Growing your own plants and vegetables indoors is a great way to tap into your green thumb if you live in an apartment, somewhere with limited to no outdoor gardening space, or in a particularly cold climate. It may seem like a lot less work without the need for fancy gardening tools and maintaining a large plot of soil, but there is an equal amount of planning and consideration that goes into starting a garden inside. With a bit of love, attention, and following the proper steps, your indoor plants are sure to flourish.
The first and arguably most exciting part of planning your indoor garden is choosing what plants you want to grow! Do you want to grow flowers, herbs, vegetables, houseplants, or have a variety in your garden? There are so many unique plants to choose from that range in difficulty and maintenance — you can really create a personal arrangement that speaks to you and works with your lifestyle.
Once you've decided on what you would like your indoor garden to consist of, you'll need to figure out how big you want your garden to be. Different plants can grow to various heights and widths, so you want to make sure your garden will be the right size for the available space you have once your seedlings mature. This will also make it easier to figure out how many of each plant or vegetable you want to grow.
Soil is a main part of all gardening, indoor or outdoor. Not only does it provide a home for your plant to sink its roots into, it provides essential nutrients and is responsible for how easily your plants drink and drain excess water. The soil you need will depend on which plants make up your garden; the most common types are
Another exciting part of planning your indoor garden is choosing the pots for your plants to grow in! Whether you are looking for stylish, colorful pots or something space-saving, there are tons of options for you. Traditional pots work great with a plate or water catcher underneath, but there are also hanging pots, trays, and even cute baskets and bins that work well for vegetables that grow predominantly beneath the dirt.
This step of your plan is one of the most important, as your plants are likely going to need moderate to plentiful sunlight. Everyone's house or apartment is unique, so where you grow your garden is going to be different for each household. Picking the right spot ties into how big your garden will be, so take into consideration how many plants you've chosen to grow and how big they will get.
Equally as important as the previous step, knowing how often and how much water to give to your plants can make or break your indoor garden. Some only need a small amount of water every few days, others, multiple times throughout the day. Using a watering can with measurements can be helpful to gauge how much water you're giving them, and you can feel the dirt with your finger to see how moist or dry it is. The temperature of the water may also matter for certain plants, so be sure to take that into consideration. Think about creating neat labels for the pots that indicate how often each needs to be watered and fertilized.
Thinking about air ventilation for your plants is also a good idea when deciding where in your house or apartment your indoor garden will grow. Avoid placing plants directly in front of or above a heater or air conditioner, as too much warm or cool air can be harmful. Setting up your garden near a window is ideal as it allows lots of sunlight and fresh air when needed, but be aware of plants that don't like direct sunlight, or you could end up with burnt leaves.
This is a crucial step for pet owners. Certain plants are toxic to the dogs or cats roaming around your home, and you'll need to know which ones to avoid in order to keep your furry friends safe. Doing your own research is the best route, but here are a few popular plants dangerous for pets:
If you are planning on growing mainly vegetables indoors, it's good to know when during the year you should be planting them. This can depend on where you live, what the weather is like year-round, and if you have any outdoor garden space that you are planning to transplant them to.
Finally, you'll want to learn about your plants. Gardening can take practice, so over time, when things are going right or wrong, taking the time to research them can be interesting and helpful. When you buy a new plant, do a bit of reading on the species. If it wasn't well-labeled in the store, there are a few apps out there that match pictures of your plants with the correct species!
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