An indoor garden is a perfect way for city dwellers and those in cold climates to exercise their green thumb. Besides providing you with yummy foods and a head start on your spring and summer harvest, you can also take your drab apartment up a notch with a pop of color. Our indoor gardening 101 guide will help you create your very own indoor gardening space no matter the size of your apartment or home! You too can enjoy cultivating your favorite plants, flowers, and veggies all year long.
Your indoor garden can be as small or as large as you’d like depending on how much space you’re willing to dedicate to it. It’s best to take stock of exactly what you’d like to grow and work from there. Like any gardening space, proper planning is the key to great execution! Set up a table in an out of the way corner of your apartment. Purchase a shelving unit and attach some grow lights. Or, choose a simple windowsill spot.
Without adequate lighting, your plants can become weak, which makes them unable to yield fruit or flowers. Often, a plant placed beside a windowsill won’t receive enough light in the wintertime, so it’s important to supplement your plants with a grow light. Grow lights must be a similar wavelength as the light of the sun and positioned as close to the plant as possible. Often, 14-16 hours of simulated sunlight is enough for most plants, but small leaves, tall, thin stems, and light green coloring are obvious signs of plants needing more exposure.
There are four main different types of bulbs for grow lights:
- Incandescent bulbs
- Fluorescent bulbs
- High-intensity discharge bulbs
3. Temperature & Humidity
Temperatures between 65 and 75 degrees Fahrenheit are ideal for most plants. If a plant is grown in temperatures far off from this range, often they exhibit signs of stunted growth and produce at reduced quantities. The biggest problem indoor gardeners face is low humidity, which can affect plants and create brown leaf tips, dropping leaves, and withered plants. Increase humidity in your growing environment by misting plants daily, leaving a tray of water beside your garden, using a humidifier, or clustering plants together to create a humid microclimate. Sometimes, indoor gardeners will even store their plants on their bathroom windowsill to provide humidity from daily shower use.
4. Choosing Plants
Choosing your plants is just as important as providing all of the essential elements for yielding great harvests. Almost anything can be grown indoors, but some plants really thrive:
- Vegetables like chili peppers, salad greens, and cherry tomatoes
- Herbs like basil, parsley, cilantro, rosemary, and lavender
- Fruit like strawberries and citrus trees
- Aloe plants and other succulents
Maintaining your indoor plants is just as important as maintaining your outdoor harvest. It’s crucial to remember to frequently water than as container-grown plants tend to dry out faster than those on the ground. Still, be wary of overwatering. Water soil that is dry to the touch and until the excess runs out of drainage holes at the bottom of the container. Similarly, plants grown in containers need a boost of nutrients as well. Fertilizers should be used based on given instructions. If you’re using compost, consider our handy composting guide here!
With these five steps from our indoor gardening 101 guide, you’ll have a beautiful indoor harvest in no time!