How to Grow an Indoor Garden

The benefits of growing and cultivating a garden cannot be overstated. But if you live in a tenement house or apartment building you may not be able to develop or reap the benefits of a backyard garden. If you relocate often due to the nature of your work, starting your own garden may be unrealistic without outside help and participation.

In case shopping at your local farmer's market isn’t enough to satiate that aching green thumb you have stuck in your pocket, try starting a garden inside your home.

While it may seem farfetched at first, think back and try to recall someone you knew or met that had their own herb garden out on a window sill, what we’re talking about here isn’t that different.

In the end, gardening boils down to space, soil and light.

Start by picking out a dedicated location for your garden. In its beginning stages heat will be more important than sunlight as seeds do best in warm soil. As your bulbs begin to come in you can transition them to a more illuminated location, but a major advantage to having such a setup will be its mobility. The manner in which you build your setup will allow you to transition your garden to and from optimal locations depending on the time of day.

You can use the same type of soils and fertilizers for an indoor garden as you would outside, but an advantage with this method are the recycling opportunities. You can plant your seeds in a majority of containers and items consumers typically throw out on a weekly basis, thereby saving money on pottery and plant holders.

The containers can be anything from empty yogurt cups, used plastic bottles and containers, recycled wine bottles and tin cans, etc. These options are not only cheap and eco-friendly but they have a great shelf-life, and allow for specialized alterations to fit your crops specific needs.

Also, the presence of plant life inside your home can improve air quality.

Anyone who has taken a high school biology class knows trees and plants convert carbon dioxide into oxygen, so having potted plants inside your home can be a very healthy practice. Not only will your indoor garden reinforce the health of your heart and brain, but it will improve the air quality of your home.

Plants absorb harmful particulates in the air when they take in carbon dioxide and the microorganisms in the potting soil help clean the surrounding airspace. By maintaining your interior garden and finding ways to expand it throughout your home, you’re changing the quality of your home’s atmosphere.

In order to make these particular improvements you should have at least two plants per 100 square feet of space, or 15 to 18 houseplants in a 1,800 square foot house.

Choosing the right “crop” for your indoor garden is important, but you would be surprised at the versatile options available.

Including herbs like basil, parsley, oregano, and cilantro which grow well and plentiful inside the home, you can also grow tomatoes, peppers, eggplants, carrots, radishes, mushrooms and potatoes. There are also a number of fruits like strawberries and blueberries which flourish under both fluorescent and filtered sun light.

Gardening overall increases hand strength and dexterity, can help combat depression and provide stress relief. Having a limited amount of outside space or opportunity should not keep you from reaping these excellent advantages.

A home garden, whether inside or out, inspires a positive change to you and your family’s eating habits and household overall.

Take a look around your apartment, home or loft and see if you can identify a location inside that could be perfect as a small indoor garden plot.


Bio:

Emily is a freelance writer, covering wildlife conservation, sustainability and green technology. To see her latest posts, check out her blog, Conservation Folks, or follow her on Twitter.

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