5 Tips for Growing Vegetables Indoors Year Round

growing vegetables indoors year round

So you want to eat some home-grown veggies. What if you don’t have a lot of garden space, though? What if you don’t have any garden space?

Never fear, however, this article was made for you. Here we have the best 5 tips for growing vegetables indoors year round!

So without further ado, let’s dive in.

1. Consider How to Go About Growing Vegetables Indoors Year Round

There are quite a few ways you can go about growing your vegetables indoors. There’s the vertical farming method, which makes use of warehouse-like shelving of various racks of plants.

Another method is to just recycle older plastic containers and place them in a convenient place. Whether that’s by a window or in a place where the container fits, this is a handy method to choose.

Going forward we’ll assume you’re using the container method, as it’s less time consuming and more convenient for most people. However, if you would like a more in-depth look at vertical farming, see our article here.

2. Put Plates Under Your Containers

When growing vegetables in containers, you may find your floor can become damp beneath the container itself. If you have a wooden floor, this could damage the floorboards and the piping/electrical works beneath it.

A good solution to this is to buy some low-priced plates and simply put them in the container itself. The plates will add as like an absorbing surface, retaining any dampness/water overflow before it reaches the ground.

3. Put Rocks on the Plates

Houses with central or radiator heating may have an atmosphere that is too dry to grow vegetables indoors. This is usually due to water evaporating too quickly from the atmosphere around the containers.

The easy way to fix this is to place small rocks (with no limestone inside) on the plate under the container or on top of the soil in the container.

These rocks will absorb some of the water residues on the plates or soil, leaving them damp and helping slow down the evaporation process around the container so that the soil can retain more water particles for longer.

4. Keep Temperatures Appropriate

Whilst we said various heating types can make the atmosphere too dry, you should keep your heating levels appropriate for the season you are growing your veggies in.

You don’t want it to be too warm in the spring/summer and kill your vegetables that way. Also, you don’t want your food freezing in winter, so a little extra heat could help!

All-in-all it just comes down to researching the specific requirements you need for growing vegetables indoors year round and through the various seasons. This will highly depend on the vegetables you plan to grow and how much light they need.

5. Consider a Grow Light

Speaking of light, if you can’t put your vegetables in direct sunlight you might need a grow light!

As the name implies, a grow light is a light bulb made to help grow plants when natural light isn’t available.

When using these we recommend using a timer so you don’t expose too much light to your plants. Natural light will always be your best bet for growing veggies though.

Room to Grow

So there you have it! Now you have a good idea on how you can start growing vegetables indoors year round!

Feel free to comment, discuss, and share tips below in the comments.

Also, if you have specific questions feel free to contact us here.

5 Reasons to Consider an Indoor Vegetable Garden

indoor vegetable garden

Do you wish you had more access to fresh vegetables?

You believe you and your family aren’t eating as many vegetables as you should due to the confinements of the city.

There are many options for getting quality produce and herbs, but the most rewarding is growing your own indoor vegetable garden.

We put together 5 reasons why you need to consider growing your own vegetables indoors. Read on and get ready to take the next step.

1. Money Saver

Growing your own indoor vegetable garden will save you money because it’s one of those hobbies that will have rewards higher than the cost.

How much money are you spending on produce either at the grocery store or farmers market? You’re also spending on gas or public transportation, and also paying sales tax.

But by growing your own garden, you can cut down on the costs of driving, as well as sales tax. It might not seem like a significant money difference at first, but it will add up over time.

2. The Quality Is Better

When you compare grocery store versus farmers market vegetables, you’ll be able to tell the difference right away. Locally grown vegetables taste better, smell better and even have a better appearance.

That is exactly what you’ll get when you grow your vegetables indoors. You know exactly what you’re eating because you’ll be the one growing it.

There will be no worries about harmful pesticides or other harmful processes vegetables undergo before they get to your table.

The freshness will be undeniable and you’ll eat it with pride knowing you grew it yourself.

3. Purifies the Air

Everyone knows trees and plants help purify the air. Wouldn’t it be nice to do it at home as well?

