Indoor gardening has been around since ancient times. It was used to provide food for people who were unable to farm due to lack of land or weather conditions. Indoor gardening is also known as hydroponics.
Today, indoor gardening is becoming popular because of its simplicity and low cost. In fact, you can start an indoor garden at home even if you’re not a green thumb and without having to buy expensive indoor gardening tools.
You can use a variety of materials to create your own indoor garden. These materials include soil, sand, gravel, pebbles, rocks, wood chips, coconut husks, sawdust, coffee grounds, and even eggshells.
In this article, we’re gonna be sharing some indoor gardening ideas, tips, and tools for beginners.
What do I need to know about indoor gardening for beginners?
There is no doubt that this method of farming is becoming increasingly popular among people who want to save money while still having fresh produce available throughout the year. However, there are certain aspects of indoor gardening which may not be obvious or well known. So here we go…
The first thing you must understand before embarking upon this journey is that if you live somewhere where winters are cold, you cannot expect to successfully grow anything outdoors without heating systems. In fact, most experts recommend that you start indoors because they believe that outdoor temperatures would kill many crops too early.
The second important point to remember is that you shouldn’t try to grow all kinds of vegetables simultaneously. Instead, focus on just one crop per month. You might find that after three months, you feel overwhelmed by how much work goes into maintaining a garden. Therefore, choose only one vegetable each time.
Another aspect worth considering is whether you really need to use soil. Many growers simply place pots filled with composted manure directly onto shelves. They claim that this works perfectly fine. But others say that these methods don’t allow enough air circulation so nutrients get trapped inside the pot. And yet another group says that even though they have used this technique themselves, they found out later that it doesn’t actually work very well.
So what’s the best way to grow veggies indoors? Well, the answer depends entirely on your location. For example, if you live in an area where summers can reach up to 100 degrees Fahrenheit, then you’ll probably benefit more from planting outside than indoors. This is because you won’t experience any problems with frost during wintertime.
However, if you live in a colder climate, then you’ll definitely want to consider starting your own indoor gardens. The reason why is simple – you can enjoy fresh fruits and vegetables at any time of the year!
Indoor gardening for beginners guidelines to follow when starting your first indoor garden:
1) Choose the right location
The best place to grow indoor plants is in a room that gets plenty of sunlight but does not get too much heat from direct light or sun exposure. The ideal temperature range should be between 60-70 degrees Fahrenheit. You may need to adjust this depending on what type of plant you want to grow. For example, tropical fruits like bananas require warmer temperatures than most vegetables do.
2) Prepare the area before planting
Before beginning any project, it’s important to prepare all surfaces properly with your indoor gardening tools. This includes cleaning up spills, removing debris, and making sure there aren’t any sharp objects lying about. If possible, cover furniture with plastic sheeting so dirt doesn’t accumulate. Also, make sure no pets have access to the space where you plan to set up your garden. Pets tend to dig holes everywhere!
3) Start small
If you don’t know how to care for plants yet, begin by growing only one or two types of seedlings until you gain more experience. Once you feel comfortable caring for them, add another few varieties to your collection. Remember: Plants will die if they receive insufficient light, water, air circulation, or nutrients. So keep these things in mind while planning out your garden layout.
4) Use proper lighting
Plants thrive under bright light during the day. However, artificial lights must be turned off at night. To avoid damaging your plants, choose fluorescent bulbs instead of incandescent ones. Fluorescent bulbs last longer and produce less heat. They also emit lower levels of ultraviolet radiation which helps prevent damage caused by harmful rays.
5) Water regularly
Plants need regular watering throughout their life cycle. During dry periods, mist your plants using a spray bottle filled with distilled water. Be careful not to overdo it though; overwatering causes root rot. When the weather turns hot, turn down the thermostat to help reduce evaporation rates.
