Indoor Vegetable Garden
The rules are a little different when it comes to an indoor vegetable garden, careful consideration needs to be taken for things such as temperature, pollination, and light requirements.
The fertilization needs for indoor growing differ and will need an entirely different approach. Fertilizers used in an indoor vegetable garden are liquid plant foods and granule soil release fertilizers.
There are many good vegetables that can be grown inside, and it’s an option all keen gardeners should explore.
Here are some points to consider:
SEEDS & SOIL
Seeds can be hard to source late in season, so source seed early on before the cooler months.
Crops like lettuce, spinach and cabbage like cooler temperatures (ideal for indoor vegetable garden).
Soil requirements are different to outdoors as you are growing in containers. A good mix is 1 part potting soil, 1 part vermiculite, 1 part peat, and 1 part perlite.
POSITION & TEMPERATURE
Sunny enclosed porches with good sunlight and a high temperature of 16 degrees is ideal for salad type plants, with a night temperature of 2 degrees.
Vegetables such as tomatoes, sweet and hot peppers, cucumbers and beans do require warmer daytime and nighttime temperatures in order to flower and set fruit. (high 22 and no lower than 16) and a north facing room (southern hemisphere) is ideal.
The amount of light the garden will receive will be an important factor to consider. Outdoors in midsummer, lighting conditions are considerably different from the typical indoor conditions of late fall to early spring.
Pick vegetable varieties that do well in shorter days, supplemental lighting (grow lights) may be required to ensure success.
At least 6 to 8 hours of sunlight is required, and the plants need to be situated very close to a light source.
A problem worth considering is the proximity to windows as more tender plants might be affected by coldness radiating from the windows during the coldest part of the year. If that is the case, then supplemental lighting with a combination of cool-white and warm-white fluorescent lighting will be necessary.
Vegetables will need to be watered daily as they are contained in pots or containers they will dry out quicker.
Occurrences of pests decrease with an indoor vegetable garden; however you will have the same pest problems as other indoor plants that can be controlled with insecticidal soaps or organic sprays like pyrethrum.
Pollination needs to be by hand. You can pollinate from one plant to the other with an artist brush.
Vegetables that grow well indoors
Space saver cucumbers and squash
Leaf lettuce of all types
Another thing to keep in mind is that most vegetables grown indoors will not have the size or yield of those same varieties grown outdoors. To overcome this, increase artificial lighting and grow the vegetables in a hydroponics system indoors or in hothouses outdoors.
Other options are hanging baskets, pots and planters filled with various crops that will perform fairly well if lighting, pollinating, watering, fertilizing, and temperature requirements are met.
It might not be quite the same as growing the same plants outdoors, but it can be quite fun to tend an indoor vegetable garden when conditions get cooler or even if it snows in your area.
Enabling you to enjoy freshly grown produce during the cooler seasons, even if it snows….
Why not give it a go this season!
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