Planting an Inside Vegetable Garden

If you are on a low budget, start with seeds or cuttings. If you have a little more money you can buy a plant that is already grown. Another thing to consider is if you want a plant that can be displayed all year or just for a season.

Indoor vegetable garden with tomatoes, lettuce on a windowsill

Indoor Gardening

Herb gardens are a good thing for indoor gardening; they are both attractive and edible. They will grow pretty quick and you won't have to wait a long time to see results. Some popular herbs, especially for cooking, are chives, dill, sage, thyme, and oregano. For more detailed information, see this article, Tips For Growing an Indoor Herb Garden.

Some things, such as the basic rules of maintaining plants, are different in indoor gardening that in a regular outdoor setting. Since plants won't get the sunlight they do outdoors, lighting is essential to proper growth. You need to know exactly how much light your plants need and pick plants that only need medium to low light.

If you buy a plant already grown, wherever you get it probably has better lighting than your house so you will need to condition your plant and gradually reduce the light it receives. Once you get the plant inside, make sure and rotate the plant to encourage upright growth.

Just because you are indoor gardening, don't think the plants don't have to have water; they still do. How often you water, once again, depends on what type of plant you have. Make sure the water can drain out of the bottom of the pot and try to use water that is about the same as the temperature of the room. Also pay attention to temperature in your house in order to ensure healthy plants. A 10-15 degree range won't hurt any plants, but rapid changes could cause damage.

By using the right containers and having the ability to mimic the ideal growing conditions, you can have an indoor vegetable garden. The benefits of having one go beyond the beautification of your home or the relaxation you get from gardening, but you can also pick your own vegetables right in your kitchen.

Carrots, tomatoes, and radishes are three of the easiest vegetable to grow indoors. Each grows differently and will need separate containers. With research this is not a problem. A south-facing window is the best source of natural sunlight for your vegetables to grow in. If you do not have the right exposure, you can invest in an artificial bulb to provide supplemental light.

Cherry tomatoes growing on a windowsill in an indoor vegetable garden

The Best Pots for Indoor Gardening

From terra cotta pots to decorative ceramic ones, there are many choices available and in various sizes. Not only do you want to choose a pot that looks good in your home but you want one that is the best size for your plant too.

You want to look at the long-term growth expected in the plant you have chosen and use that information to pick an appropriately sized container. If you pick a pot that is too small your full-grown plant the roots will not have enough room to grow and the plant will be come root bound. Your plant may look unbalanced at first in a container that is out of proportion but you will be glad you thought ahead as the plants continues to grow.

The container you choose needs a form of drainage too. If your plants sit in too much water they are not going to survive. The most common method of drainage is one or more holes in the bottom of the pot to let excess water drain out. If you have chosen a pot that does not have these holes there you still have two options to provide drainage.

You can put your plant in a smaller pot with drainage holes and then place the smaller pot inside the larger one with no holes. Or place an inch or two of gravel in the bottom of the container before you put in the soil. The gravel will allow the excess water to run through the soil and into the rocks instead of staying in the soil and water-logging the plant. The flip side of this is not to ensure the water does not run out too quickly either.

Transplanting outdoor plants indoors: If the plant is already in a pot that will fit inside it is easy enough to move it indoors. But if the plant is in the ground you need to find a pot large enough to contain the root system and one that will not be too difficult to move.

Keeping in mind that when a large plant is transplanted (re-potted or put in a pot for the first time) it may go into shock. With careful attention, you can nurse your plant through this.

Why You Should Start an Indoor Garden

The esthetic appeal of having plants inside your house is the reason the majority of people decide to start gardening indoors. Whether you have researched and planned on them or not, there are additional benefits that are derived when a green space is created inside you house.

Plants add to and beautify space both indoors and outdoors. The different plants choices available include various colors, sizes, shapes, flowering vs. non-flowering.

Just as trees and plants are crucial to our air quality outside, plants can provide the same service for you inside your home. By taking in carbon dioxide from our breathing, plants flourish. Besides the exchange of oxygen for carbon dioxide, plants will purify the air from other unhealthy elements such as air-bound mold particles. This makes them a natural air filter for your home.

It is well known that gardening is a relaxing past-time. Having an indoor garden will give you the benefit of this relaxation year round when it is too cold outside to garden. If you live in an apartment, an outdoor garden may not be possible. Gardening inside is only limited by the amount of space you want to dedicate to it in your home. Beautifying your living space and caring for living plants makes owning an indoor garden a peaceful endeavor.

Another benefit of indoor gardening is you can decide how much time you have or want to dedicate to caring for the plants.

An Indoor Garden for Children

If you have young children around an indoor garden is the perfect project to teach them about nature. It is also an avenue to teach children about the responsibility needed to care for something on an ongoing basis. Simple is best, even for older children as they prove themselves and their garden thrives they can expand the plants that they grow.

To enrich the learning opportunity purchase clear containers to grow the plants in. If you can not find a traditional pot that is clear make sure the container you use either has a drainage hole in the bottom or layer gravel on the bottom before adding the soil. Once the plant starts to grow more the roots will become visible in the pot.

Girl planting seed on a windowsill for an indoor garden

Children will love to grow their own vegetables and maybe even eat them once they are ready. Buy each child a large container that is theirs to take care of and let them pick the type of vegetable they want to grow. The easiest vegetables to grow indoors are carrots, tomatoes, and radishes. There are a wide variety of tomatoes that you can grow from beefsteak to cherry tomato.

The next time you eat an orange, save the seeds. Children can plant the seeds in small containers about 1 inch down into the soil. By keeping the plant watered and in the sunlight, in two to three weeks they will have their own citrus tree growing. They can choose to keep it indoors or plant it outside in the summer when the small plant has become bigger and stronger. Try the same with other fruit seeds too from watermelon to apple seeds.

Natural Way to Deal with Pests on Indoor Plants

It is inevitable that insects or another infestation will make its way to your plants at one point or another. If you are dealing with pests in your indoor garden you may want to find a natural way to eliminate them especially if you have young children or pets in your home. There are ways to do this and most of them require ingredients that you can get at the grocery store.

When you find insects or another disease that is making your plant sick, isolate the plant immediately to prevent the problem from spreading to the other plants.

Depending on the type of problem the solution will be different.

If your plants are being eaten by spider mites, you can eliminate the problem by making a solution of buttermilk and water. Put the solution into a spray bottle, put the plant in the bathtub and give a thorough once over. A mix of 50-50 is recommended, if this is too thick to use with the spray bottle, add more water for a thinner consistency.

You may be able to control aphids with a thorough washing of the plant leaves with water. Another recommendation is to kill a couple of the aphids and leave them in the bottom of the pot. They then emit an odor that lets the other aphids know that danger is near and they abandon the plant. If this method is used, do it outside so they can find another home that is not inside yours.

The natural and organic methods available for the wide variety of problems your plant can encounter are too numerous to list. These are the two most common pests, but with some research there is a natural solution to many more different insects or diseases that can affect a plant’s health.

Indoor gardening is not all that difficult. In fact, it is pretty much the same as outdoor. There are even some advantages to indoor gardening. For example, you won't have to worry as much about bugs and insects bothering your plants. You also won't have to worry about wind or frost reeking havoc on your garden.

When choosing the types of vegetables to plant, follow the same guidelines as you would for outdoors. On the seed packets it will give recommendations on when to plant, the amount of light and water that is needed and the spacing requirements. Tailor your water schedule according to the condition of the soil, make sure it doesn't get too dry or stay too wet either.

By the end of the summer or early fall you should be able to harvest the vegetables grown inside your own home.

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