6) Feed your plants
Most plants prefer nutrient-rich soils. Make sure to fertilize your plants every week or biweekly. Fertilizers come in many different forms including liquid fertilizer, granular fertilizer, and organic compost. Liquid fertilizers contain nitrogen, phosphorus, potassium, calcium, magnesium, iron, copper, zinc, sulfur, manganese, boron, molybdenum, chlorine, sodium, and other elements needed for healthy growth. Granular fertilizers consist of similar ingredients except they usually come in powder form. Organic fertilizers can be made from natural sources such as manure, fish emulsion, blood meal, bone meal, kelp meal, rock phosphate, seaweed extracts, wood ash, worm castings, and green waste products. These fertilizers provide essential minerals and trace elements necessary for plant growth.
7) Keep pests away
Pests eat leaves, stems, flowers, roots, seeds, fruit, and even bark. Some insects cause little harm while others carry diseases that kill entire crops. Pest control is an ongoing process that requires vigilance on your part. You should inspect your plants daily and remove pest infestation immediately. The best way to protect yourself against insect attacks is to grow resistant strains of vegetables and fruits. For example, cucumbers are very susceptible to squash bugs but chives repel aphids.
8) Enjoy your indoor garden
Once you get used to tending to your own plants, you may want to start expanding into outdoor gardens too. Indoor gardens require much less maintenance than those outside. If you have limited space, consider planting herbs indoors like basil, oregano, rosemary, thyme, sage, mint, parsley, cilantro, dill, fennel, lemon balm, lavender, marjoram, peppermint, tarragon, and winter savory. Other options include starting houseplants inside like aloe vera, begonia, callas, spider lilies, philodendrons, peace lily, African violets, geraniums, amaryllis, and succulents.
If you want to improve your indoor gardening skills, make sure you follow these indoor gardening tips:
- Choose plants based on their size rather than their age. Young seedlings will require less space but mature ones will give off more energy.
- Don’t overfeed them. It’s better to let them eat as much as possible than starve them.
- Water regularly. Make sure you water every day until the leaves begin to wilt. Then wait two days before watering again. If you notice that some parts of the plant look dry, then apply a little bit of fertilizer.
- Keep away from direct sunlight. Plants should always receive indirect light. Direct sunlight causes overheating and burns.
- Be careful when handling seeds. Never handle them with bare hands. Use gloves instead. Also, avoid touching other surfaces such as tables or counters.
- When growing tomatoes, keep the temperature around 70-80°F. Tomatoes like warm weather. However, if you’re not able to provide adequate heat, then you may be forced to move your tomato plants to a greenhouse.
- To prevent pests, spray insecticides once a week.
- Always remove weeds carefully. Do not pull them out forcefully. Pull gently using tweezers.
- Try to maintain a consistent humidity level. A humid environment encourages growth while a drier atmosphere inhibits it.
- Avoid overwatering. Overwatering leads to root rot which makes your plants weak and unhealthy.
- Fertilize frequently. In order to do this, add organic fertilizers to the soil. These are available online or through local nurseries.
- Grow healthy plants. Healthy plants produce healthier fruit. So, ensure that you feed your plants properly.
- Provide plenty of ventilation. Indoor environments tend to become stuffy due to a lack of airflow. Therefore, open windows or install fans whenever necessary.
Indoor Gardening Ideas: Types of Indoor Gardening
Indoor gardening has become increasingly popular among homeowners who don’t have enough time to tend to their lawns. There are several types of indoor gardening systems available today: hydroponic growing system, aquaponic growing system, soil-based growing system, containerized growing system, and hanging planter boxes. Each type offers its advantages and disadvantages so choosing one will depend on what kind of gardener you are. Here we look at each option briefly before giving our recommendations.
A hydroponic system uses nutrients dissolved in water instead of soil. This method allows growers to use minimal amounts of land compared to traditional methods. It also eliminates the risk of disease transmission since there aren’t any living organisms involved. However, this method does take more effort because it involves frequent monitoring and feeding. A typical setup includes a reservoir where water flows through pipes connected to individual containers called “trays.” Nutrients are added directly to the trays using pumps. Plants absorb these nutrients via capillary action. Hydroponics is suitable for small-scale production only.
