Just like houseplants, you can plant vegetables indoors. There are countless profiting reasons why you should plant your own vegetables. Not only will you be saving the significant amount you chuck at the grocery, but you will also be sure to receive fresh and healthy veggies almost throughout the year. Not to mention the benefits to the environment, and the appeal of vibrant plants in your house.
Planting vegetables indoors gives you a measure of control over what you eat because you will personally see what your veggies feed on. Moreover, the vegetables you grow inside are not subject to the whims of the weather or animals. This then leaves you to provide the proper conditions for them to thrive.
That said there are vegetables that are easy to grow and care for inside your apartment or house. This list provides you with the best vegetables that can easily flourish indoors.
- Salad greens
Also known as leaf vegetables, these will be sure to provide you with nutritional vitamins all year-round if well cared for. Salad greens are easy-going plants that require minimal effort for them to thrive, mainly because they are cool-tolerant. This means that they can withstand wintertime.
As with any plant, good potting soil that supports drainage is essential for leafy greens. Ensure that the pot housing them contains drainage holes to keep them from being soaked. Keep the soil moist instead. You can feel the dryness or wetness of the soil by dipping your finger into the soil to about the second knuckle. Mulching is also a remarkable way of trapping in the necessary moisture.
These indoor vegetables love sunlight to remain happy and healthy. If you coop them up in a dark corner, they will wilt and die. Ensure to place them where they have access to at least 8-12 hours of light. In winter, create warm conditions with fluorescent bulbs; they will do a fine imitating job. You may consider leafy salads such as spinach, collard greens, lettuce, and chard for a start.
Tomatoes require extra attention and creating conditions that mimic the outdoors for fruits to grow. While you can grow all breeds of tomatoes inside the house as those grown outdoors, varieties that are more compact are better for indoor planting.
It is advisable to use porous pots that are breathable and allow good drainage when growing these vegetables. Ensure to water them at least twice a day and provide them with full sunlight for at least 8 hours a day. Place them by a windowsill, or a raised surface awash with light. In the case of cool seasons, you may employ artificial lighting like LEDs.
These perennials can self-pollinate, but you can gently shake the growing plant to assist with the process. While still not fully grown, make sure to deadhead the blooms of the tomato plant to redirect the energy towards growing stronger roots and fruits.
When planting carrots indoors, be sure to find the best potting mix from your local gardening center and not the backyard or garden, as the soil there could be disease and weed infested. Add compost to produce fertile soil congenial to the growth of carrots.
The pot used should enable enough drainage to keep the soil levelly moist without rotting the roots from excess wetness. Also, fix to plant in a sizeable pot that will not restrict the root room, and plant at least 12 inches deep into the soil. This however is dependent on the type of carrot you intend to plant. In the case of baby carrots, a smaller container is suitable.
Carrots are full-sun vegetables and you may want to put them near a window with access to about 8 to 12 hours of sunlight. You can improvise with bulb light when sunlight is at a minimum.
When sprouts begin to show, resist the urge to harvest and prune them instead to encourage further growth. This will guarantee larger and tastier veggies.
There is no doubt of the convenience of having your herbs right at home, in your kitchen. A variety of herbs that fair excellently indoors include parsley, basil, oregano, mint, thyme, and rosemary. In order to have thriving, tasteful herbs, the first order of business is getting the appropriate potting mix. Purchase a bag that is not too heavy or make yours at home by mixing peat moss, perlite, and coarse mulch. This is because herbs need a mix that encourages good drainage.
Excess moisture kills these particular veggies, fast. To prevent this, mist your contained herbs scarcely albeit thoroughly. Alternatively, you can apply the water-base method also known as the hydroponic system. This ensures the herbs receive nutrients directly to the roots.
When it comes to sunlight, herbs relish it. Place your potted herbs strategically to access warmth, air, and light, like in the sunroom or by the window. Although, remember to relocate them from the window during cold spells. While some herbs like basil, may withstand wintertime with extra protection from freeze damage, most like rosemary wilt and die.
These vegetables can however regrow. Avoid pruning your potted herbs when the colder season approaches to prevent their deaths from cut areas that did not heal on time. If the herbs survive the freezing period, then you can snip the affected leaves and branches to boost new growth.
Otherwise known as green onions, this vegetable is one of the most indoor-friendly plants. It does not demand half as much as other vegetables you can grow indoors. With a little tending, you set yourself for a continuous bountiful, fresh harvest.
The fun thing about scallions is that they grow in both water and soil, giving you the option of both. Before deciding which way to wing, ascertain that the roots of your spring onions are healthy.
With water-grown scallions, you merely need to get a sterilized jar that supports the number of your scallions and add fill it with some clean water, wrap them in an elastic band to bunch them together, and then submerge the root cuttings in the water. You will observe shoots in about 3 days.
Keep the jar near light, but avoid direct sunlight, as it will encourage bacteria in the water that will damage the roots. For maximum progress, add organic liquid fertilizer.
With soil-grown spring onions, get high-quality potting soil and put it in a container. Plant the root cuttings that you access from the water-grown scallions and using your fingers, make holes on the soil surface and dip the roots. Make sure to cover all the roots with dirt. Same as water-grown green onions fertilize with organic compost.
Watering the soil is crucial. However, water evenly without soaking the soil. Also, ensure your container harbors drainage holes.
