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Indoor Gardening

The Beginner’s Guide to Indoor Vegetable Gardening

If you like the idea of freshly harvested vegetables, but you don’t have space (or soil quality) for an outdoor garden, container gardening is the ideal solution. You can grow quite a variety of edibles indoors, without the hard work of digging garden plots, amending soil and pulling weeds.

Indoor gardening provides an easily controlled growing environment, making this an ideal route for newbie gardeners. You can move your plants around easily until they’re in just the right positions for growing, giving you plenty of space for trial and error – without damaging your crop.

Choose Your Veggies

Indoor gardening, Indoor Herb Garden

Indoor Herb Garden—Kristine Paulus (Flickr.com)

Obviously, the first step is choosing what you want to grow. If you’ve got enough sunlight, you can grow just about anything indoors. Since you’re just starting out though, you may want to try some of the simpler vegetables first. Lettuce, spinach, tomatoes, carrots and radishes are all great starter options, as they’re pretty forgiving.

Herbs are also very popular options for indoor gardens, as they’re quite compact. Mint, basil, sage, rosemary, thyme, and chives all grow wonderfully indoors, and are a fabulous addition to your daily meals.

If you’re feeling adventurous, don’t feel limited to these suggestions. Just read the specific light requirements on each seed pack so that you can place your containers in the right spots. Remember: the layout of your garden will have a big impact on how well your plants do.

Gathering Your Gear

You won’t need a whole lot for indoor gardening – another reason why it’s so popular amongst apartment dwellers. All you’ll really need are a good pair of gloves, a hand fork, a small spade, and some small garden shears or scissors.

You’ll also need a variety of containers, though you don’t need to stress too much about what type to pick. The only thing you really must consider is drainage. As long as your pots drain right, you can pick whatever styles, colors and sizes you want.

Prepping and Planting

Pick up some potting mix from your garden center, and you’re ready to get to planting! Fill each container with soil, leaving about two inches of space from the top of the pot. Don’t pack your pots too tightly; leave things loose so that your plants can breathe.

Proceed to plant your seeds (or seedlings) according to the provided instructions, and follow directions for watering. Set them up so that they receive appropriate lighting for their needs, and then sit back and watch them grow.

Pollinating

One factor to consider in indoor gardening is that some of your plants may need assistance in pollination. Since you won’t have nature doing the job for you, you’ll need to step in and give your plants a gentle shake each day to help them release pollen.

Only fruit-bearing plants like tomatoes and peppers will need this though. Your root vegetables and leafy greens will do fine on their own.

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Harvest Time!

Soon enough, you’ll have your first crop of lovely, ripe garden-fresh veggies. Some veggies (like tomatoes) should be picked as soon as they’re ripe. Other leafy plants like lettuce and spinach can be harvested a little at a time by plucking off and using outer leaves as needed.

After your first foray, start exploring the world of indoor gardening and see what else you can grow. With a very little effort, you’ll have fresh, gorgeous veggies on your table all year round!


Related Resources:

How To Grow Potted Plants

House Plants

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