This hybrid technique combines both hydroponics and aquaculture. Aquaponics works by combining two separate ecosystems—one aquatic and another terrestrial. In this case, the aquatic ecosystem consists of tanks filled with fish that produce oxygen and release ammonia. These waste products then feed the plant growth medium. Meanwhile, the PGM provides food for the fish which helps cleanse the water. As such, aquaponics can be considered a closed-loop system. Since the cycle is self-contained, no external inputs or outputs are needed.
Soil Based Growing System
The most common form of indoor gardening for beginners is based on soil. Soil-based growing systems involve mixing organic matter, sand, peat moss, perlite, coir fiber, rock wool, sphagnum moss, and other materials together to create an organic potting soil. Once mixed, the mixture is placed in pots or trays and watered regularly until the plants reach maturity.
Containerized Growing Systems
These consist of plastic bags containing nutrient-rich mixes. The bag is usually made from recycled material and contains holes along the sides allowing air circulation. Plant roots grow down into the mix while excess moisture drains out. Containerized growing systems allow gardeners to easily move them around if they need to relocate. They are ideal for people who lack sufficient space but still want to try something new.
Hanging Planters Boxes
These come in various sizes depending on how many types of plants you wish to grow. Hanging planters boxes are great for smaller spaces. You simply hang them up high above your work area and fill them with planting media. Some even include lights to help promote flowering.
If you’re looking for an easy way to start growing vegetables indoors, consider investing in some of these options. If you already own all three, choose whichever suits your needs best!
Indoor Gardening for Beginners: Supplies You Need
You don’t have to spend thousands of dollars buying expensive equipment when starting off as an amateur indoor gardener. Here’s what you’ll need:
- Potting Mix – For starters, buy yourself a good quality potting mix. Make sure it has enough drainage holes so that excess water doesn’t sit inside the plastic container.
- Watering Can – To keep things simple, get one with a long handle. Also, make sure it comes with a fine spray nozzle.
- Indoor Gardening Tools – Get yourself a pair of scissors, pruning shears, trowel, watering can, fertilizer applicator, etc.
- Seeds/Plants – Choose seeds according to their size and shape. Smaller seedlings require less light than larger ones.
- Grow Light – Invest in a fluorescent lamp that emits low heat. Place it at least 15 inches away from the top edge of the window sill.
- Seed Starting Tray – Start your seeds in a tray lined with damp newspaper. Cover the paper with the more moistened newspaper once sprouts appear. This will prevent any dryness during germination.
- Indoor Gardening Guidebook – A guidebook will give you tips on everything from choosing the right type of seeds to fertilizing your plants. It also includes information about different types of lighting fixtures.
- Fertigation Kit – An irrigation kit should contain a hose reel, sprinkler head, timer, and drip line.
- Insect Netting – Use insect netting over windowsills to protect against pests such as aphids and mites.
- Pest Control Products – Keep your house free of insects by using pest control products like pesticides and bug zappers.
- Greenhouse – If you’re serious about growing food year-round, then invest in a greenhouse. These provide protection from harsh weather conditions and enable you to extend the season further.
Indoor Gardening Ideas: Best Plants to Grow Indoors
Here are some of our favorite indoor plant varieties:
5) Basil plant
8) Kale plants
12) Sweet Potato
How to layout my indoor garden?
The first thing you must do before beginning your indoor garden project is to determine where exactly you would like to place each item. Once this decision is made, you can begin planning accordingly.
First, decide which part of the room you’d like to use for your indoor garden. Do you prefer working near a window or under artificial lighting? Would you rather be surrounded by greenery or enjoy a view of bare walls? Whatever works best for you, go ahead and pick your spot.