As they grow, you can cut the growing or grown stems to use in your kitchen. They will keep sprouting.
Arguably, radishes are the quickest root vegetables you can grow indoors. Once you have planted them, you can harvest them as early as 30 to 35 days. Additionally, radishes are not as demanding as most vegetables, as they only need basics to blossom. To sweeten the deal, the greens of radish are edible as are the bulbs and they can be harvested within a fortnight of planting.
Whether you are transplanting them or growing them from seeds, go for a container with enough depth to house the radish bulbs. The size of the pot should also carry enough soil-sustaining nutrients for a time. Pick the best potting mix for tuber vegetables, which should be light enough to support root development. A vegetable starter mix will also permit drainage to remain moist and not soggy.
When it comes to sunlight, put radishes where there is tons of it. They should absorb at least 6 hours of light. A grow light may come in handy in the darker winter times.
Once the roots have developed and the bulb began to form, take precautions not to disturb the plant, as the soil is loose. When pruning the microgreens, use gardening scissors for stability and minimal movement.
7. Potatoes and sweet potatoes
Yes, you can absolutely grow these tubers in the kitchen and have a supply of both for some time. With both regular and sweet potatoes, ensure to have a good-quality potting mix. It should be well-draining as well. Be sure to use spacious containers when planting to provide room for the expansive growth of the potatoes. Drainage holes in the pots are vital.
With regular potatoes, you want to buy healthy ones with many spotty eyes; these sprouts welcome germination. Before taking further steps, clean the potatoes thoroughly to rid them of any agents that would disrupt their growth such as weed seeds and infected soil.
Proceed to chop the potatoes in half, and then stick some three or four toothpicks slightly but firmly on the outside of each lengthy half. Add clean water to a glass and then immerse each sliced potato in the water, on the fleshy part. Let the toothpicks rest on the rim of the glass to prevent complete insertion into the water.
In a week or so, you should be able to see root sprouts. You want to sit the glass where there is access to light for at least 6 hours a day, and 12 hours with grow lights. Direct sunlight however can encourage algae; hence change the water in case of such inspections.
Once the roots have sprouted, you may transplant your sprouted potatoes in a 10L (2.5 US gal) bucket. A smaller pot will hinder a full yield. Do not plant without sterilizing the pot first. Potatoes can significantly wither from sick soil, or when competing for nutrients with weeds.
When planting, refrain from burying the potato too deep. Instead, rest the potato on the soil surface and use your hands to bury it completely. As the soil for planting potatoes is loose, you will have to keep adding soil as the potatoes grow to avoid exposure to the sun while they have not attached to the soil.
Place your container by a glass window for at least 6 hours every day, and 12 hours with artificial light. This will encourage foliage after the roots are good to go.
When it comes to watering, keep the soil moist, not drenched. Fertilize the potatoes with an acid-rich fertilizer.
With sweet potatoes, submerge the sprouting potato halfway in a jar of water and leave for slips to grow. Once they are plantable, shear them carefully and transplant them in a good potting mix, in a spacious pot that will not limit a maximum yield.
Water them enough to keep the soil moist not soggy, otherwise, they will have mildew. Place these indoor vegetable tubers in a sunny window to keep them fed, bright, and healthy. Harvest should be in about 14 weeks.
Not only are these fruit vegetables sweet and primed with healthy vitamins, but they are also very aesthetically pleasing to have around the house. You can plant them in pots or hang them vertically in baskets on walls.
When picking the strawberries to plant indoors, go for the breeds that thrive well inside like day-neutral Seascape and wild or Alpine berries that are especially compact. In any case, you can go for varieties.
To plant, you can grow them from seeds. However, it is preferable and easier to get them ready to transplant in a pot. Use good-quality soil with ample drainage and rich in organic matter. This means that while picking a pot, you also need to consider ones that have drainage holes.
You can plant numerous plants in the same pot, but refrain from cramping them tightly close. As they grow, runners will start sprouting and room for growth is paramount. A tip would be to prune the runners to conserve the energy that otherwise is meant for flowers and fruits.
Also, help them pollinate by using a light, soft brush or leaf (strawberry leaves) to do so.
Supply strawberries with plenty for about 5-6 hours of light by placing them on a windowsill or any other light-accessing space. With grow lights, double the hours to 12. When it comes to watering strawberries, keep the soil moist and not drenched.
You should be ready for harvest in 4-5 weeks.
These vegetables take up to 7-9 months to harvest a bulb of garlic. However, do not let that deter you from growing your own garlic in the kitchen. Before you ask, yes, it is possible to grow a whole bulb from a single clove which is what you will plant.
About two to three days before planting, dislodge the cloves from the garlic bulb and put them in the fridge or wrap them in a damp towel, and place them in a cool place to encourage sprouts. Alternatively, you can try to look for cloves with sprouts already. Find high-quality potting soil to plant your garlic cloves.
Here is the thing, while you wait for the bulbs to develop fully, you can be pruning the sprouts at about a third of the shoots’ length and use them for cooking. They have a more subtle flavor and have countless health benefits such as preventing cancer and keeping harmful bacteria at bay. Not to worry, they will keep growing back.
After reading through our list, begin with what you find readily available in your pantry or kitchen scrapes, and begin the journey of indoor vegetable planting. It is fun, cost-effective, and has immense health and wellness rewards.