Going Green in Your Home With Indoor Gardening  

Going Green in Your Home With Indoor Gardening  

Indoor gardening can make your home or office a delightful green landscape with fresh plants and fruits oozing fresh air around.

Indoor gardens are especially useful for decorative plants, floral gardens, and for miniature herb gardens. You can have an indoor garden without committing a large piece of your backyard while using your green thumb to your advantage. If you live in the city, in a condo or in a house without a yard and you love plants, indoor gardening could be your best bet.

Indoor Gardening – What Is It And Who Is It For?

As the name implies, indoor gardening is a garden right inside your house, your apartment or even office. Its about creating artificial environment indoors for growing plants.

If you love the natural fragrance of fresh plants or the beauty of going green with plants, or if you crave fresh produce during the winter months, then you should consider creating an indoor garden right inside your home, apartment or office.

But what exactly will you need to start one?

What You Need To Start Indoor Gardening?

If you’re considering indoor gardening, here are the key things you need to get started:

Lights – Plants in outdoor gardens rely on sunlight for photosynthesis – a process whereby plants use energy from sun lights by converting them into chemical energy. But plants in indoor gardens may not have direct access to sun light, so you’ll have to create an artificial lighting for them.

Lights for indoor gardening.
Photo by Chipmunk__1 @ Flickr / CC BY

One of the best lights you can use to grow plants in your indoor garden is grow lights. When you’re looking to buy grow lights, bear in mind that Kelvin Unit (K) is the measurement of a white light output. The lower the degree of Kelvin the warmer and redder the output will appear.

But if the degree of Kelvin is higher, the light will appear cooler and bluer. The blue lights trigger dense, bushy vegetative growth. The red lights propels the flowering stage in plant growth. One easy option you can pick is a full-spectrum lights, with a Kelvin units of within 4000 – 6000. Full spectrum-lights can generate both warm and cool light colors similar to natural sunlight.

Support Cage – You’ll have to attach your grow lights to your Tower Garden. The support cage provides the right support for T5 Grow lights and LED.

Rubber-backed Rug – While a rubber-backed is not a must-have in your indoor garden, it can protect your floor from any unintended spill  

Timer – You can do without a timer in your indoor garden but having one can ease your workload. For healthy growth, plants in your indoor garden need some sleep and most of they can sleep while in the dark.  A timer can automatically turn your grow lights on and off. This can save you the stress of doing it manually.

Fan –  Air is important to plants and making sure that air circulates appropriately in your indoor garden is absolutely important. A small fan can be the way out, it can keep the air circulating to avoid leaf fungi and garden pest related problems.

Now that you know what you need to get started, what kind of plant should you grow in your indoor garden? 

What Kind of Plants are Good for Indoor Gardening?

Many avid gardeners start their indoor gardening by using outdoor transplants. But that’s not a good way to start. When you bring an outdoor plant indoor, odds are you’ll bring in a plant disease or a pest along. Once you have a garden pest indoor, it could be very difficult to control as there are no natural predators in an indoor garden.

I’ll suggest you start your indoor gardening by planting your own seeds. You can plant seeds of herbs, vegetables, and other edible leafy plants. Fruit-bearing plants may require manual pollination in order to grow and bear fruits successfully.

Here is a list of some plants that thrives easily in indoor gardens: Thyme, Broccoli, Dill, Arugula, Catnip, Escarole, Rosemary, Endive, Mint, Cabbage, Lavender, Kale, Chives, Lettuce, Lemongrass, Brussels Sprouts, Cumin, Radicchio, Oregano, and Chard. But you’ll have to create the right condition for these plants to grow the way they should.

What’s The Right Condition For Indoor Gardening?

Creating the right condition for your plants to flourish will make your indoor gardening efforts more successful. The three key things you should pay attention to are temperature, light and the use of pump timer.

Indoor Plants dried up under the wrong condition.
Indoor plants can’t survive under harsh conditions.

Temperature – Many plants in a indoor garden grow maximally between 65 – 75 F.

Light – If you can keep your lights running for 14 hours or more daily, your plants will be better off. But make sure your plants get at least 6 hours of darkness for sleeping.

