With the incredible growth and popularity of “going organic” when it comes to the food we eat, there has also been a renewed growth in gardening, so we know exactly what we are getting when it comes to our fruits and vegetables.
While there’s an added time factor, we are also saving money, too.
But not everyone has the available space outdoors to have their full garden with the fruits and vegetables they want to grow.
And that’s where indoor gardening and indoor gardening tips come into play. If you don’t have a yard that’s big enough, or don’t have a yard at all, that’s okay. You can still have a garden.
Here are some simple indoor gardening tips about the most important pieces of any successful indoor garden and that’s your containers, lighting, space and water.
One thing you are going to need is a potting mix. Do not take outdoor soil for your indoor garden.
There are two very important ingredients potted soil must have, and those are perlite and organic matter like peat moss. Check the bag and make sure these ingredients are listed.
According to Mary McLellan, the state master garden coordinator at Michigan State University, anything you can grow outdoors in your garden, you can grow indoors as well.
So if you’re living in an apartment or condo, you can still grow your carrots, peppers, lettuce, tomatoes, cucumbers, squash, organic tea and more. You can even grow coffee, which is great if you also have a high quality espresso machine of your own.
You’ll need to prepare and understand in advance the challenges you’re going to face, as well as things like container size and preparation, the lighting situation and, of course, the watering.
A very important thing to understand with indoor gardening has proper drainage. Without proper drainage, your garden isn’t going to make it.
There are a few ways you can handle this. You can plant directly in a container that has drainage holes, or you can plant into one pot and place that pot into a tray or other container.
Another tip you may want to consider is to use a layer of marbles or pebbles on the bottom of the initial pot.
Why? McLellan states that this allows the water to drain without the plant sitting in water.
All you need for your containers is to make sure there is enough room for the plants to grow and that you have adequate drainage.
You can even use hanging baskets if that gives you more room or options for your indoor garden. A metal bucket, barrel or the standard pot all work fine.
Think about things like milk and bleach jugs (with the tops cut off), window boxes, even clothes baskets that you can line with plastic (don’t forget to punch your drainage holes)).
Now let’s talk about another crucial aspect that will help your indoor garden to thrive and that is lighting.
You clearly have two options here, a well-lit window or artificial lighting. Even a well-lit room may not be enough depending on where you live.
For example, if you are in the northeastern United States, you might have to supplement your well-lit room with artificial lighting.
This will also be dependent on what you are growing in your garden. Fruiting plants, like tomatoes, need lots of exposure to light, so even with a well-lit window, your tomatoes might do better with supplemental lighting.
If the seedlings of your plants are tall and spindly, chances are they aren’t getting enough light.
While leaf crops and root crops can handle some shade, most fruits and vegetables need at least five hours of direct sunlight and do better with almost double that amount.
Keep your lighting situation in mind when deciding what you want in your garden. You may very well need to buy lights.
While many people forget to water on a regular basis, it’s over-watering that is a big problem with an indoor garden. The plants in an indoor garden do not dry out as fast as they would if they were outdoors.
Always be sure to check each plant before watering again. By placing each type of plant in its container, you can better target its watering requirements as each plant is different in this regard. More explained here!
Finally, you need to worry about space requirements. This goes right back to the beginning of this article about planning. An indoor garden takes up a lot of space.
Be sure you understand the space you’ll need before you go and buy seeds and containers, etc.
Plan out your garden. Know what you are going to grow and understand the lighting, space and watering requirements of those particular plants.
If this is your first attempt at an indoor garden, start small with only a few plants.
Space restrictions and poor lighting have killed many an indoor garden. Make it easier on yourself with a small indoor garden to start.
To still get a lot out of your indoor garden while starting small, you might want to consider certain vegetables that don’t need as much space.
This includes such vegetables as carrots, radishes, and lettuce. You can also go with those that produce over time. This means tomatoes and peppers.
This will allow you to make the best use of space and containers.
Indoor Gardening is a fantastic way for people without a yard or the room outdoors, but still enjoy gardening and the taste of fresh fruits and vegetables.
I hope these indoor gardening tips help put you on track for your successful indoor garden.
Find out more tips in our featured post here: http://organic-products-lifestyle.com/the-7-most-important-indoor-gardening-tips/