Whether you live in a small area without gardening space, or you cannot wait for the warm weather to start gardening again, but you wish to grow some plants, fear not – indoor gardening is an activity that you can do. With the proper tools and a little bit of planning and preparation, you can enjoy fresh greens, grown and picked inside your home all-year-round. Herbs, greens, or flowers are all perfect for indoor gardening. If you want to get started, check out these tips on how to do indoor gardening.
Make a Plan
Before you get started, follow these tips on how to do indoor gardening. Decide first on what you are going to grow: herbs, greens, or flowers.
- Herbs are compact, simple, and edible, and they are a great option to start an indoor garden. If herbs are your preference, make sure to find a sunny spot. The common favorites are rosemary, basil, and mint. There are seeds that you can buy in the gardening section of many home improvement stores or at the grocery store.
- Greens are another popular option. If you are planning to grow greens on an indoor garden, make sure to consider the size. If you have a very small area for growing plants, the best solution is to grow microgreens: These are smaller versions of popular greens that are very nutritious and have a very good taste. Since microgreens are grown in soil, they are an exceptional alternative to sprouts. A lot of options can be produced as microgreens. Best picks are lettuce, spinach, cabbage, or watercress. These greens can add a bit of color and fun to your salads. They can also be used as a garnish for your main dishes.
Once you’ve done deciding what you will plant, assemble your supplies, and find the perfect place for your garden. Here are some things you need to have when starting an indoor garden.
- A sunny window facing south or a grow light.
- A container with drainage holes. A plastic container such as a salad box (with holes added to the bottom) or a nursery flat is a good option.
- Organic potting soil
- Watering can or mister
When you are equipped with all of your supplies, you’re ready to start planting!
How to Start Your Indoor Garden
Follow these steps on how to do indoor gardening.
- Set one to two inches of organic potting soil into your container box. Smooth and flatten the surface or gently push down to create an even plane.
- Scatter your seeds all across the surface of the soil. It may seem like you’re putting a lot of seeds, but the trick with microgreens is that you are growing them a lot very quickly and picking them when they’re still sprout-sized.
- Cover the seeds you’ve scattered with a thin layer of soil. Do it gently—some people even use a mesh strainer to make sure that the soil is fine enough. Check your soil if it needs to be sifted or if a thin layer with your hands will suffice.
- Put the container (where your seeds are) into a drip tray, and give them a gentle shower. Make use of a small mister or a watering can that diffuses the water. Be gentle with your tiny garden.
- Once the tray is in the bright and sunny spot or under grow lights, shower them with water every couple of days (enough to keep the soil moist). We don’t want soggy soil, so if you notice water collecting in your drip tray, remove it.
Aside from growing indoor plants in soil, you may want to try out hydroponics. Hydroponics means gardening without soil. Soil holds nutrients and anchors plant roots. When planting hydroponically, you give the nutrients directly. Instead of being tied up in the ground, the nutrients are readily accessible to the plants.
Some of the benefits of growing hydroponically are:
- Quicker plant growth (up to 50% faster) since plants can efficiently access water and food.
- Roots spread throughout the media without becoming root-bound so that containers can be smaller.
- Plants grow in a disease-free medium and are less likely to become infected.
- If plants do become sick, the condition is usually in one plant, and not all of them.
- Plants sag before they wilt, so you’ll know you need to water them before they are damaged.
You can anticipate seeing your greens growing within a week, and they will typically be ready for harvest in two to three weeks, depending on what type of greens you’re growing. But once the leaves unfold, they are ready.
When it’s harvest time, don’t forget to trim your microgreens just above the soil line. Give them a rinse and enjoy your harvest! Find out more about indoor gardening.
Your indoor garden can use up as big or as little space as you are willing to give it. Growing plants of all kinds, like herbs, can even be done by just using a small container placed on a sunny spot.
Anything can be planted indoors — as long as it doesn’t grow too big. You can even try hydroponics if you want to do indoor gardening without using soil. However, there are a few aspects you need to consider how to do indoor gardening—growing plants with similar light, humidity, and watering needs.
City dwellers, or people without a proper gardening spot in the backyard, may find indoor gardening remarkably useful. Plants need not take up so much space — a windowsill is enough if that’s all you’ve got.
We hope that these tips on how to do indoor gardening will help you jumpstart your very own pocket of herbs and greens inside your home. Check out our friends from Gardening Review because they have all the indoor plants and tools you need.