It seems everyone is starting an indoor garden these days, and it’s no wonder. There are many obvious benefits, such as having a regular supply of their favorite herbs and veggies at home.
Indoor gardening doesn’t just provide the opportunity to grow and maintain the freshest produce possible. It also offers food security and helps to liven up your home.
If you’ve recently considered starting an indoor garden of your own, you’ve come to the right place. Here are our 12 keys to success.
1. Use The Right Soil
While it may be tempting to take a shortcut by filling your containers with dirt from your garden, don’t do it! Avoid bringing diseases and microscopic pests into your home by purchasing a sterile commercial potting mix. Additionally, a retail potting mix will help the plants grow deep, strong roots.
2. Use The Right Sized Containers
All containers and pots used for your indoor gardening should be big enough to allow your plant’s roots to grow. You’ll generally want to give greener vegetables such as kale, spinach, and lettuce, at least five inches of room to develop properly.
Other vegetables, such as beans, peas, peppers, and cucumbers, need to have at least seven inches of space. Carrots, beets, potatoes, and turnips require plant containers that can provide 12 inches of room.
3. Choose The Right Plants For Your Indoor Garden
Because some vegetables and fruits need considerable space to grow, not all are suitable for growing indoors. Some examples of these plants are okra, corn, and some tomatoes, which can reach a height of up to 10 feet.
It’s best to select smaller variants, such as peppers and low-growing fruits like figs and strawberries.
4. Get The Light Right
Some vegetables and fruits need direct sunlight for at least six hours every day. If your home isn’t particularly sunny, you can provide a supplemental light source to improve your garden’s chances of success. You can even use grow-tents that allow you to maximize the effects of your grow lights.
5. Grow Your Indoor Garden Vertically
If there’s limited space inside your home, you can always apply vertical gardening techniques. Vertically arrange a bunch of small pots in a vertical indoor garden organizer. It can be as easy as placing containers on a bookshelf, or you can shop for a premade vertical plant stand.
6. Water Daily And Water Well
To grow fruits and vegetables well, keep your soil damp but not soggy. Roots experience stunted development when they get wet and dry too quickly.
It’s best to check on your soil daily by pressing your finger on top. It should feel slightly damp and springy.
7. Try Using A Trellis For An Indoor Garden
Cucumbers and green beans are vining plants that can take up a lot of room if not appropriately maintained. However, you can train them to grow indoors using a trellis. If you choose to grow heavy vegetables and fruits, you can even influence their tendrils to grow around the trellis.
8. Maintain A Steady Indoor Temperature
Whatever kind of fruit or vegetable you’re trying to grow, it’s always best to keep the temperature in your home stable.
Summertime plants, such as cucumbers, peppers, tomatoes, and squash, should be kept at 75°F to 80°F. Keep winter plants around 65°F to 70°F, as they tend to wilt in higher temperatures.
9. Control The Indoor Humidity
Because fungal activity increases with high humidity levels, it’s best to keep ambient moisture levels under control. If you live in a dry climate, you can do this by opening a window. Or you can use a fan to provide your plants with a gentle breeze. Another option is to run a dehumidifier or turn on your AC.
10. Protect Your Plants Against Pests
Keep in mind that pests can still be a problem, even when using a sterile potting mix for your indoor garden. Various insects can migrate from other areas of your home or find their way in from outside. Fungus gnats can destroy your indoor setup, feeding on and killing your plants. If you don’t want to use chemical pesticides (we recommend you don’t), opt for organic options such as neem oil.
11. Use The Right Fertilizers for Your Indoor Garden
Most potting mixes are soilless. As a result, your plants will depend on supplementary nutrients that you provide for them. Find a fertilizer formulated for vegetables and fruits, and always follow the directions on the label.
Generally, you should apply fertilizer every two weeks, but time-release fertilizers will only require application once every three months.
12. Learn About Hydroponics
Hydroponic systems are great options for those interested in starting an indoor garden without much time or space available. Some systems can circulate water to prevent it from stagnating and notify you when it’s time to add more fertilizer or water.
Furthermore, you can get systems that have their own grow lights. This feature allows you to keep plants even without a source of natural light.
Frequently Asked Indoor Garden Questions
It’s best not to do this. Instead, purchase a sterile commercial potting mix to save your plants from potential pests and diseases.
Check on your soil daily by pressing your finger against the top of the dirt and making sure it feels slightly damp and springy.
Hydroponics is a production method that allows plants to grow in a nutrient solution instead of soil. There are, however, various systems and plenty of options to choose from, which is why they have become so popular recently.
It’s best if you keep plants that grow during summer at a temperature between 75°F to 80°F. Winter plants should have a temperature of around 65°F to 70°F and shouldn’t exceed more than 80°F as they tend to wilt.
For your leafy greens, make sure to have a space of at least five inches. Hardy vegetables should have at least 12 inches of room to grow well, and other vegetables need an area of seven inches or more.