Having indoor plants will significantly improve the air quality in your home. Researchers from NASA conducted studies that showed carbon monoxide and formaldehyde were removed from the air by indoor plants.

Scientists recommend the average resident to have 1 potted plant per 100 square feet to improve indoor air quality.

4. Relaxation

It’s common knowledge that people who live and spend more time outdoors feel more relaxed. People living in the city often don’t have that luxury.

Thinking about your daily relaxation and stress level reduction is yet another reason why you need an indoor vegetable garden.

Plants are linked to reducing blood pressure, stabilizing your heart-rate, and even aid those with respiratory conditions.

5. Great House Decor

How pretty would your house look adorned with potted plants? You can have a designated indoor garden section, but you could also strategically place them around the house.

Colorful potted plants make great centerpieces your guests will compliment you on. And they will be happy to walk into a house with amazing garden smells.

Ready for Your Own Indoor Vegetable Garden?

We hope these tips have convinced you to take the next step into growing your indoor garden. Remember you’ll save money, eat quality vegetables, and even find it relaxing when you grow your own plants.

If you’re ready to get started and would like more gardening tips, let Indoor Farming help you. Visit us today.

Understanding the Basics of Vertical Gardening Systems

vertical gardening systems

It’s hard to grow your own produce when you live in an apartment. Many urban dwellers are eager to reap the benefits of homegrown vegetables and herbs, but they simply do not have room in their living spaces. Vertical gardening systems are the perfect solution to this dilemma.

If you are interested in cultivating a vertical garden for the nutritional and aesthetic benefits, in addition to the pure enjoyment of the process, here are five tips to help you get started.

1. Choose a Suitable Space

Take a look at your apartment to see where the sun hits at different times of the day. Most plants will benefit from something known as half-exposure. Half-exposure is when plants get sun for some – but not all – of the day

Make sure you have appropriate electrical outlets near your vertical garden because you may also need to supplement sunlight with grow lamps. Grow lamps are electrical lights designed to simulate the sun’s rays and stimulate plant growth.

Observe if there are any drafts in your selected garden spot. You also want to avoid direct gusts from the air conditioning or heating vents.

2. Select Appropriate Plants

It is so satisfying to grow things you can eat in your vertical garden. Choose carefully, however, because some vegetables adapt better to this indoor method than others.

Start with one of these to get your garden “off the ground”:

  • Spinach
  • Bok Choi
  • Herbs like tarragon or basil
  • Radishes
  • Lettuce

It’s important to select plants with compatible growing habits. Don’t place shade-loving species next to ones that need more sunlight. Avoid situating plants that grow quickly like mint next to ones that are more gradual, because the more aggressive ones will take over.

In addition to these vegetables, other great options for vertical gardening systems include:

  • Succulents
  • Trailing varieties like philodendron
  • Ferns

3. Set Up a Planting Structure

There are numerous structures you can use for vertical gardening depending upon your taste and available space.

Creative gardeners have used existing structures like a wall or staircase around which to arrange their plantings. Some people cobble together their own versions which exhibit the plants in an attractive manner in addition to encouraging growth. Some examples include:

  • Trellis or lattice
  • Wall with hanging pots
  • Pyramid structure
  • Terrariums
  • Pocket Walls
  • Wood shipping pallet
  • Shoe organizer
  • Teepee

4. Choose Your Planting Method

Depending upon your species choice, you need to find a method of planting which will help those particular plants flourish.

If you are not interested in the mess associated with potting soil, you might consider hydroponic gardening. You’d be surprised at how little hydroponic planting requires: Only nutrients, light, and air. Many espouse the nutritional benefits of food grown in this fashion, free from chemicals and pests.

5. Find the Best Irrigation System

With the minimal amount of soil (or lack of it, if you are going hydroponic), you need to have a regular and consistent method of watering your garden.

Drip irrigation uses hoses and pockets so that water can drop down to plants lower on the vertical structure. You can find a wide variety of mechanisms online for this kind of watering, or you can construct your own.

