Organic Gardening

How do you grow fruits and vegetables indoors?

shutterstock_445795450Agriculture has seen huge strides over the past years and decades. It’s been centuries since humanity has figured out that agriculture and using natural resources for food production are necessary for survival back in prehistoric times. Today, there is no doubt that we have made leaps and bounds with this practice. We used to worry about not having enough land to till and soil to plant on. Land is, after all, a limited resource. Thankfully today, recent innovations have allowed for indoor gardening to flourish.

It also comes as no surprise that indoor gardening has begun to catch on as a trend. General climate and weather patterns are starting to shift and become more erratic with the environmental degradation the world is facing. This makes it difficult to sustain outdoor gardens in the cold, especially during winter and at night. A lot of countries’ populations flock to the city centers and dwell in apartments or high-rise condominiums, further disallowing them from growing gardens with the lack of a backyard. Despite this, people are beginning to crave more greens in their lives and diets. Healthy living and all-natural lifestyles are fast becoming a widespread phenomenon.

If you’re a city dweller (or simply looking to try growing your own fruits and vegetables indoors) you can learn about how to start right here. Plants typically don’t need to take up too much space. In fact, windowsills are sufficient. Here is how you can start building your own indoor fruits and vegetables indoors.

Create space.  You don’t have to worry about having too little space in your home, apartment, or condominium to grow plants indoors. Your indoor fruit and vegetable garden can take up as much or as little space as you please. Even tomato gardening can only take up a windowsill.

If you want to really grow a lot of fruits and vegetables, you may want to explore setting up a table, bench or shelf for that purpose. You should also take note that the kind of floor you have in your area is important. Water and soil will eventually leave droppings around. Given that, you would want your garden to be fixed on a ceramic or linoleum floor that’s easy to mop up. You can also can place a tarp or sheet underneath in order to catch the droppings.

Finding light. Plants need a lot of sunlight in order to survive. Without sufficient lighting your plants won’t grow as fast or as effectively as they can. This hinders them from bearing fruit. Try to put them in areas where there is plenty of sunlight, like near a window or on a balcony. If this is not possible, find lighting fixtures that you can put above your plants that can be as effective as sunlight. For this you can use fluorescent lights. They works best when it comes to growing herbs. On another note, High Intensity Discharge bulbs are the brighter but more expensive alternative. You can also use High Pressure Sodium Bulbs which are good for flowering, or Metal Halide bulbs. They’re proven to help leaves grow.

Check for temperature and humidity. You would want your area to be at 65-75 degrees Fahrenheit for your plants to flourish. Anything too hot or too cold will not yield good fruits and vegetables. Because you are gardening indoors, providing sufficient humidity might become a challenge. This may cause your plants to wither and lose lives. For this, make sure you have a regular watering schedule and you mist plants daily as needed. You can also place a tray of water near your garden or run a humidifier.

Select the best soil. Simply getting soil from the outside would not work as that kind of soil is typically too heavy for indoor gardening. It can also have a lot of pests. You can purchase instead soil that is perfect for indoor gardening at your local stores. These kinds of soil are usually loose and drain well, but they also have enough nutrients and organic material to help facilitate the growth of your plants.

Choose the plants. There is a wide array of plants you can choose to grow in your indoor garden. Among your vegetable selections are your peppers, salad greens, kale, carrots, onions, tomatoes and beans. You can grow herbs too like basil, cilantro, rosemary, chives, oregano, parsley, and lavender. For fruits, you can grow strawberries, blueberries, dwarf Apples, citrus and watermelons.

Maintain. Growing fruits and vegetables indoors can be a lot of work, but it’s also a lot of fun. Take note that plants grown indoors or in containers typically dry out faster than their outdoor-grown counterparts. Thus, they require constant watering. Ideal watering conditions for your fruits and vegetables should be sufficient room temperature water. It must be enough to go through the soil thoroughly and through the drain holes. Watch out as well for over-watering and under-watering. Over-watering would cause your plants to wilt from the stem, discolor, stop growing and the lower leaves to drop. Under-watering your plants will cause evidently dry soil, brown edges around the leaves and wilting.

Fertilize. Growing indoors would mean you would need to invest a little extra in fertilizing your soil. Most of the nutrients that come from soil-based growing outdoors come from organic, natural matter. Luckily, organic gardening has come a long way and you can easily create your own compost made out of animal manure and old food. You can also buy your own organic fertilizers.

The tricky part comes here. Although you would want to see results immediately from your indoor fruits and vegetables, you would also want to avoid using highly chemical and man-made fertilizers. This is because they use toxic materials that might harm your plants in the long run. So for that, going for compost and organic fertilizers is the best and more effective way to go. Even if a little patience might be needed, the results seen in your fruits and vegetables will be worth it. Before you know it, you’ll have a beautiful indoor garden.

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