How To Make And Grow An Indoor Garden At Home
Morgan McBride4-Minute Read
May 18, 2020
Add some color, style and fresh scents to your home with an indoor garden. We have tips on how to create the perfect in-home garden that suits your taste, as well as how to properly maintain it for a sustained life.
What Is An Indoor Garden?
An indoor garden consists of plants grown inside your home. Indoor gardens are usually in containers, often with their own grow light system. Indoor gardens can include houseplants, flowers, or edible plants, such as herbs and vegetables.
Why Have An Indoor Garden?
There are many reasons to have an indoor garden. They’re ideal for people who don’t have a yard or outdoor space to grow a larger in-ground garden but want fresh herbs and plants in their homes.
Indoor gardens are also great options for people who live in climates that aren’t conducive to plants growing well outdoors – or who want to try to grow plants in the off season.
Another advantage: Indoor plants are great for the air quality of your home.
What Can You Grow In An Indoor Garden?
Most small plants will grow well in an indoor garden. However, to be safe, it’s best to choose plants that will grow well with artificial light, mature quickly, and stay small enough to grow in a container. Leafy greens, herbs, and root vegetables generally do well in indoor gardens.
If you prefer to create an indoor garden of potted houseplants, check out this list of low maintenance indoor plants. In general, it is best to select plants that will grow well in your home’s climate.
What Do I Need To Start An Indoor Garden?
To start an indoor garden, you will need:
- Grow lights
- Growing containers
- Seeds or seedlings
What Kind Of Soil Is Best For An Indoor Garden?
In general, it’s best to use an organic, all-purpose potting mix for your indoor garden. Be sure that your container has proper drainage – pebbles or holes in the bottom of your pot both work well to keep roots from getting soggy.
What Kind Of Container Should I Use For My Indoor Garden?
You can purchase special containers just for indoor gardens, often with built-in grow lights and irrigation. But, that’s not a necessary investment for beginners. Any kind of small container can work well. For example, empty yogurt containers or egg cartons are the perfect size for starting seeds and small plants.
What Should I Look For In An Indoor Garden Light?
Artificial lighting is one of the most important aspects of an indoor garden. Outdoors, in their natural habitats, plants get a variety of light as the sun moves throughout the day. You have to do your best to replicate that in your indoor garden.
Full-spectrum light bulbs are recommended as they best replicate natural lighting. High-tech LED lights are designed for growing plants and use much less energy than traditional bulbs.
You can also consider placing white foam board or aluminum foil on the sides of the garden to reflect your light back towards your plants. This allows them to get light from multiple angles.
Be sure to research each of the plants that you choose to grow indoors. Different plants are short-day, long-day, or day-neutral in their light needs, which changes the number of hours of light your plants need each day.
How Much Do I Water My Indoor Garden?
You want your soil to have the wetness of a wrung-out sponge when your seeds are first sprouting. You might cover the soil with plastic or damp newspaper to help keep it moist. Remove the covering when your seeds begin to sprout.
It’s very difficult to water plants perfectly, which is why it’s so important to have proper drainage in your pots. Drainage allows water to drain away from the roots of your plants, instead of pooling and potentially causing rot or other issues.
How Do I Start An Indoor Garden?
Starting an indoor garden isn’t difficult, but it does require a bit of planning and prep work.
1. Select a spot for your garden. It should be away from windows, vents, or other heat sources.
2. Build or assemble a grow light system for your garden.
3. Prepare your container with soil and proper drainage.
4. Sow your seeds according to the instructions on your seed packets. Pay special attention to the proper spacing of the seeds.
5. Keep soil moist until the seeds begin to germinate.
6. Place the container under the assembled grow lights. Keep the lights about 2 inches above the tops of the plants, adjusting upward as the plants grow.
7. Plants should get 12 – 16 hours of artificial light each day.
8. Water when the surface of the soil feels dry – about twice a week.
9. Enjoy fresh herbs and produce, all year-round.
When Do I Start Seeds Indoors?
A general rule of thumb is that you should start seeds indoors about 6 weeks before the last frost in your area. You don’t want to start them too soon, as larger plants can sometimes go into shock when transplanted outdoors. However, if you plan to keep your plants in an indoor garden, you can start your seeds at any time.
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