Next, think about how much space you want to devote to your indoor garden. You may wish to create several small gardens within a single area, or perhaps just one large plot. The choice is yours. Just remember to leave plenty of room between items.
Finally, take into consideration whether you plan to grow herbs or flowers. Herbs tend to thrive better if they receive direct light while indirect light benefits flowers. For example, basil prefers bright sun but roses need dimmer light.
How to choose the best plant for my indoor garden?
Once you’ve decided what kind of environment suits your needs best, start thinking about what kinds of plants you’ll be planting. There’s no shortage of options when it comes to selecting plants for an indoor garden. Some popular choices include tomatoes, peppers, cucumbers, eggplant, lettuce, spinach, kale, chives, garlic, onions, sweet potatoes, carrots, celery, strawberries, and many others!
You might even consider starting off with seedlings instead of buying potted plants. While these require less maintenance than their larger counterparts, they still have roots that could potentially damage other parts of your home.
If you choose to buy potted plants, make sure to select those that suit your specific needs. For instance, dwarf tomato plants are perfect for smaller spaces because they don’t get too big. Dwarf pepper plants are ideal for areas without enough natural light. And since most vegetables will not survive temperatures below 50 degrees Fahrenheit, look for heat-tolerant plants like lettuces and cabbages.
When choosing seeds, keep in mind that certain types of seeds should only be planted indoors during the winter months. This includes peas, beans, corn, squash, melons, pumpkins, watermelon, and more. In addition, avoid planting any type of vegetable that requires warm soil. Instead, opt for cooler varieties such as broccoli, cabbage, cauliflower, Brussels sprouts, radishes, turnips, and so on.
What indoor gardening tools do I need?
Now that you know what you’re going to put inside your container, let’s talk about some basic supplies you’ll need. First, you’ll obviously need containers. These come in all shapes and sizes, including pots, trays, buckets, tubs, and more. If you can find them at a local hardware store, you won’t break the bank either.
Second, you’ll also need a potting mix. It’s made up of peat moss, perlite, vermiculite, sand, composted manure, fertilizer, and sometimes wood chips. When purchasing this material, always check labels carefully to ensure there aren’t any chemicals present. Also, try to purchase organic materials whenever possible.
Third, you’ll need a watering system. A simple drip irrigation kit works great for small projects. However, if you’d prefer something fancier, then invest in a hydroponic setup. Both systems allow you to control exactly where each drop lands. Plus, both methods provide nutrients directly to the root zone, which means fewer trips back and forth to the kitchen sink.
Fourth, you’ll need a way to fertilize your plants. Most people use liquid fish emulsion mixed with water. But if you want to go the extra mile, then add a few drops of kelp or seaweed extract into your solution. Either option is fine, but just remember to follow label directions closely.
Finally, you’ll need a place to grow your plants once they reach maturity. You may already have one lying around somewhere in your house. Or maybe you’re planning to set aside a corner of your basement or garage for growing purposes. Whatever method you decide upon, it’s important to create an environment conducive to plant growth. So, clean out cobwebs from corners, remove clutter, and clear away debris. Then, install lights and plug everything else into outlets.
How long does it take to start seeing results?
It takes time to see real results when building your own indoor garden. Depending on how much space you’ve got available, you could expect to wait anywhere between six weeks and two years before starting to notice positive changes. The good news is that even after waiting several months, you shouldn’t experience any negative effects.
However, if you plan to harvest within three months, then you might consider using a greenhouse instead. That said, many experts recommend sticking with the outdoor garden until spring arrives. After all, you never really know what Mother Nature has planned for us!
Gardens aren’t just beautiful places where we go to relax or enjoy nature; they’re also practical tools used to produce healthy foods. By following this article, you’ll be able to create your very own indoor garden without the guesswork. So, grab your supplies and let’s start gardening!
What do you think? Have you ever tried indoor gardening before? Share your experiences below!