As concerns about the use of pesticides and genetically modified foods continue to grow, many consumers have begun to question the safety of their produce. In 2016, organic food sales hit a record $43 billion, an increase of 8.4 percent over the previous year.
Fortunately, thanks to the latest indoor farming trends, growing vegetables indoors is now a viable option for almost anyone who is willing to put forth the effort.
Growing your own vegetables requires some basic knowledge and a little bit of up-front cost, but the benefits are well worth it. Follow these six simple tips and you’ll be up and running in no time.
Growing Vegetables Indoors Requires Adequate Lighting
Plants require photosynthesis to survive. Above all else, indoor gardeners must ensure that plants receive the appropriate amount and type of lighting. Don’t assume that a window will be sufficient, especially in the winter.
Most plants require 14 – 16 hours of light per day. Be sure to choose specially made grow lights and ensure they have the same wavelengths as the sun. Place the lights as close to the plants as possible while taking care not to burn them.
Choose the Right Plants for Your Indoor Garden
You will have the most success with plants that do well under artificial light. Ideally, the vegetables you choose to grow indoors will be compact in size and mature quickly. Some of the best plants for indoor gardening include:
- Bok Choi
Decide on Your Growing Method
If you choose to go the traditional route, make sure you use a quality potting soil. The dirt you find in your backyard is not sufficient for growing vegetables indoors. The soil should be loosely packed and drain well while still retaining sufficient moisture.
Growing plants hydroponically, or without the use of soil, is another popular indoor gardening technique.
Get Creative with Your Space
Thanks to many creative vertical farming methods, your indoor garden can easily take up as little or as much space as you are willing to give it. Your setup doesn’t have to be extravagant. Growing vegetables indoors can easily be done on a window sill or simple table top.
Pay Attention to Humidity
Indoor gardeners need to pay close attention to the plant’s humidity needs. You can tell this is negatively impacting your garden if the leaves begin to turn brown, are dry or withered, or the leaves start to fall off. This can be countered by misting the plants daily or running a humidifier.
Feed and Water Your Plants
Vegetables and herbs grown indoors typically need to be watered every day. Before you water, check the surface of the soil to confirm whether it’s still holding moisture. If so, consider switching to every other day.
Depending on whether you use liquid or granular fertilizer, you will need to feed your plants every one to three weeks. Remember that the fertilizer you use will become part of the plant that you will eventually eat, so always use a high-quality, organic product.
Indoor Gardening is Easier Than You Think
As the cost of organic produce continues to increase year-over-year, indoor gardening has become an attractive alternative. Few can argue that there is a certain comfort that comes with knowing exactly where your food comes from. Once you learn the basics, you’ll be pleasantly surprised with how easy it is to reap the benefits of indoor gardening.
Do you have questions about growing vegetables indoors or tips you’d like to share? Please don’t hesitate to comment below or contact us directly.