Growing an indoor garden can be easy if you have the right indoor gardening supplies. No matter how big or small your garden will be, there are a few important things to know and questions to ask yourself before starting out.
An Indoor Gardening Supplies Plan
The first thing on your checklist isn’t something you’ll pick up from your local gardening store. Knowing what you’d like to grow and determining how you’re going to do it should be established before you go purchasing any plants, pots, or spiffy gardening gloves. Each item on the gardening supplies checklist can affect any one of the others. Know the needs of your plants, make your shopping list, and ensure that every piece of your gardening plan fits together.
Decide Which Plants You’ll Grow Indoors
Deciding which plants you’d like to grow will have the biggest effect on the indoor gardening supplies you’ll need for your garden. They’ll determine the size of your pots, the type of soil you’ll need, and your lighting requirements.
Another thing to decide is whether you’ll be growing your plants right from seeds, using pre-grown seedlings, rooting cuttings, or starting with an established, adult plant. Young plants also tend to have different needs than full grown plants and they may affect the type of lighting or fertilizers you’ll require.
If you aren’t sure yet, but not picky about what you’d like to grow, and just want to get started, you could choose from a list of low maintenance indoor plants and begin growing your indoor garden from there and see where it takes you.
Pots and Containers
Once you know what you’d like to grow you can get an idea of how much space the roots will need and how big your plant might get. Keep in mind that some plants need to be repotted if their roots grow too big for their current home while others don’t mind being root bound in their smaller pots. Size is important when choosing your pots because too small of a pot can stunt plant growth while too large of a pot can prevent proper water drainage and lead to root rot. Knowing the needs of your specific plants will help you choose the best sized pot.
Other factors to consider is the material the pots are made from and if they have drainage holes. Clay pots or containers made from absorbant upcycled materials may not hold water as efficiently and your plants might require more frequent watering. Metal or plastic pots will hold more moisture but these types of pots will rely more heavily on drainage holes to release any excess water. Drainage holes are an important feature for novice indoor gardeners because they’ll be the greatest fail-safe for over watering.
Topsoil and potting soil may seem similar but they’re worlds apart. Topsoil is designed for outdoor gardens and will not drain properly when used in an enclosed space. Potting soil can be a bit more expensive but it’s specifically designed to be fluffier and allow for better drainage. Heavier potting soils are better for plants that will be in plenty of direct sunlight as they won’t dry out as fast while lighter soils are better for shaded plants or plants like cacti that don’t require as much water.
Certain plants will also benefit from the use of fertilizers when they’re in their more active growing stages, when they’ve depleted the nutrients in their potting soil, or if you’re using a potting mix with a very low soil ratio. When using outdoor garden fertilizers be sure to follow the instructions listed for indoor gardens, or reduce the amount you use to about ¼. Plants in a hydroponic system will depend entirely on liquid nutrients as they have no soil to absorb any minerals from.
Water is vital for your plants and knowing how much water your specific garden need is imperative. Some plants prefer a light misting, some don’t like their leaves to get wet at all, some prefer bottom watering, and some love a heavy downpour. You can use pretty much anything to get water to your plants, but some watering cans are better suited to give water in specific ways. A watering can with a long spout will let you get water under the leaves and right into the soil while a sprinkler attachment or a misting bottle is better for plants that love getting a gentle rain shower.
A drip tray is essential for any pots with drainage holes and larger trays may be necessary if you do a lot of deep watering with your plants. For plants that prefer bottom watering, a large drip tray can be filled with water to allow the lowest roots to soak up the most of the water. A large container to submerge your pot in is also a handy tool for bottom watering.
If you go with the hydroponics route, your containment setup will also be your watering system. Your hydroponics system will have a water reservoir that requires refilling at daily or weekly intervals. This will also be how you deliver the liquid nutrients to your plant. Using a hydroponics system combines many of the tools you’ll require into one super efficient growing system.
Many house plants can survive on low light while others require 8 or more hours of bright, direct sunlight year round. A sunny, south facing window can usually provide ample light for these sun worshipping species. If you want to grow a light loving plant but have very little natural light available, there are endless options for purchasing grow lights. They come in all shapes, sizes, spectrums, and price ranges. Plenty of inexpensive lights are available if your plants need even just a tiny boost.
While extra space isn’t something you can go and buy at the store, space saving options are. Some indoor gardens can take up a lot of room and if you don’t have adequate space to grow as much as you’d like you should consider growing some of your garden along your walls or hanging from your ceiling. Hanging baskets and indoor vertical garden planters can allow you to grow huge gardens while taking up only a fraction of the room.
Start With a Garden Kit with Indoor Gardening Supplies
Many of the previously mentioned indoor gardening supplies can be purchased in one convenient bundle in the form of an indoor garden kit. These kits can range from a few packs of seeds and soil discs to a hydroponic tank equipped with grow lights, touch screens, and timers. Using a kit may take a lot of guesswork out of the planning process and can be helpful to new and seasoned gardeners alike.
Once you have your whole indoor garden plan mapped out and you know all the pieces fit together you can grab the supplies you’ll need and get to work. Even if you research your plants in advance, you may not realize some of their needs until they communicate it to you. Pay attention to the appearance of your plants because they’ll try to let you know if they need more or less water, a larger pot, or extra nutrients in their soil.