Always be ready for the challenges of cooking and putting fresh veggies on the table! Keeping a garden can be a difficult task in the city or in an apartment, but don’t lose courage. Here are the pros of having an indoor vegetable garden straight in your home, along with tips on how to make it as sustainable as you can.
Why Keep an Indoor Vegetable Garden?
1. It’s Fresh
Nothing will ever compare to the taste of veggies pulled off the stalk and dropped in the pot or in the salad. By the time they get to the supermarket or even the farmer’s market, they have lost part of their flavor in transit. Not to mention that supermarket vegetables are likely harvested unripe, so they arrive “just right”. Growing your own vegetables will ensure they taste amazing no matter what! Even if you don’t have enough to fully replace store-bought veggies, any bonus taste you add with homegrown greens will make a difference.
2. It’s Fun
You will not be laughing out loud at your growing vegetables, it’s not that kind of fun. No. But you will enjoy working with your hands, letting your mind wander, and relaxing while caring for the little plants. And later on, you will love the feeling that the vegetables you’re harvesting are the same ones you cared for and pruned. This is about the simple joy and pride of having grown something and of seeing the results of a project you worked on. You can take it a step further and even make your own seed starter pots!
3. The Kids Will Love an Indoor Vegetable Garden
You’re not the only one who will have fun with growing veggies! Your kids will also enjoy having their little projects and the pots they look after. And they will be even more excited than you to taste the tomatoes they grew themselves! Besides, you can turn growing veggies into a teaching opportunity. You can teach them about patience and the rewards of hard work, as well as about the benefits of fresh vegetables.
4. You Can Grow Spices Too
An indoor vegetable garden is not reserved for vegetables. In fact, some of the more popular residents are spices and aromatic herbs. They are great decoration, smell amazing, are easy to grow and they are so efficient. You can keep rosemary or sage bush for years and you will always have fresh herbs. Besides, it is much cheaper to grow your own plants than to keep buying either dried leaves or fresh ones.
5. You Can Reuse
In the process of building an indoor vegetable garden, you can reuse many things from around the house that you might otherwise throw out. One example is reusing tin cans as small pots, or even repurposing milk jugs as greenhouses! Coffee grounds and banana peels can become fertilizer, plastic shoe organizers can become suspended planters, and so on. The only limit is your imagination! And you can find everything you need already in your home, so you are always ready to plant something!
6. It’s Eco-Friendly
Growing veggies at home, even partially, means you buy less from shops. This translates into less plastic used for wrapping, fewer emissions to transport them from the source to the store, fewer pesticides and insecticides released into the ground and in the water, and overall a more nature-friendly business. Reusing, mentioned before, also contributes to making keeping an indoor vegetable garden eco-friendly and green. And the vegetables are healthier and more nutrient heavy than the ones grown intensively!
How to Make an Indoor Vegetable Garden Sustainable?
The trick to keeping a garden sustainable is to one, use tools and pots as long as possible, to minimize trash, and two, to ensure you can replant your garden. Ideally, you can replant a garden with just the seeds you pick from the veggies you just grew. Here are some more details on each topic!
First, ask yourself if any of the tools you need can be scavenged or reused. Get creative and you will see how much you can do yourself at home. Remember that the goal of these is functionality, not looks. See above how you can repurpose items some would consider trash into useful gardening helpers. Also, take a look at this idea to reuse toilet paper rolls as seed pods! It’s easy to let yourself be tempted by new equipment, aesthetically pleasing planters, and marketing strategies. Resist these temptations as much as you can because they are designed to trick you into buying stuff you don’t really need, and they make your garden less sustainable. You can get the same quality veggies from DIY planters and pots, placed on some old shelves!
Second, on the topic of reseeding. For some plants, you need to buy seeds from specialized stores, as the yield is not enough to both eat and keep for reseeding at a small scale. But there are plenty of veggies that produce plenty of seeds. Take tomatoes, for example. One tomato contains enough seeds to plant a whole garden patch, let alone a few pots. Other vegetables are sustainable in the cutting and resprouting of the same root. Lettuce and variations, spring onions, and herbs are all examples of such endless growing plants. Take advantage of this ability and make your garden as independent and therefore sustainable as possible.
Frequently Asked Questions
Can you grow vegetables indoors all year round?
No bad weather or limited gardening space can keep you from harvesting fresh herbs and veggies year-round. With the right amount of light, you can grow your own herbs, leafy greens, and small fruits indoors, even in small spaces and some types of edibles indoors without much worry. Just use powerful LED lights to achieve this purpose. Otherwise, the same rules apply as with regular gardening if you’ve been paying attention to this article.
What vegetables grow fast indoors?
Carrots may require deeper soil than other vegetables but they also grow faster when compared to many items that can theoretically be grown indoors. However, take note that they’re cool-tolerant vegetables that thrive at about 60 degrees F. Make sure they get plenty of light, at least 12 hours a day. Microgreens are another vegetable category that tends to grow quite fast. Though, because of their small size, it’s kind of a given. You should grow them the same way you would leafy salad greens. However, you should harvest them when they’re 2-3 weeks old. Finally, radishes are really quick growers with only 30 to 40 days from germination to harvest.
What fruits can I grow indoors?
The Meyer Lemon can be grown indoors, though it requires typically more humidity than you can find in a regular home. Fortunately, you can solve this issue by getting a humidifier. The Calamondin Orange can also be grown indoors with huge success, and it’s an excellent choice for a first-time indoor tree grower. If you want a healthy lifestyle, then you should also consider growing Goji Berries, as they are packed with beneficial nutrients. These will need to be placed in a south-facing window, or given a grow light so they receive enough sun. To collect the berries once they’ve grown, you simply need to shake the plant and the berries will fall off.
Last Notes on Your Indoor Vegetable Garden
Now that you know why it is a good idea to be ready with some fresh, sustainable greens from your indoor vegetable garden, you are prepared to take on cooking and storing challenges! Have fun and go grow your greens! Don’t forget to let us know how your project is doing and what greens you are growing. The comments section below is waiting for your input!