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Beginner’s Guide to Growing Vegetables Indoors

Indoor Gardening

Since the start of pandemic, many of us have started to seek new indoor hobbies to pass time. One excellent hobby that you are sure to enjoy both from a health and entertainment perspective is growing your own vegetables indoors. It’s super rewarding to be able to eat vegetables that you grew yourself.

A lot of people get discouraged from starting their own indoor vegetable garden because they don’t have the confidence in keeping plants alive. Well, those concerns will soon dissipate once you start planting your first seeds. Yes, there are certain requirements, such as getting enough sunlight, that may make it difficult for people who live in homes that don’t get a lot of natural sunlight, but there are ways around all these problems.

Gardening Equipment and Tools You Need

Gardening is a popular indoor activity because it’s affordable. Yes, you may have come across tools and equipment that appear pretty costly but we can guarantee you won’t need them, especially when you are beginner and you are just starting your journey as a green thumb. In its simplest form, gardening may only require the following:

Container or Pot
First, you will need some kind of container or pot to grow the vegetable plant in. This could be clay pots, plastic pots or containers, or planter boxes for example. You can also use recycled goods like milk jugs and plastic bottles for small to medium-sized plants.

Soil
Soil serves as the primary medium for growing vegetables. It’s also possible to grow vegetables in other mediums like water but those options may require a more complex setup that’s not suitable for gardening beginners. When growing a vegetable garden indoors, it’s very important to not sacrifice on quality. High-quality soil is more dense in nutrients and minerals so your vegetables will grow at a healthier rate. High-quality soil is also less likely to have pest problems. The last thing you would want is for gnats to fly around your house as result of brining poor-quality soil indoors.

Lighting System
This is only for people who in homes that get little sunlight. The amount of sunlight your home gets throughout the day depends on the direction the windows are facing. For example, those who live in the Northern hemisphere and have south-facing windows in their house will get plenty of sunlight. If you are growing vegetables in a windowless room or a room that gets less than a few hours of sunlight per day then you will need a lighting system.

Lighting systems for vegetable gardening can come in a variety of forms. The best options for beginners may include grow lights that come as a stand. These grow lights will emit the spectrum of light wavelengths required for the plants to grow at a fast and healthy rate.

In its simplest, the above three components are all you really need to start an indoor vegetable garden (aside from water and seeds of course). You can also get gardening accessories like gloves and hand rakes if you’d like.

What Vegetables to Grow Indoors

For beginners, we always recommend growing the simplest of options that vegetables have to offer. In addition to considering the amount of sunlight, you will also need to consider the size of a mature plant before you decide on what to grow.

Scallions
Scallions are excellent for beginners who want to start an indoor vegetable garden. They are easy to care for because of their light requirements. For best results, you will want to grow the scallions in an indoor spot that receives at least six to eight hours of sunlight per day, but they are also known to grow well in low-light conditions. At its fastest growing rate, you can expect to harvest scallions 60 to 80 days after sowing the seeds.

Radishes
Another excellent choice for indoor gardens. Radishes can be grown in a round, narrow pots. They grow best in cool weather conditions although the weather won’t matter too much since you are growing them indoors. Find a spot at home that gets at least six hours of sunlight per day.

Leafy Salad Greens
If you love eating salads then you can also start growing your own leafy greens. Popular choices include spinach, kale, and arugula. All of these plants can be grown indoors as long as they are kept in the right conditions. Make sure you only water the vegetables when the topsoil starts to feel dry. Over-watering can damage the plants and also attract household pests.

As you grow more confidence in your indoor gardening ability, you can start to explore other vegetables like tomatoes, peppers, and carrots.

Indoor Gardening Tips

We hope you now have a good understanding of what it takes to start an indoor vegetable garden. Here are some additional tips that may help you grow the best-quality vegetables.

Emphasis on Watering
It’s easier to save a plant from under-watering than over-watering. Our best tip on watering is to dig the tip of your finger into the soil. If it feels moist then don’t water the plant just yet.

Join a community
There are plenty of great online communities that are willing to share tips on indoor gardening. One community we like to visit often is Reddit’s Indoor Gardening. You will also get plenty of inspiration from the various types of vegetables the community members grow.

Test the pH of the Soil
Some vegetables may prefer soil with specific pH levels so checking the pH of the soil may serve as an important prerequisite. Vegetables like potatoes, shallots, and rhubarbs, for example, prefer being grown in acidic conditions. Vegetables like broccoli and lettuce, on the other hand, may prefer alkali conditions.