Plants, fruits, vegetables and flowers are all beautiful to have in your home. Most plant loving people like to have some in their homes either indoors or outdoors. Apart from providing you food and fruits, these are equally good at providing a pleasant environment. They give a refreshing feeling and also purify the air. Additionally, they give a decorative touch to your home.
Having a backyard garden is something that is very common in every part of the world. Growing an outdoor home garden is quite easy but when it comes to growing an indoor garden in your home, it needs a certain level of expertise on your part. Growing a DIY indoor garden is gaining popularity these days. It provides you with an uninterrupted supply of fresh fruits, vegetables and flowers, in addition to decorating your home.
In this article, we will let you know how to grow an indoor garden?
Select The Type Or Style Of Indoor Garden
Basically, there are two different styles of indoor gardens. First and the most popular is Container Gardens and the second style of indoor garden is Hydroponic Gardens. While most people are quite familiar with the container gardens, though hydroponic gardens may be something new for some people.
As the name suggests, this type of garden is grown in containers or pots that are then placed indoors according to your liking in different styles and places in your home. In this type of indoor gardens, you can grow anything you want.
In this type of indoor gardens, no soil is used and the plants are fed with fertilized water. Good option for growing a lot of plants using a limited space. However, most vegetables are grown using the hydroponic technology.
Select The Right Space
Once you have selected the style of an indoor garden for your home, next is to select the right space for placing your garden.
- Select a space which receives reasonable sunlight during the day. It may be near windows. Placing your container or hydroponic garden near a window allows heat and light, which is the basic requirement of a plant.
- Rooms or spaces which are colder, should not be selected to place your indoor garden.
- Select a space which is away from fans, heaters and vents, as these tend to dry out your plants.
The environment includes temperature, soil type and watering. One of the reasons why one opts to grow an indoor garden is the controlled environment. So, the control over these things is much more necessary for the success of any indoor garden. These may change a little depending on the type of garden and the type of fruits or vegetables you are growing.
- Heat mats may be used to maintain the soil temperature within the permissible range i.e. 24-29 degrees centigrade. There are specialized heat mats available in the market that provide heat to the pots and containers from the bottom, thus regulating the soil temperature.
- To control the watering, you may use drip irrigation system coupled with timers. This will ensure timely watering of plants in required amounts. Drip system comprises of small tubes that run through the entire garden and watering is regulated with a timer and a pump.
- The lighting system is the third factor of a controlled environment. Although we recommend placing your indoor garden near windows so that natural sunlight and heat may be provided to the plants but in many cases, you have to rely on the artificial lighting system. This can be done either by utilizing normal fluorescent lights or you can also buy a specialized lighting system for your garden, readily available with any good garden shop.
Selection Of Plants
Almost all plants can be grown indoors but some may flourish easily while others may not perform as good as other can do. So, while selecting the plants keep in mind the types and varieties of different fruits and vegetables that grow well indoors.
Amongst the vegetables, lettuce, peas, beans and mushrooms grow well indoors, while fruits such as strawberries also do well indoors. Flowers such as marigold, cactus and various succulents can flourish easily in your indoor gardens. When it comes to the herbs, you may opt for basil, oregano, parsley and rosemary for your indoor gardens. All depends on your choice and requirement.
Selection Of Containers
When growing container type of indoor gardens, selection of containers or pots is very important. Almost everything can be used to create containers such as plastic bottles, vases, cans, cups and so many other things.
The most important thing to remember is, plastic containers are the best option for indoor gardens owing to their ability to retain moisture. Similarly, never use a container or pot which has chemicals in it.
In case you go for wooden containers, cedar or redwood is the best option. Whatever type of container you may use, make sure it must have holes in the bottom for drainage.
Preparation Of Potting Mixture
Things to remember while preparing a potting mixture are as under:
- Never use garden soil, as it may carry pests and diseases.
- If possible buy a potting mixture from your nearest garden shop. This is the safest and easiest option.
- If you go for preparing your own mixture, you will need one part coir peat, two parts compost and one part vermiculite.
- Soak the coir peat and vermiculite and then add compost to it. You may also add one cup of worm casting if you can.
Placing Your Indoor Garden
There are many options available for you depending on the size and style you want. You may place the containers in shelves that have the facility of artificial lights. Additionally, these shelves must have a drip irrigation system. Design and pattern of shelves depend on your aesthetic sense.
Maintenance Of Indoor Gardens
For the success of your indoor gardens, you need to maintain it properly.
- Always maintain a minimum temperature level of 21 degrees centigrade.
- Remove the plants that start wilting or developing brown spots.
- Add compost after a regular interval of two months.
- If possible, you can give your plants liquid fertilizer through drip irrigation system.
Hydroponic gardens need a little more expertise. Basically, it comprises of a water tank placed inches above the ground and stalks of shelves are placed over it. Fertilized water is fed from the water tank to the shelves and excess water drops back into the tank.
Following things need to be kept in mind in case you are growing an indoor hydroponic garden:
- Use one big container instead of many small containers.
- Place your hydroponic garden near windows so that they can get natural sunlight.
- Always place the hydroponic garden on the hard surface, preferably the floor. Avoid placing it on carpets.
- You can use substrates such as coco coir, clay or peat moss for growing plants.
- Adjust the speed of your water supply pump so that fertilized water is supplied to the plants just inappropriate quantity.
- Use artificial lighting system if direct sunlight is insufficient.
- Entire water should be replaced occasionally.
If you like my article about ‘How To Grow An Indoor Garden?’ and you’re interested in reading more related articles you may visit the ‘Household‘ category at TryArticles. Please leave a comment below that how much you find this article helpful. You may also hit your queries in the comment section below if any.