Vertical Gardening Systems: An Easy Way for Anyone to Grow Their Own Food

Don’t let a small space limit your gardening capabilities. With a little light, water and ingenuity, you can set up a green space in your city apartment which will bring you fresh produce all year round.

Check out the latest methods for successful vertical gardening systems to get started on your green space today.

What Are the Advantages of Vertical Farming?

advantages of vertical farming

What are the advantages of vertical farming?

Vertical farming has the power to change the world’s food supply.

The World Health Organization reports that as the population moves to more urban areas, they become more distant from nutritious food sources.

Vertical farming brings your food closer to home. Even in a small space, vertical farms can transform your food supply. You can feed your family and even your neighborhood.

If you’ve ever thought you can’t have a garden because of space, keep reading. You’ll want to have a vertical farm!

A Vertical Farm Can Lessen Your Carbon Footprint

Have you ever thought of the true cost of your food? This isn’t the amount you paid for a banana, but the cost to transport that banana from Costa Rica or the Philippines.

That’s true for even “local” food. On average, your food travels 1500 miles from farm to the grocery store, to your plate.

One of the key advantages of vertical farming is that you can literally be feet away from your food supply.

Higher Quality of Food

Have you ever cooked a meal with 100% fresh ingredients? There’s a noticeable difference in the taste and quality of food that you grow yourself.

The advantages of vertical farming even extend to nutrients and vitamins. Plants get their nutrients from the soil. As traditional farming practices deplete the soil of nutrients, our foods become less nutritious.

With a vertical farm, you can control the amount of nutrients a plant receives by spraying fertilizer directly onto the roots of the plant.

You’ll Eat Better and Feel Better

The World Economic Forum says that vertical farming has the power to make you a better eater.

More than one-third of Americans are obese. Obesity has reached epidemic levels and costs $147 billion in medical expenses. Obesity has been tied to heart disease, Type 2 diabetes, stroke and some cancers.

Vertical farms can lower the obesity rate by making healthy food convenient in urban centers. Nowadays, people are busy and reach for whatever is available when they’re hungry. In urban areas, this usually means going out to eat or grabbing something from the vending machine.

The advantages of a vertical farm can make food more readily available simply by having a food source that’s close and convenient.

You Can Garden Indoors

The concept of vertical farming was started by Dr. Dickson Despommier at Columbia University.

Most people in cities use community gardens to grow their food. You still have to travel to the garden and tend to it regularly. With a vertical farm, you can grow your own food right in your home and have your own farm feet away.

Not only that, an indoor vertical garden can add a more lively look to your home, even if it’s a small space.

The Advantages of Vertical Farming

There are many advantages of vertical farming. Vertical farms are the wave of the future and can transform how you eat by making fresh healthy, nutritious food available in the smallest spaces.

Contact us today to see how a vertical farm can transform your world.

How to Start Vertical Farming at Home in 5 Easy Steps

vertical farming at home

Do you love the idea of growing your own vegetables, but aren’t sure how to get started on your own garden?

Vertical farming at home is a growing trend that’s great for anyone who loves the idea of eating pesticide-free vegetables, eating vegetables year-round (yes, even in the dead of winter), and keeping critters away from their produce. But, many people shy away from vertical farming because they think it’s only for those with a highly-developed green thumb.

But the truth is, with a little patience and know-how, anyone can start their own vertical farm at home.

In this article, we’ll go over what it takes to start a vertical garden in 5 easy steps.

Step 1: Choose a Wall

Many first-timers fret over which wall to choose for vertical farming at home. But the truth is, any wall will do.

The best way to choose a wall is to pick the one you find the least attractive. And unless you plan to plant a very large garden, weight load isn’t something you need to worry about.

The wall you choose and the amount of sunlight it gets will determine what types of plants you’re able to grow. If, however, you already have your heart set on certain plants, you will have to pick a wall that can meet that plant’s growing requirements.

Step 2: Build the Structure

Once you’ve chosen a good spot for your farm, it’s time to focus on the structure.

