If you are a fan of exploiting every possible way of saving cost or you just love the idea of farming, but you do not have space or so much time, then the idea of indoor gardening will appeal so much to you. You are saved from a lot of worries with outdoor plants such as harsh climate, rodents, and pest, while you can also decide to tend to your plant at any time of the day.
If you are new to indoor gardening or you are still wondering how to start, then here are some important indoor gardening information that should make your farming a success and help you grow your indoor plants like an experienced farmer.
You might also need an indoor garden even when you have the outdoor garden. It is almost time for spring and you need to start farming. You are however scared of winter storms threat and the chilly weather outside, it is, however, also the best time to start to plant.
You can easily start your planting indoors, and then after a few weeks, when the weather is more comfortable, you can transplant them to your outdoor garden. You will have saved some time and the plants will be able to cope better with other outdoor challenges at this stage.
Step 1: Buy seeds for the plants
The first thing you will need to do is go to the market and buy the seeds for the plants since the seeds are required for planting. This, of course, is after you have decided on the type of vegetables you want to plant, as there are various varieties.
If you are very busy during the day and can’t seem to make out time, you might want to utilize mail order or online stores to make an order for the seeds. They can deliver to your house or office. It is often cheaper to buy seeds than to buy the plants. In some cases, you might even get more seed than you need. You can decide to swap with friends, plant them all or save some.
Step 2: Get your containers ready
There are different ways in which you can get the container you require to use for planting your seeds. The first option is making a container on your own. For this, you might have to improvise with other materials you already have at home. You might want to use newspaper to wrap a 2.5 inches thick dowel or make use of yogurt cups that are empty.
Another option is buying the container for planting the seed. You might want to go for nice plastic materials meant for indoor planting or you might want to go for polythene bags depending on your preference.
A third option is making use of planting containers you already have at home. This might have being containers you might have used the previous year, you were gifted by a friend, or those in which flowers you bought for your house in the past came in.
Step 3: Find the right location
The next thing to select is the location of your indoor garden. The base of the house and the garage are some of the most commonly used locations. You will, however, want a location where the window is not drafty, as your plant will thrive best in warm soil.
For a start, you will need to get a location where the seeds can get access to heat as they will require heat more than light in the first few days after planting. You should, therefore, look for a warm part of your house, even if that part is not lighted. As soon as your plants become visible, they will start to require light.
Step 4: Prepare the soil and plant seeds at the right time
Since your indoor garden will most likely be much smaller than an outdoor garden, the time and effort you will need to prepare it will also be significantly lesser. You can either go for a sterile or seed starting potting mix.
When you buy a seed, there is a high probability that the best time you can plant the seed will already be indicated on the package. Your region will also determine the best time to plant. If you are at a loss on when to plant, you can ask a gardener in your locality. It is important not to plant too early, or transplant too early.
Step 5: Watering
It is important that your plant has the right quantity of water always. Do not put too much water either should there be too little water. Drainage holes are a good way to help you control water, as you can water freely and the excess will flow out. Plants that are planted newly can also be watered with a mist bottle. This will keep the soil moistened without washing out the seed.
Step 6: Proper Lighting
Once your plant starts to grow, they will require some quantity of light for them to grow. Normally, plants in outdoor gardens get all the light they need from the sun. This will, however, be inadequate for indoor planting, except you have a window from which sun can reach them. They will, however, still not get as much sun as an outdoor plant.
For your indoor garden, you can use light bulbs to supplement the light you get from the sun. For this, you will get a full light spectrum. It is recommended to go for full-spectrum LEDs and CFLs as they are artificial lighting that is more efficient. Your artificial lighting should be positioned over the plants by 6 inches.
As your plant is growing, there might be the need to increase the height of the lights or lower the containers. This is to maintain the height of the bulb and the plant. It is, therefore, best to have your light on chains, so that they can be easily adjusted.
For light reflection, it is possible to use a whiteboard or aluminum foil on containers with the ability to reflect light. You can get most out of your lighting by doing this, as the light will be reflected back at your plants.
You also can think about a grow tent which will fit your home.