Many people want to grow their own vegetables and herbs but feel if they don’t have space outside, it is impossible. This is simply not true. A lot of things can be grown indoors with a minimal amount of space. There are several ways to garden indoors, from very inexpensive methods to ways with a higher price point which are more of a long-term investment. What can be grown indoors is determined by which indoor growing method is used. Each method gives additional options for the number of items that can be grown indoors.
A simple, southern facing window is the least expensive way to grow indoors. This a method we have practiced for many years. In our south-facing window, we have basil, thyme, sage, as well as a geranium all in hanging pots we purchased at a garden center during the spring, which we cleaned and reused. Herbs are a wonderful choice in an area that gets low sunlight, which is about 3 to 5 hours of daylight. Herbs can be grown in east and west facing windows easily, as well. Herbs can also be costly if purchased fresh at the store, making it a great addition to grow for the home cook over winter. We also have a dwarf citrus tree which uses the light from the southern-facing window to grow and produce year round.
Another option to consider is an LED grow light. We like to use Happy Leaf’s version of the LED grow light. The advantage of using LEDs over tube lights is that LED Lights do not dim over time. Tube lights are recommended to be replaced every 2 to 5 years while LEDs will last indefinitely. They also do not contain mercury and can cover more surface space, lighting more than a tube light can. LEDs cover roughly 3 times larger of a footprint of space than a tube light and the light is stronger over all of the plants. The Happy Leaf LED lights are small, compact and can be hung under a table or over plants to grow herbs and greens. They are also great for starting seeds and even growing tomatoes, peppers as well as other vegetables, to full maturity (with some additional accessories).
You do not need to have an entire room set up for indoor growing. A small area can be set aside for growing herbs, micro-greens or whatever is desired. A corner of the family room, a heated basement, or even along a windowsill are all great options. A few things to keep in mind are to keep small children and pets away from the plants, especially when the seedlings are young.
Depending on the growing medium, it is possible to have soil gnats emerge. Although they are harmless, they are annoying. A passive hydroponic growing technique is ideal because tap water is used, nutrients are added, but no need for possible pests and additional equipment.
For more information on all types of vegetable growing and more visit The Wisconsin Vegetable Gardener
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