A Brief Guide to Indoor Gardening
You can enjoy the fresh greens and colorful blooms of your flowers even when the winter comes. All you need to do is take your garden indoors.
Having plants inside your home will not only bring the serene pleasure and beauty of the garden inside, but will help cleanse out your air, so you live in a healthier environment.
Also, if you plan on growing some homegrown veggies, fruits, and herbs, you will have access to pure organic food all year long.
You can create your own garden indoors if you don’t have a yard or a gardening spot. You can also get your starter plants ready for the spring inside.
Here are some of the basics of gardening indoors for newbies.
Choose a Place for Your Home Garden
Your own indoor garden can be as big as you want it to. Use a window sill to place several pots, or set up a bench or table for a larger garden area. Makes sure that you place a tarp underneath the table, or place it on tiles so that you can easily clean any water or dirt from the plants.
Ensure Sufficient Lighting
You can use shelves for your different plants, but you need to provide sufficient space and light for them to grow properly. If the light seems insufficient, you can easily compensate by using a set of LED grow lights in the appropriate positions.
These lights are specialized for growing plants and provide light which has the same wavelength as that from the sun, which is healthy for the plants and doesn’t burn them. Ensure that you get the appropriate type of grow lights for the type of plants you are growing and also pick the appropriate size for optimal results.
Make certain that the room where you will keep your plants has a temperature level of 65 to 75 degrees Fahrenheit, which is suitable for most common plants. Temperatures above this level can cause the leaves to become yellow and fall off, and colder ambient temperature will make your plants weak and small.
The best way to ensure that the temperature remains consistent and suitable for your home garden is to install a temperature controller with a day and night thermostat so that you can sleep without worrying that your plants are freezing cold and go out without allowing the temperature to rise to unhealthy levels for them.
Normally, the humidity levels inside drop in the winter especially when you turn on the heating in the house. Low humidity can cause browning of the tips of the leaves and falling of the leaves.
To increase the humidity to healthy levels you can mist your plants on a daily basis, and place a tray or another vessel filled with water and some lava rocks near the plants.
By placing the pots of plants closer together you will create a better micro environment for them and will ensure that the humidity increases.
You can run a humidifier as well – it soon good for your home garden and for your respiratory system and skin too.
Choose a Good Growing Media for the Plants
Don’t use soil from outside, because you can introduce a lot of weeds and pests to your indoor garden. Rather, you should choose potting soil offered specifically for indoor growing. It should be loose enough to allow the water to drain, and still, have all the necessary organic matter to keep the moisture and nutrients essential for the plants inside the container.
You Can Try Using Hydroponics
You have the option to grow your indoor plants without soil with the help of hydroponics. This means providing your flowers and plants with nutrients directly without bounding them up in the soil. Hydroponics allows for up to 50% faster growth of the plants and will also keep them safe from disease.
Also with hydroponics, you can easily tell when a plant needs watering as they droop but don’t die. Last but not least, with this home gardening method, you can grow more plants because the containers and pots required can be much smaller than traditional ones.
Picking the Plants for Your Indoor Garden
Nearly any kind of plant can be grown at home, as long as it doesn’t become way too big. But when you are picking the plants for your interior garden you need to keep in mind that they should require similar humidity, light, and watering, so that all of them can grow properly together in one place.
Some of the plants suitable for your indoor garden include nearly all kinds of veggies and herbs which is a perfect opportunity to have access to fresh home produce. You can also grow various flowers such as Roses, Geranium, Petunia, Zinnia, Begonia, Marigold and many others for a colorful home garden.
Some fruits like citruses, strawberries and certain dwarf varieties of apples can also grow and flourish indoors if you take care of them properly.
You can grow your plants from seeds, or you can transplant them from outdoors, but only after that are acclimated. You can then take them back outside when the weather gets warmer, again after some acclimatization.
How to Move the Plants Outdoors
If you want to move plants which you have grown inside, you need to let them “harden off” before replanting them or taking them outside. This process will allow them to develop a thicker cuticle which will help them accumulate water and keep them safe in the harsher outdoor weather.
In order to acclimatize your plants before taking them outside you need to first take them out in the shade for about 3-4 hours a day for about a week. Then start increasing the outdoor time by 1 or 2 hours. It is recommended to bring them back indoors at night during this hardening period.
Start placing them in sunny spots after 2 to 3 days and in the afternoon move them back into the shade.
After 7 days, if the outdoor temperature is 50 degrees Fahrenheit or above, it is probably safe to leave them outside at night as well.
Transplant the flowers or plants after that, but choose a cloudy day for that. After planting them outside make sure you water them thoroughly.
Moving Plants Indoors
If at the end of fall you want to replant your flowers or other flora and take them indoors, you should pot them and let them acclimatize as well.
Maintenance of Your Indoor Plants
Once you have set up your indoor garden, you will need to take proper care of it. Regular watering, pruning, staking and other gardening jobs will ensure that your garden flourishes and becomes the favorite spot in your home for you and your family.
Use room temperature for watering the plants and make sure you are watering them sufficiently by checking the moisture of the soil or by using a moisture meter.
You should use fertilizer to ensure that your indoor plants get sufficient nutrients and grow properly. If you compost, you can make some compost “tea” and use it to water and fertilize your plants too.
You can start planting your own home garden now, and pretty soon when you see the first results you will feel the satisfaction and pride of having created such a beautiful natural spot for your home.