How to Start an Indoor Garden
Here are some tips for growing your own fruits, vegetables, and herbs at home.
- Where Can You Put the Indoor Garden?
An indoor garden requires less space to set up than other types of gardens, making it a good choice for small homes or apartments. They can be placed in any corner of the house where you have easy access to water and sunlight.
There are a few things to consider when choosing a location for your indoor garden. The following list includes some of the most important factors: – Light: gardens need a lot of light, so a spot near a window is ideal – Temperature: most plants like it to be around 70 degrees, so a room that is comfortable for you is probably comfortable for your plants – Humidity: some plants like it more humid than others, so consider what kinds of plants you want to grow and whether you need to create a more humid environment for them – Air circulation: good air circulation is important for plant health, so a location near an open door or window is ideal
Available Space and Air Flow
The gardening space should be in a spacious area where it can have room to breathe.
The ideal spot for a garden should have an undivided electricity supply so that you can plug in a heater or cooler if necessary to maintain the temperature that certain plants demand.
When looking for a place to study, try to find a spot near a window where you can get fresh air and natural light. This is especially helpful if the weather isn’t too hot or cold.
Natural Sunlight vs. Grow Lights
Grow lights are almost as effective as daylight, but of course, they come at an added cost.
One can see a variety of lighting conditions indoors in an indoor farming setup, such as direct light, indirect light, and low light. Depending on the plant and space constraints indoors, different lighting is used.
Many people choose to place their gardens near south-facing windows to ensure that the plants receive the maximum amount of sunlight possible. This is because natural light is free and using it instead of artificial light will save on electricity costs.Another popular location for gardens is in sunlit corner windows.
If your home does not get enough natural light, there are four types of artificial lights that you can install:
- Light-Emitting Diodes (LEDs)
- High-Intensity Discharge (HID)
The type of plants you want to grow will determine which one you should get.
Plants need high humidity for photosynthesis to occur so they can get the nutrients they need to grow. When the humidity is low and there is little air circulation, the process in a plant slows down. This results in the plant not being able to absorb enough nutrients from the soil, and eventually the plant will die.
Many plants prefer a humidity level between 50 and 60 percent. Some plants, however, such as tropical plants, do best in high-humidity environments, while others, like succulents, prefer low humidity.
Conversely, if the humidity is too low, plants will grow slowly. In this case, you can take measures to increase the humidity.
- Humidifier: These add moisture to the air.
- Misting: All you need is a spray bottle and you can mist plants by spraying water on them. It is a temporary solution, but it helps in maintaining the air around the plants.
- Pebble trays: Place pebbles in a shallow tray filled with regular water. Place the plant pot on top of the water-soaked pebbles. The roots do not absorb the water trapped below the plant pot, but water evaporation will gradually occur, and that increases the humidity level around the plant.
- Grouping plants together: Another effective technique is to group a number of indoor garden plants together, which naturally increases humidity.
- What Do You Want To Grow?
Choose plants with similar maintenance needs to make things more convenient and cost-effective.
The type of plants that can be grown in an apartment depend on the level of lighting and temperature in the room, as well as how often the plant would need to be watered.
Some of the most popular home-grown herbs include parsley, mint, coriander, and basil. Home chefs often prefer to pick fresh herbs from their garden to add to their favorite recipes, rather than purchasing them from the supermarket.
A few more herbs that can be found in indoor gardens are lavender, oregano, chives, and thyme. These herbs require minimal maintenance and can be grown without a green thumb.
Vegetable gardening has become increasingly popular in recent years as people look to eat more fresh foods. The most commonly grown vegetables in home gardens are tomatoes, potatoes, onions, carrots, lettuce, okra and bell peppers. These can all be grown in small spaces, including balconies or lawns.
Though not widely adopted yet, hydroponic and aeroponic gardening technologies are increasingly used by people who want to garden more efficiently and healthily.
Despite the fact that fruits like mangoes and guavas require large spaces for trees, there are many fruits that can be grown easily indoors. These include lemons, blueberries, strawberries, calamondin oranges, and kumquat. Researchers are working to find ways to grow even more fruits indoors in tight spaces.
Flowers and Succulents
There are many flowers and succulents that can brighten up your indoor space while making the environment feel fresh. The wide variety of colors can help to bring light into dimly lit spaces. Some examples of beautiful and fragrant flowers that can be used to decorate your space include cyclamen, roses, amaryllis, orchids, kalanchoe, African violets, and peace lilies.
- Choose Your Growing Medium
The right growing medium is essential for plants to grow and yield fresh produce. There are a variety of growing mediums that you can incorporate into your garden.
Outdoor garden plants commonly grow in soil, but if you want your indoor plants to grow in soil, you’ll want to use potting soil.
The main difference between potting soil and garden soil is that potting soil does not contain actual “soil.” Garden soil is a mixture of natural topsoil and sand, while potting soil is a mixture of pine bark, peat moss, and vermiculite or perlite.
The potting soil does not have enough essential nutrients for the plants. The plants need additional plant fertilizer to help them grow.
