Sadly, this is the fate most apartment dwellers have to carry. However, this doesn’t mean you can’t get creative. Due to modern technologies and a bit of experimenting, indoor gardening is now a thing, and many people managed to grow herbs, vegetables, and even some fruits without being the blessed owners of a garden.
In fact, many people took indoor gardening as a hobby once it was clear the pandemic is not going to end too soon. As a result, they got to re-organize their indoor space and learned a lot about plants and their needs. As an added bonus, they reaped the health benefits of gardening, which helped considering the tough times we just went through.
So, if you’re not exactly sure if indoor gardening is for you, let’s discuss the main reasons why you may want to share your indoor space with plants. We are also going to talk about how to do so, for those of you who decide to take the plunge.
Why Indoor Gardening?
Create a Homey Atmosphere
If you’re stuck at home all day (a reality for many people nowadays), why not do your best to improve the space and make the atmosphere warm and welcoming?
Countless studies showed that we relax whenever we come in contact with nature. Moreover, our eyes (usually tired from staring at screens all day) get a bit of vacation when they see a green plant. And, if you need more of a reason, how about getting your Instagram lit? People love pictures of indoor plants, so you’ve got lots of things to share with your followers.
It’s a Pleasant Activity
Gardening is truly a hobby with a plethora of benefits! It is relaxing, even though you are physically active, and you end up with beautiful plants (some of which you can use as foods or spices). But even more important, it gives you something to do other than watching Netflix during your free time.
Additionally, it can boost your social circle because people like to talk about their baby plants and share tips and advice.
How to Start
Make the Initial Investment
Yes, there are a few things you will have to buy in order to get started like containers, organic potting soil, digging tools, watering can, seeds, and special lighting devices that keep the plants exposed to full spectrum lighting (even if you have plenty of sunlight).
According to the specialists, you get the best results if natural sunlight is supplemented by artificial lighting, specially created for indoor gardening. Moreover, you can plant the seeds and keep them in a warm and dark environment until the seedlings start to come out. But once they are out, they will need light exposure to continue to grow.
Overall, the initial investment is not that large, depending on the type of containers you want to use (there’s no need for something fancy) and the type of tools you plan on buying. However, it’s best to start small and get used to growing one or two types of plants before putting together a whole garden.
Put Everything Together
Once you have everything within reaching distance, it’s time to put your indoor garden together.
Here are the steps to follow:
- Place one to two inches of soil into each container and smooth the surface until even;
- Scatter the seeds (each container with its own seeds) onto the soil surface (follow the instructions on the package when it comes to how many to place in a container);
- Cover the seeds with a thin layer of soil (make sure to not press it and that there aren’t any rocks or clumps);
- Place the containers on a drip tray (or a place where it’s safe to get water on the surface) and use a mister to gently spray the soil with water. The solid should be humid but make sure the water doesn’t form puddles.
- Place the containers in a warm and sunny place and repeat watering every couple of days.
Once the seedlings start growing, wait one to two weeks and then move them into their permanent containers.
Most potting soils already contain one form of fertilizer, but it won’t last forever (depending on the watering frequency it will run its course quite rapidly). Therefore, you need to find either a liquid fertilizer (mixed with water) or a slow-release kind that is suited for the type of plants you’re growing. Luckily, you can find a lot of the information from any local gardeners or from shops that sell gardening equipment.
Ideally, you should get a fertilizer designed for flowering plants or one that has the same amount of nitrogen, phosphorus, and potassium (these are fundamental nutrients for plant food). Regardless of the type you find, make sure to read the instructions and follow them accordingly.
You will know it’s time to add new fertilizer when your plants start to look a bit less happy (the leaves get pale) or if the growth is slower than expected.
Side note: it’s important to avoid over-fertilization because it can cause sudden growth which may not be supported by the roots. Therefore, you will end up with a large plant without any flowers or fruits.
Overall, the best edible plants to grow indoors are vegetables and herbs. Therefore, you could grow your own cucumbers, tomatoes, lettuce, and spinach and enjoy the wide array of health benefits they bring since you will consume them as soon as you pick them.
So, if you’re looking for ideas of what to grow in your indoor garden, why not start with veggies for delicious salads? You may have the chance to eat fresh vegetables all summer without going to the store once!
Lastly, if you’re a bit scared of growing tomatoes in your apartment, start with a few herbs like thyme, parsley, rosemary, or basil. They go great in a wide range of dishes and will keep you happy with their fragrance.