Gardening Without A Garden

  • Starting a Garden

    Renters, apartment-dwellers and even those who also have backyard gardens can brighten up their homes and save grocery money by starting their own gardens indoors. And growing fruits, vegetables and flowers inside your home may actually be a better idea than growing them outdoors, especially if weather is harsh or erratic where you live. Photo Credit: alisdair
    Variables
  • Variables

    “With indoor horticulture, light, air, temperature, humidity, ventilation, carbon dioxide, soil, water and nutrients may be precisely controlled to yield a perfect environment for plant growth,” notes George Van Patten in his book Gardening Indoors: The Indoor Gardener’s Bible. Here are some tips and tools to get you going on your own indoor garden, even if you don’t have much of a green thumb. Photo Credit: House of Sims
    Pots and Window Boxes
  • Pots and Window Boxes

    Pots are the traditional indoor planter, but window boxes have become more popular as families are increasingly growing veggies and herbs at home to stay in line with a limited grocery budgets. Window boxes can accommodate tall as well as draping plants that are often grown in hanging baskets, according to Garden Guides. Photo Credit: Parksy1964
    For the Forgetful
  • For the Forgetful

    If you’re just looking to add a little greenery to your indoor environment and you’re not the most diligent plant caretaker, you may still be able to keep certain low-maintenance plants alive, including pothos, spider plants and snake plants, according to HelpfulGardener.com. Jade plants, dragon trees and sword ferns are also fairly easy to take care of, the site says. Photo Credit: garryknight
    When to Start
  • When to Start

    If you’re planning to make your own, homegrown summer salads, you can start sowing seeds for summer lettuces right now through July, according to Garden Organic, and March and April are good months to start sowing tomato seeds. But since you have so much control over temperature, humidity and other conditions inside your home, you should be able to grow plants indoors year-round. Photo Credit: Melanie DeFazio
    An Easy Method: Garden Kits
  • An Easy Method: Garden Kits

    Plant kit maker Joseph Enterprises has expanded beyond its little Chia Pets and offers a Chia herb garden and Chia cat grass. Or you can grow a more lush little garden by using a terrarium kit. Terrarium kit prices can vary widely depending on, for example, what materials the planters are made of. DuneCraft makes fairly affordable terrariums, including one with seeds for a variety of carnivorous plants for $25, which makes for a fascinating educational experience for children. The company also makes tiny terrariums that cost about $3 each in which mini pine trees, catnip, eucalyptus, venus flytraps or various other plants can grow. Photo Credit: nttrbx
    What to Grow: Herbs
  • What to Grow: Herbs

    Inedible plants and flowers add a little life to your indoor environment, but herbs, vegetables or even fruits grown in a window box can save you money since you won’t have to throw away money on store-bought produce that might just rot in the fridge. Herbs can be particularly easy to grow indoors, especially if you buy a starter kit with seeds, pots and soil or growing sponges. Also, starting with seeds can be significantly cheaper than just buying a grown plant from the hardware or garden supply store. Fragrant rosemary and thyme grow year-round and basil, which is great for summer dishes, as well as cilantro and parsley, grow annually. Photo Credit: Jessica Higgins
    Vegetables
  • Vegetables

    Leafy greens like lettuce, swiss chard and spinach are some of the easiest vegetables to grow in and indoor garden, according to some indoor gardening enthusiasts. Green beans, with vines that stretch high above ground, and potatoes, carrots and onions that grow beneath the soil also fare well indoors. Photo Credit: Photomish Dan
    Fruits
  • Fruits

    Peppers and tomatoes, which are actually fruits from a scientific standpoint but are treated as vegetables in cooking, can be grown indoors fairly easily, and so can strawberries and citrus fruits, especially if they’re the dwarf variety, according to BellaOnline. Peppers need a lot of sun and help pollinating, tomatoes need large containers and lots of water. Indoor strawberry plants can even bear fruit in the winter as long as your home is warm enough, BellaOnline writes. Photo Credit: tillwe
    Flowers
  • Flowers

    Flowers you might usually see outdoors can actually be grown indoors as well, especially if you opt for miniature versions, like miniature roses. Flowers that grow from bulbs can flourish indoors as well, including some lilies and tulips, for example. African violets and orchids (with some care) can also be great potted flowers to grow inside your home. Photo Credit: forteller.ipernity.com
    Sunlight
  • Sunlight

    While there may be a few plants that grow well in the shade, sunlight is a vital element for most successful indoor gardens. But if you live in a basement apartment, for example, or you just don’t have much light coming in through your windows, a grow light may also do, and they’re not just for homegrown herb. Violet and blue light, such as that provided by metal halide lights, produce a tinted light that promotes vegetative growth. At the other end of the spectrum is the red light, a specialty of high-pressure sodium lights, which promotes flower growth, according to Garden Guide. And if you’re technically-inclined, you can even make your own grow lights, as Popular Science explains. Photo Credit: woodleywonderworks
    An Upside-Down Set
  • An Upside-Down Set

    One indoor setup that makes it easy to grow tomatoes and other plants practically anywhere is the upside-down tomato, flower and vegetable planter. This growing method makes plants less susceptible to pests, so the use of cages or stakes isn’t necessary. Photo Credit: Theresa in MS
    Tools to Make It Easier: Aerogarden
  • Tools to Make It Easier: Aerogarden

    They may be pricey, at $65 to $150 on Amazon.com, but Aerogardens are advertised as foolproof kits that come with everything you’ll need to grow salad greens, cherry tomatoes and other plants. The device uses a special aeroponic watering system that encourages plants to grow twice as fast as they would in soil, according to AeroGrow, the maker of Aerogardens. There’s a grow light and an indicator that tells you when more food or water is needed. And possibly making the kit worth the price, grocery savings are 100% guaranteed, notes Amazon.com. Photo Credit: echoforsberg
    Maintenance
  • Maintenance

    When you start out, you’ll need to be aware of how much care each plant requires and how much you’re willing to give to grow them successfully. And regardless of whether you choose plants that are easy to grow or a bit more challenging, they all need to be watered, pruned or harvested, fed and possibly repotted as a part of regular maintenance. The more stable your indoor conditions, including temperature and humidity, the better your product, indoor gardeners say. Photo Credit:Nostri Imago
    Fighting Mites
  • Fighting Mites

    Many insecticides aren’t safe for use indoors, and some are only safe on houseplants but not fruits and vegetables, so if your indoor garden attracts tiny pests, be sure to get insecticides or miticides that are appropriate for the plant you’re treating. Neem oil-based treatments, for example, are safe for a variety of plants and fights insects as well as fungal diseases. Photo Credit: boinger@gmail.com
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