Getting started on an indoor vegetable garden can be an exciting step into a great gardening adventure! Many people believe that the only plants appropriate to grow inside are houseplants, maybe a vine or an occasional flower. But growing vegetables indoors? Yes, you can do it!
Why Grow Vegetables Indoors?
Some people live in cold climates with short summers where starting vegetables indoors early in the spring (or even over the winter) just makes sense. Starting plants indoors allows an extended growing season to those who might otherwise not be able to grow certain plants.
Other people like to grow an indoor vegetable garden because they simply don’t have space they need in a backyard to plant a garden. But they still want to take advantage of the opportunity to have freshly grown vegetables, and herbs to cook with and eat.
Which Vegetables Will Grow Indoors?
Although you probably don’t want to try growing rows of corn in your indoor garden, there are very many vegetables which are conducive to growing inside. Tomatoes, peppers, basil, oregano, parsley, cilantro, carrots, garlic, dwarf avocados, radishes, potatoes, lettuce, micro greens, and other vegetables work well when grown indoors. That is, if they are given the appropriate attention and care.
How to Grow Vegetables Indoors
The same factors that influence an outdoor garden will influence your indoor vegetable garden, including the quality of the soil you use, how much water you provide, and how much sunlight they get.
Containers and Soil. You’ll need containers that will hold the soil without spilling over, are large enough to hold the size of the fully grown plant, and have appropriate drainage. Use balanced, healthy soil to plant your vegetables in.
Watering. Vegetables grown indoors need to be watered in the same way that they would outside, and more if you are accustomed to living in a place that gets a lot of natural rain. Also, it’s critical to make sure that you don’t overwater your plants and that your pots have drainage just in case this happens.
Sunlight. You may need to provide extra sunlight to your plants, possibly by using a sun lamp. This is true even if your plants sit very near a window because the sunlight is less direct than it would be if your plants are actually outside soaking up the sun. This is especially true if you are trying to grow plants in the winter as there are much fewer hours of sunlight throughout the day.
Temperature. If you keep your thermostat between 65 and 75 degrees, your plants should be fine. But the heat can have a tendency to create a dry climate indoors, so you may need to increase humidity in the room by misting plants or placing a tray of water near them.
Pests. Although there is less likelihood for pests to invade your indoor vegetables, this can still happen. This is particularly true if you use soil from your outdoor garden to fill your pots, as the pests can be carried in with the soil.
Using a proven growing system such as Seed to Cash can be effective when used indoors, although you likely won’t have the space to grow 100 square feet of seeds. You can still get a great crop when growing your indoor vegetable garden, but your growing season may be expanded—which is okay since you don’t have to wait for summertime!