The soil inside your house is not as likely to have bugs in it as the soil outside. However, if your indoor plants’ soil is too wet for a long time, mold could grow in it. To avoid this, use pots that have a hole in the bottom for water to drain.
Smart soil is a new type of soil that has been infused with nano-technology. This technology was inspired by NASA and is designed to help keep soil healthy and to improve the quality of the soil. This new soil is perfect for growing seeds.
Smart soil is designed to allow plant roots to get the necessary airflow. Without adequate airflow, plant roots can struggle to extract the nutrients they need, slowing down the plant’s overall growth.
The distribution of nutrients is controlled by a smart soil technology. With this technology, you can manage the nutrient levels in the soil, ensuring that the roots are not damaged by excess fertilizers.
A form of gardening that does not use soil, called hydroponics, involves circulating water and providing an aerated environment to grow plants. The nutrient levels of solutions used must be closely monitored to ensure the survival of the plants.
All hydroponic gardens rely on the same method of using solutions instead of soil to grow plants or crops. The solution is applied to the roots in different ways to deliver nutrients to the plants. Light, temperature, and other elements critical to plant growth and photosynthesis must be provided in the right amounts.
In addition to using a combination of mineral nutrient solutions and water to grow plants, this gardening technique also uses a variety of mediums such as expanded clay, rock wool, perlite, vermiculite, sand, and gravel. These mediums are popular for hydroponic growing because they can hold more moisture for longer periods. However, there are hydroponic gardens that do not use any growing medium at all.
The Advantages of Hydroponic Gardening
Faster Plant Growth
Plants that are grown in hydroponic gardens grow 20% faster than plants that are grown in the ground. The reason for this is because the plants in hydroponic gardens are able to absorb nutrients directly from the mineral-rich solutions, which allows them to grow rapidly. Another benefit of having a hydroponic garden is that it minimizes the wait time in between crop harvesting, so you can enjoy your crops quickly.
Double the Yield
Since crops grown indoors are not subjected to growing seasons, you can plant a variety of crops year-round and enjoy more yields with less waiting time! In fact, growing crops in a hydroponic garden typically leads to double the production yield of soil-based farming. Since the growth cycle is constantly restarting, you can harvest more crops and maintain the quality of the crops at the same time. Research shows that growing crops indoors typically increases yields by at least 20%.
A hydroponic garden is a great option for those who live in smaller spaces and have limited room. You won’t need a large area to be able to set up an indoor garden, as long as your hydroponic system is all set up. There’s no need to make room for clunky planters and plant stands, as a hydroponic garden doesn’t require soil to grow plants. You can pack more plants into a smaller space with this method.
Save More Water
Gardening in a way that conserves water is easy to do with hydroponic gardening; this setup can save 90% of the water typically used. A hydroponic garden requires the installation of water reservoirs which are kept sealed to prevent evaporation. The amount of water released is just enough to grow the plants; there is no worry about spills or wasted water. Any water that remains in the reservoirs can be reused.
Lighter Gardening Tasks
A hydroponic garden is a great way to reduce the amount of work you have to do in your garden. With no weeds or pests to worry about, and no need to bend over to tend to your plants, a hydroponic garden is much easier to take care of than a traditional one.
The Drawbacks of Hydroponic Gardening
The pros of hydroponic gardening outweigh the cons but there are certain drawbacks that you should keep in mind before building an indoor garden:
While the initial cost of setting up a hydroponic garden is higher than soil-based gardening, the specialized equipment and deep understanding required to utilize these tools make it best suited for experienced gardeners.
If you don’t have a lot of time to spare for maintaining a garden, a hydroponic garden is not the best setup for you. Constantly monitoring and supervising a hydroponic garden is required in order to keep the plants healthy. The nutrient solution, oxygen level, temperature, and lighting all need to be closely watched. Power outages can also be a problem; backup power is necessary so that crops are not lost.
Since hydroponic gardening relies on various electric devices, your electricity bill is likely to increase. This is especially true for large-scale hydroponic farms that rely on artificial lighting at certain times of the year. To save money on electricity, try investigating environmentally friendly solutions.
- Choose Your Grow Containers
The size of a container affects the size that a plant will grow to.
It is not ideal to use small pots for plants as the roots do not have enough space to stretch out. Small pots also require more frequent watering. They are good for the initial stages of plant growth, but later on, you will need to re-pot the plants in a larger container.
If you want to go with an aquaponics system, it is recommended that you have a larger tank for the fish to have space to swim in.
If you are putting your plants by a windowsill, a long narrow pot will work well. You can even put two small plants in the same container.
It is important for any container to have holes for drainage so that excess water can pass through.
There are many different types of materials and sizes of containers that you can use for your growing medium, such as bushel baskets, clay pots, metal pots, and plastic pots.
When considering a hydroponic system, think about the type of medium that will be used. Hydroponic systems typically don’t use the same type of glass fish tanks that are common in aquaponic systems. Another thing to consider is the type of plants you want to grow. For example, are you interested in growing fruits, vegetables, or both?