This week I’ve been alllll about learning how to start gardening despite not having any outdoor space. I live in an apartment where I have no yard, so actually planting things in the ground is out. I have a little porch but with it cooling off for winter, outdoor container gardening is out. So, I took to the internet looking for resources on the best plants to grow indoors (with limited natural light) and how to get started.
So, for this Wednesday Round-up, I present to you:
Six articles to read before starting your indoor container garden
I love me some flowers as live decoration, but my ultimate goal in learning to garden is to be able to grow food for my table. As a kid I always loved chopping off an aloe leaf to rub the cool gooey insides on my sunburns, and being able to grow plants with a purpose beyond being a decoration is a goal of mine. This article from Greatist has some general growing tips (use well-draining soil and remember a drainage container to protect your windowsill) as well as a great list of fruits and veggies that handle being grown indoors well.
The coolest part of this article is that for each plant they give details on why it’s healthy, how to grow it (think pot size, soil type, whether to start from a seed or existing plant), and how to harvest it.
The Old Farmer’s Almanac
With a specific focus on growing your own veggies in containers, this article goes into detail about the container size and varieties of each vegetable that will grow best. It’s good to know that broccoli or lettuce will need a 5-gallon pot whereas I could probably grow cucumbers in a 1-gallon pot. An excellent resource if space is a constraint!
This article also gives some really great general growing tips. I never would have known not to use regular garden soil in a container, as container-grown plants need looser soil with better drainage. There are also some excellent tips for mixing plants within one container – use one pot with a trellis and grow a climber along with a low-grower and root crop to prevent weeds and maximize space!
If sunlight is your constraint (it’s definitely mine – I only have three tiny windows in my entire apartment) then this article is for you! You can’t entirely get around plants’ need for sunlight, and there comes a point where a grow light might be necessary, but there are lots of plants that can handle some shade.
I’m feeling pretty gung-ho about learning a new skill and trying to grow my own food, but I would be devastated if in my haste I accidentally brought something into my home that was dangerous for my kitty cat. He’s a jerk but I don’t want to poison him with my garden! If you’ve got a furry friend and you’re interested in growing something new indoors, check this list to see if it is toxic to cats, dogs, or horses. That aloe I loved having in my parents’ house as a kid? Toxic to cats. So, not an option indoors with my kitty who wants to chew on <<everything>>. Good to know!
And for more detailed information…
Planet Natural Research Center
If herbs are your goal (and I did just buy an herb gardening kit), you need to read this. It has:
- Helpful tips for picking an indoor herb garden location
- Soil guidelines
- How to transplant your herbs after they’ve sprouted
- How to propagate your plants through division
- Tips for winterizing your garden
- How to harvest and store your herbs
Like I said, it’s FULL of information. It also has a ton of tips if you’re looking into growing an outdoor herb garden.
Another article chock-full of information from Planet Natural. Aimed at city-dwellers or people without the luxury of an outdoor gardening space, this article contains:
- Information on selecting a grow light
- Temperature and humidity guidelines to keep your plants healthy
- Tips on choosing a growing medium and info on hydroponics
- How to move plants outside after growing them indoors…
- …And conversely, how to move outdoor plants inside for the winter
- Signs of over- or under-watering
- Fertilizer guidelines