The structure will consist of:

  • The frame
  • Plastic sheeting
  • Fabric

It’s best to make the frame using PVC pipes, as wood can rot easily and metal is quite heavy. The frame should be covered with a layer of plastic sheeting followed by two layers of fabric.

Step 3: Set up the Irrigation System and Fertilizer Injector

In order for plants to grow properly on a vertical surface, you’ll need to set up an irrigation system.

One can be easily made with poly tube fittings that lock and allow the water to drip down. These tubes come with emitters that allow water to drip down from them in set intervals. You’ll also need an irrigation timer that can be set to allow water to drip for 10-15 seconds a few times per day.

You will also want to purchase/make and attach a fertilizer injector to keep the plants healthy. These can be attached to the irrigation system.

Step 4: Choose Vegetables

When choosing the vegetables for your farm, you’ll need to take into account more than just what you want to throw in your salad for dinner.

You’ll also need to consider the shade, sun, cold, wind, humidity, and time. Mushrooms, peas, and tomatoes are not only vegetables that grow quickly. They’re also excellent vegetables you can grow indoors and cook straight in your kitchen.

Step 5: Insert the Plants

You can insert your vegetable plants into the design by making a horizontal cut in the outer layer of the fabric.

You’ll want to cut as much soil as possible off the root of the plant before inserting it into the wall. Then, use a staple gun to attach the fabric to the plastic backing and keep the plant in place.

Vertical Farming at Home: Wrap Up

As you can see, vertical farming at home is possible for anyone, green thumb or not.

If you’re interested in learning more about vertical and indoor farming, learn more about their benefits. And, be sure to drop us a comment if you have any questions about how the process works.

Your Guide to Choosing the Right Indoor Growing Lights

indoor growing lights

Are you jealous of your suburban friends with their outdoor gardens? Do you wish you could grow your own vegetables instead of having to drive to local farmer markets or grocery stories? Well, get yourself some indoor growing lights and start growing!

Indoor gardening is now easier than ever. You don’t need any outdoor space or a ton of natural light to grow your own crop of vegetables. And with indoor gardening, you don’t have to deal with typical weeding duties or worry about contaminants or pesticides bringing down the quality of your plants.

You’ll also be able to save on traditional costs like soil and pesticides, which means indoor gardening is a great and affordable way to go.

What’s the best way to grow an indoor garden? The key to success is using the right indoor growing lights. Keep reading to learn how and when to use these lights to make the most of your indoor garden.

What to Know About Indoor Lighting

It’s a misconception that plants need sunlight to grow. They just need light, and that light can be produced by an artificial source. Before picking a grow light system, you need to know a few basic facts.

Plants Respond Differently to Different Colors of Light

  • Blue Lights (also known as cool light) encourages plant growth
  • Red Light (also known as warm light) causes plants to bloom

Some Plants Need More Intense Light

Plants native to tropical jungles or shady forests do not need as much light as plants that grow in dry, sunny climates. Most flowering houseplants should be placed 10-12 inches away from a light source, but foliage plants like ivy can be placed as far as 36 inches away.

Plants Differ in How Much Light They Need Per Day

Short-day plants like chrysanthemums need less than 12 hours of light per day. Long-day plants like vegetables and garden flowers need at least 14 to 18 hours of light per day. Day-neutral plants like geraniums like around 8 to 12 hours of light per day.

Types of Indoor Growing Lights

The brightest grow lights are high-intensity discharge (HID) lights. They can be installed anywhere in your home, garage, or greenhouse to supplement existing light, and they can serve as the sole source of light for your plants.

There are 2 categories of HID lamps: metal halide (MH) and high-pressure sodium (HPS).

MH Bulbs

These lights provide cool white light that encourages compact, leafy growth. It doesn’t affect distorted illumination, so it’s a great light to use if you’re growing your plants in one of your living spaces. These bulbs usually last a year.

HPS Bulbs

HPS bulbs emit strong red light, which promotes flowering. The illumination they provide is distorted, however, so they don’t provide flattering lighting for living spaces. These bulbs usually last a year and a half.

If you’d like a cheaper option for grow lights, high-intensity fluorescent lights are good.

