomatoes are another great option to include. Choose a smaller variety and be sure to give them at least 14-20 hours of sunlight per day.
Caring For Your Garden
When it comes to caring for your indoor garden, make sure to check the plants weekly. If the top inch of soil feels dry to the touch, give it a drink. If the surface of the soil feels moist, let it sit a bit longer to avoid over-watering.
Choose a nutrient-rich soil such as a potting mix designed for container gardening so your plants can thrive indoors. Organic potting soil works well such as composted manure and peat moss. Your garden may benefit from periodic fertilizing but be sure to avoid overfertilizing as it will cause damage to your plants.
When it comes to your indoor garden, be patient with it. The plants will grow at a slower pace but with a little bit of time and research, it can be successful!
Happy Gardening 😊
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