Growing Vegetables Indoors: How to become hardcore in the gardening world
Have you ever tried growing vegetables indoors? We don’t mean a lone basil plant or a mock orange tree or even starting your seeds indoors (check out #300Clifton for some serious seed starting). Have you ever considered finding a location in your home (basement, living room) or garage to build out a vegetable growing haven? If so, then you are like our friend Kevin Espiritu (#EPICGardening) and a very committed gardener.
If you do choose to go down this pathway, an Eco Garden Systems’ Original Garden may be the perfect garden. With a few simple additions, a little bit more time and an understanding of how growing indoors differs from the great outdoors you can become the envy of your neighbors – or at the very least the interesting neighbor who can’t stop ranting about how great fresh vegetables are and how annoying indoor pests can become.
So, how do you get started growing vegetables indoors? Here are a few things you might consider.
- Make sure your garden is self-contained – indoor water leakage can be a bit troubling so make sure you have a leak-free garden (shameless plug – an Eco Garden is the perfect answer).
- Get the right grow lights – this can be the difference between disappointment and elation. When it comes to growing vegetables indoors, folks often start out with inexpensive (like we did this past year) and end up wishing they had forked over the cash to get the proper lights. We have found two that we like:
- Yehsence 1500w LED Light with Bloom and Veg switch (Veg for emerging and bloom for when the flowers begin – use both when in full production). This is the light that Concordia University used for their greenhouse grow with our garden. They are a bit pricey – ~$150 per light and we recommend two for our Original Garden
- Golspark 1200w LED Indoor Grow Light – includes the same switching as above but about $50 cheaper. Again, recommend two for our Original Garden
- Insect Containment – we recommend garden specific sticky cards (available at places like Park Seed). This will help keep any airborne infestation under control – and no, your not crazy, there are a bunch of little insects flying around your head!
- Watering – this will be perhaps the largest challenge as indoor air tends to be dryer than outdoor air – especially in the Winter. If you have an Eco Garden, the reservoir will be your best friend (fill from an outside faucet before freezing) as it will keep your soil more moist and allow your plants to maximize growth. You will need to make sure you have a bucket for overflow (which will be minimal) but you do not want to damage anything!
- Get permission – if you rent, make sure that you do not violate your lease and if you have a partner (roommate or significant other) don’t risk the wrath by just saying “honey, I’m home and guess what…!”
- Plant differently – in an outdoor environment, we recommend a fore-, mid- and background setup – with taller plants in the background (Northern end of the garden). Indoors, you almost want a valley setup – taller plants on the outside and shorter plants on the inside – this will maximize the light all plants get. In an Original Garden, taller plants should go on each of the six foot dimension with shorter plants in between.
- Getting “Started” – if you just want to start plants, we recommend a multi-tiered cart with casters. This minimizes the footprint and maximizes the number of seedlings (or smaller plants) you can grow.
Indoor gardening can be fun – and make you the envy of your friends. Are you planning to start growing vegetables indoors this year? Do you have other ideas or questions? Let us know by commenting on this blog!