Sunday, December 30, 2012
Ever Tried Growing Vegetables Indoors!
CHOOSE THE APPROPRIATE VEGETABLES: Obviously this is an important point because of the growing requirements for the plant types. Different plants have different requirements and the major restrictions will be the available space and light. If you choose to grow fruit bearing plants, these will require larger amounts of sunlight than the no fruit bearing plants. Salad greens such as lettuce, miniature cabbages, swiss chard and spinach require less sunlight and these type of plants do very well indoors.
Another fact is that your vegetables will be grown in containers or pots. The size of these will also determine your choice of plants remembering that they must be large enough for the plants when they attain full growth. Small root crops such as radish and onions are very good choices and also there are varieties of small root carrots. Another popular choice for the indoor garden is herbs because these are compact and do not require much space. Miniature varieties of tomatoes, peppers and aubergines can also thrive indoors.
THE PERFECT SPOT FOR GROWING: Finding the perfect spot for growing your vegetables indoors is important. As mentioned earlier light is an important consideration. Ideally, a bright south-facing window is best but any spot that gets a minimum of 5 hours continuous light can be used. In addition to the natural light, you can supplement this with artificial lighting if you so wish. This will help you to grow healthy plants.
Growing vegetables indoors does have its problems. If you have small children or pets you may want to locate your indoor garden well out of their reach as in general, vegetables tend to bruise easily so you want to choose a fairly quiet area as to minimise accidental contact with the plants. It is not a very good idea to put your plants where people or pets are moving past frequently, things could get messy if you do.
OPTIMIZE THE MICRO CLIMATE: Plants will grow best in high humidity and moderate temperatures. Low humidity is usually the cause of failed indoor gardens as container grown plants tend to dry out faster and will require being watered more frequently. However, it is important not to let the plants get waterlogged as this will cause the plant roots to rot. Make sure that there is good drainage. One way that I would suggest is place the container or pot on a dish of gravel, this allows any excess water to be caught in the dish and the water evaporation from the dish also improves the humidity.Grouping your plants together will also optimise your micro climate. Mix your vegetable plants with your decorative house plants to create groups that are not only beautiful but also functional within the micro climate. The temperature inside the house is far easier to control, draw the curtains to create more shade for your plants or adjust the house heating systems up or down as required, to benefit your plants. One important point, protect your plants from the draft, failure to do this will result in losing the plants.
GOOD POTTING SOIL: Potting soil for your indoor garden should drain well and contain the nutrients required to support the growth and development throughout the life of the plant. Premixed potting soil that already incorporates the correct amount of fertilizer and nutrients can be purchased from your local garden centre. If your preference is organic, you can also purchase this potting mix again from your local garden centre.
Planting vegetable gardens indoors can be very rewarding. You may be limited in growing the different types of vegetables or the quantities that an outside garden would produce, but with careful thought you can at the very least grow summer salads and therefore saving you money on your supermarket bills. DON'T BE AFRAID, GIVE IT A GO, ENJOY!
JC Cashmore is an enthusiastic gardener whose prime hobby is vegetable gardening. Visit his blog to find more articles on the aspects of keeping a vegetable garden http://jccashmore.blogspot.com.
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