If you are interested in gardening, you may be wondering about how you can go about starting one indoors. There are two primary ways in which an indoor garden is utilized. First, an indoor garden is a way in which seedlings can be started for transplantation outside when the weather is right. Second, you can utilize an indoor garden to cultivate plants for their entire growth cycle. In other words, it is more of a permanent garden and not used as a means of transitioning plants outside.
There are some steps and strategies that you need to employ in order to create a healthy indoor garden. These tactics apply whether you intend for your plants to be grown entirely indoors or if you plan on transplanting them outside.
Select Plants and Purchase Seeds
You begin the process of creating an indoor vegetable garden by taking care in the selection of seeds for the types of vegetables you want to cultivate. You can venture to the local garden store, as well as other retail outlets, to select the seeds you desire for your indoor garden. In the alternative, there is a wealth of resources for vegetable seeds on the internet today.
Seeds cost significantly less than do growing plants. In addition, cultivating your own indoor garden from seed to harvest can be a truly enriching experience.
If you end up with more seeds than you can use in your own indoor garden, you can save them for the next growing season. In the alternative, you can swap seeds, or seedlings, with your friends.
Select Containers to Grow Plants
Once you select the seeds you desire for your indoor garden, the next step is selecting containers in which to grow your vegetable plants. You can use a wide array of different types of containers to begin your indoor vegetable garden. Indeed, you can reuse containers that you already have in your home.
Empty yogurt cups are an ideal size for containers to start your indoor vegetable garden. Egg cartons are also suitable to start your seedlings, but you will need to transplant the tiny plants sooner rather later because of the small size of egg cartons.
You can also find containers available for sale at garden shops in the brick and mortar world and online, containers that are designed specifically for indoor gardening. These include options that are biodegradable and well suited to situations in which the indoor garden goal is to being plants for transfer outside when the weather permits.
Select a Location for Your Indoor Garden
You need to take care of where you elect to place your indoor vegetable garden. You need to make certain that it is a place that is both warm and that has appropriate light. Natural light is preferable. However, you will also want to consider making up for limited natural light with plant-appropriate artificial lighting for your indoor vegetable garden.
Prep Soil and Plant Seeds
Preparing the soil for an indoor garden is easier than when dealing with an outdoor vegetable patch. You will want to use nutrient-rich soil in your containers. You can make the process easier by purchasing an appropriate type of potting soil. In the alternative, you can compost and blend that with soil from your outdoor garden.
Time and again, the biggest mistake people make in regard to an indoor garden is in regard to watering. Properly watering an indoor garden can be tricky. Because of this, making sure that the containers have appropriate drainage holes.
The best way to properly water your indoor garden is to check the soil daily. If properly watered, the soil should have the consistency of a sponge. The soil should be damp from the top to the bottom of the container.
Light Up Your Indoor Garden
The importance of proper lighting was referenced a moment ago when it came to the placement of your indoor garden. Even if your indoor garden does get a decent amount of natural light, you will want to supplement that with light from a bulb. Many gardening experts recommend using either CFLs and LEDs for the most effective, as well as the most energy-efficient, lighting for your indoor garden.
For optimal effect, artificial lights should be about 6 inches above the plants. Some indoor gardeners place their lights on chains to permit them to be adjusted as the plants grown. You can also consider placing aluminum foil or whiteboard in the surface surrounding the containers.