Fluorescent Grow Lights

This light is less intense, so you can’t grow the same vegetables. If you’re only trying to supplement natural light, this is a great option. Fluorescent tubes come in cool, warm, or full-spectrum, and these tubes should be replaced every year and a half.

Final Thoughts on Indoor Growing Lights

Knowing how lighting affects different vegetables will help you determine the type of lighting you need. You have to make sure you place your plants at the right distance, give them the proper amount of light, and make sure you’re using the correct light.

Excited to start your own indoor garden? Have any tips for choosing lights that we missed? Let us know in the comments!

Indoor Growing Supplies That Every Indoor Farmer Needs

indoor growing supplies

The success of your indoor gardening relies on an understanding of what’s growing. It also benefits from robust indoor growing supplies.

You may be thinking “what’s the point if I could simply grow plants outside?”.

A proper setup provides an ecosystem to grow foods without the need for pesticides or GMOs. Indoor gardening is a trendy, organic activity. One that is rewarding and beneficial to your well-being.

Though, you’re not always walking on sunshine…

The Challenges of Indoor Gardening

Indoor gardening isn’t planting a few greens and hoping for the best. It requires extra care and patience. This is due to the alien nature of growing plants inside an unnatural environment.

These are the challenges you’ll face:

  • Consistent, adequate lighting
  • Managing the humidity
  • Plant choice and planting strategy
  • Feeding & watering routines

It’s not as hard as it sounds especially if you have the right tools!

The Best Indoor Growing Supplies

Growing fruits and vegetables indoors gains the benefit of shelter from Mother Nature. Yet, you will need to consider the limited space and lack of natural resources these plants are provided when outdoors.

Here are those tools to make the growing process easier (and enjoyable).

Lighting

Proper lighting will pose your greatest challenge especially if you’re in the city. It’s likely you rarely receive adequate sunlight due to your proximity to buildings. Not to mention the winter months which have shorter days and less sunlight.

Intense, full-spectrum fluorescent lights placed 3-4 inches above the plant is ideal. These lights should provide 14-18 hours of light for most plants.

We recommend an automatic timer to create consistency.

Containers

Next, here are some methods of how you will store the plants:

  • Planters
  • Pots
  • Custom PVC
  • Grow bags

Your selection will determine whether you use soil or install hydroponics. Any of these options are fine.

Soil is a good start for someone new as it’s something you’re likely already familiar with. Hydroponics usually win, though, because of its low maintenance and space requirements.

Watering

Most indoor gardeners actively water their plants because it’s a relaxing activity. This is accomplished simply with tap water.

Alternatively, one could use a pump system which connects to a reservoir saturated with liquid fertilizer. A timed system provides water based on your preferences and planting strategy.

All-In-One Systems

A popular alternative to the DIY approach to indoor gardening is to buy an all-in-one unit. Those sold by IKEA or Niwa are two popular choices.

These systems include everything needed to begin indoor gardening out of the box. Simply provide the seeds or starters and watch your plants grow.

The downsides of all-in-one systems are the high costs and complex designs. The units are designed in a way which may prevent self-maintenance.

Getting Vert

A small herb garden is a common entry into indoor gardening. Over time (and with more experience), you’ll feel compelled to grow bigger. Unfortunately, there may only be so much space in your place.

This is a perfect opportunity to switch from horizontal to vertical gardening.

Vertical gardening is as it sounds: containers are staged (vertically) and water trickles down to the plants below.

These indoor growing supplies provide the same benefits. You could purchase a tiered stand for an easy way to set up. Or you can use your existing supplies, interlinked with piping, with a few design tweaks using raised areas.

You’ll gain extra space to expand your garden by evolving your setup into a vertical design.

A Green Thumbs Up

We’re sure you’ll find indoor gardening a fun challenge and rewarding experience.

The fruits and veggies you grow using indoor gardening methods will turn out delicious and free of harmful toxins. It’s a smart way to use your green thumb when you’re limited on space.

Be sure to check out other tips and strategies here on our blog!