Pump timer setting –  You should set your pump timer to 45 minutes off and 15 minutes on to avoid over-watering and save energy. Plant roots in indoor gardens don’t dry up as quickly as they do in an outdoor garden.

 Types Of Indoor Gardening and How To Choose The Right One?

One of the first decisions you’ll have to make before start indoor gardening is it to make up your mind on the type you want in your home. There are two types of Indoor Gardens:

1. Hydroponic Gardens

2. Container Gardens

Now lets’ take a look at each of them in details so you can decide which one is the best fit for you.

 Hydroponic Gardens

When you start indoor gardening, you can either grow your plants in a soil mixture or you can use hydroponics. When you choose hydroponics, it means growing your plants without soil. Soil retains nutrients and hold plant roots. But when you choose to grow your plants hydroponically, it means you’re providing your plants nutrients directly without soil.

Hydroponic indoor gardening
By Ryan SommaLeafy Greenhouse, CC BY-SA 2.0, Link

A hydroponic garden utilizes a non-soil starter and fertilized water.  You can add a live fish to the bowl of a hydroponic garden, but that’s if you really like that. Hydroponic gardens don’t need to be unnecessarily large. You can easily use the space in front of a well-lit window. However, if you want a larger garden, you can set up a system that will require an entire wall space.

Interestingly, hydroponic gardens require less water compared to traditional soil gardens. They only need little space and makes growing easier.

Plants That Grow Best In Hydroponic Gardens

Some of the best herbs, fruits and vegetables you can plant in hydroponics are Lettuce, tomatoes, radishes, celery, cucumber, water melon, netted melons, strawberries, blueberries, grapes, Chives, Oregano, Basil, Sage, and Rosemary. For more details on these plants check out this blog post.

Container Gardens 

Many gardeners use pots or plastic containers for their indoor gardening. Unlike hydroponics, a container garden uses planters and traditional soil for growing plants. Container gardens are most especially useful for people who intend to use their plants for home decor. But some people use containers to grow plants indoor before moving them outdoor.

Almost any container size or shape can be used for a container garden giving you the freedom to choose from a variety of options.

What Should You Use As Containers For Your Plants?

You can easily opt for potted plants to add to your home decorations rather than purchasing seedlings or baby plants and put them into containers yourself. When searching for plants to purchase, consider healthy leaves that are visibly firm and avoid plants with less leaves and more stems.

Container indoor gardening.
Photo by Dane Brian@ Flickr / CC BY

If you intend to replant, use a container with similar size to the one it came in or not more than two inches bigger. However, if the container or pot is too large for the plant, it may hold too much water and cause the plant’s root to rot. Additionally, make sure the container has at least one drainage hole at the bottom so it won’t hold too much water.

Fiberglass containers, resin, and Terra-cotta are also good options to choose from, but you’re not limited to those options. Consider transforming an old vase, tea cups or even an old shoe into a plant container.

Plants You Can Grow Easily In Container Gardens

Some plants perform better in containers than others. Here is a list of some of the plants you can grow easily in your container garden: Peppers, Tomatoes, Chives, Pineapple, Rosemary, Oregano, Cantaloupe, Parsley, Strawberries, Zucchini and Summer Squash, Basil, Bananas, Spinach, Thyme etc. Read more about the 35 easiest container and pot friendly fruits, vegetables and herbs you can grow in a container garden. You can also check out these 16 best edible plants to grow indoor.

What Part Of Your Home Is The Best Location For Indoor Gardening?

Light is one of the most crucial things to consider when picking a location for indoor gardening either hydroponic or container. The two types of gardens require lights to survive. Nonetheless, if you live in a home that doesn’t get enough exposure to natural lights, consider installing a growing light for your plants.          

For your hydroponic garden, consider using a vertical space for its set up. Also, it’s recommended to setup a hydroponic garden on a hard floor rather than a carpeting to avoid mildew and mold. Interestingly, with both indoor gardening, you can cultivate flowers, vegetables, fruits and herbs which can cut grocery bills and increase freshness and fresh air with all the green plants oozing freshness.

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