You have surely watched some TV shows where people prepare marvelous and delicious dishes using various ingredients from their very own indoor vegetable garden. You will find a multitude of veggies, fruits, and spices growing in containers. Instead of looking at those with some does of nostalgy, you could:
GROW those yourself as well! You will see that it’s nothing complicated at all provided that you have adequate knowledge and proper tools. I have prepared an insightful guide on how to start a vegetable garden indoor. Stay with me and learn all the necessary tricks to have the most beautiful homemade oasis.
- What Do I Need to Grow Vegetables Indoors?
- How To Grow Vegetables In Indoor Garden?
- The Best Vegetables To Grow Indoors
What Do I Need to Grow Vegetables Indoors?
As for any hobby that comes to your mind, growing a vegetable garden indoor also requires certain tools and of course some understanding of how certain plants work. You cannot just pop seeds into the pot, water it occasionally and expect to have tons of fresh vegetables.
For the beginning, you need to prepare the following:
- Pots or containers
- Seed starting soil mix
- A light and heat source
- Plastic wrap
- Ventilation fan
- Liquid fertilizer
Speaking of pots, those could be peat or jiffy, or if you opt for containers. The recycled ones can do just fine. The wrap is used to cover containers so that they retain moisture. As for the heat source, there are several useful options, such as- a heating vent, heat mat or you can place the plant at the top of your fridge.
How To Grow Vegetables In Indoor Garden?
If you have followed the list from the previous section, you can get down to the action- growing the seeds! Although the initial process is more or less the same for every plant, pay attention to any specific details as it grows.
Here’s the procedure:
1. Fill the Pots
Take the pots and fill them with a moistened potting mix made for seedlings. You should make a mixture which will hold enough water and allow the air flow.
That’s why you should mix equal parts of perlite and vermiculite and use soilless peat moss. Regular potting soil is not a good choice because the seeds will not root through adequately. You can also opt for some pre-formed seed starters.
If you don’t have enough time for making your own mixture or if you don’t feel prepared enough, here is Burpee’s Organic potting mix that I recently found and I’m rather happy with the results! It is enriched with coconut coir, so it really controls moisture and you don’t have to water the plants every two hours.
2. Read the Instructions
You might think to yourself “How hard can it be to plant some seeds?”. But please, read the instructions on how to plant the seeds. Majority of them simply need to be gently pressed into the mixture. Here’s a small tip:
The largest seed in the packet gives the best germination rate. Plant THAT one!
3. Wrap the Pots in Plastic Wrap
Now wrap the pots so that they wouldn’t dry out quickly. Mind the ventilation as well, and poke a few holes in that plastic wrapper.
4. Make Watering Schedule
Make a smart watering plan. Do not do it too often nor rare, and use some less invasive methods.
By that, I mean something that won’t disrupt soil too much but will effectively dispense the water. Syringe comes in a handy tool for the purpose. Besides this, you can mist the soil gently, but it’s a bit more time-consuming option.
5. Remove the Wrapper
Once you spot the seedlings coming out, remove the wrapper and move the pots into the bright light.
6. Repot your Plants
As soon as you spot the second pair of leaves on the seedlings, you should repot them. Use separate pots which are filled with a mix that contains plenty of compost.
Be careful when repotting, and water them. Keep them away from the direct sun for several days, so that they have the opportunity to set themselves well in their new habitat.
What is left is to take care they have enough light and water, and wait for the fruits to grow. That’s when you can say that your mission was successful and you can enjoy the tasty plant you have grown with your own effort and from your own indoor vegetable garden! It will be the most delicious thing you have ever eaten, trust ME!
The Best Vegetables To Grow Indoors
I could say that you can plant whatever you want, but let’s be practical, some indoor vegetables are more demanding than the others. You definitely don’t want this to turn into a nasty headache and frustration before you even get to see the tiny sprouts.
For that reason, you need to opt for those which are not so demanding when it comes to maintenance, some common species. Here are SOME of the ideas for you:
You should choose those smaller because they are much easier to grow. They don’t require much space and they mature quickly.
As for the container size, it should be a larger one because you will be seeding various plants. If you want them to germinate well, maintain the soil moisture.
Be careful that the seeds don’t dry out, because if the hard crust forms, it will prevent sprouting. It usually takes about two weeks for this, whereas the maturation depends on the variety of the species.
This one doesn’t require a large pot but minds the temperature. It takes a particular one to form bulbs. Plant the separate cloves about an inch deep and moist them on regular basis.
About a week from that you should spot the buds. You should pick them when they are about eight to ten inches. Cut off what you need and leave the rest. Plant new cloves when you start collecting the current crop, because even though they bud again the quality decreases.
3. Chili peppers
The most appropriate pot for them is about 8 inches tall. They need at least ten hours of light every day. Again, don’t wet them excessively and let the pot dry out between watering. This veggie is a self-pollinating one, but you can also help along. The harvest won’t be a huge one, but certainly will be decent.
4. Lettuce and other salad-like greenies
A pot which is about two to four inches deep and filled with dampened soil is the best habitat for these. Once you press the seeds gently into the soil surface, mist them so that they maintain moisture.
The germination occurs within a week. Once the plants are 4 to 6 inches tall, you can start collecting the fruits. Take the leaves, not the center so that it continues to grow.
These are an excellent choice for beginners, as they really require a minimum and give a lot in returns. You need a shallow container for them, filled with hydrated soil where you will scatter the seeds. They should make contact with the soil, but you shouldn’t put them too deep inside.
Water them gently, or even better-mist to maintain the soil hydrated, and sprouting will occur within days. Once you see two sets of true leaves, you can start collecting them. Snip them off with scissors at the soil level and another spurt of growth may appear.
They are equally easy to grow as microgreens (but it’s not the same for bulb onions), because you don’t even need seeds. You can simply use the root end of the one you have bought and replant it. You can put it in a glass of water so that they can develop roots.
When it reaches a couple of inches in length, you can put them in a shallow pot so that the growth continues. Collect the green tops, and let the root re-grow. However, if you want the white part as well, pluck the entire plant out.
If you want this perennial to succeed inside, start a new veggie from the seed. This plant germinates rather quickly. Like the chili peppers, this one needs about ten hours of light per day, because it’s a fruiting plant. When the tops become too heavy, you may need to stake them.
1. Which are the best pots for growing veggies indoors?
The size and depth depend on the species you choose, but they should all have good drainage.
2. Is it safe to keep indoor vegetables near the window all the time?
It’s not, as exposure to drafts or heat could dry them out.
3. Is light coming from windows sufficient for indoor vegetables?
It’s not enough, and it is advisable to use some additional lighting. Some of the options are fluorescent light with a full spectrum or a plant light.
4. How to deal with pests?
The safest way is to buy seeds and plants from a reputable source, but always be prepared for potential microscopic issues to arise.
As you can see, growing indoor vegetable garden is not necessarily an expensive hobby. Of course, unless you plan to grow some exotic species, like kiwi that I told you about. That might require costly soil or fertilizers or some special equipment. On the other hand, it’s the hobby that requires patience and devotion.
Plants may not be able to talk, but they DO feel all the love and care we give them. Trust me, I have seen wonders! All in all, the more you are into this fulfilling hobby, the more you will get in return. Be prepared for some losses, but expect fruitful harvests if you do everything as instructed. In addition to this, do not forget to label the pots/container in case you grow various plants.
I sincerely hope you enjoyed learning all there is about how to start a vegetable garden indoor. Don’t hesitate to share your thoughts and experiences with me.