An indoor garden is a micro-garden that’s manicured to provide the ideal conditions for plants to thrive. This often involves artificial lighting as an indoor garden would struggle to receive sufficient natural light. An indoor garden requires the same level of attention as any garden including the provision of water.
An indoor garden can be set up anywhere in any room regardless of how much natural light is available. Indoor gardens are most appreciated in places where they can be seen. This would include office work-space, restaurants, schools and in your home.
An indoor garden can be set up imaginatively to provide an ideal oasis that will enhance the atmosphere of any room.
In some cases there isn’t the option of having a garden area outside and around where we live or work. When everything around you is just bare walls, concrete and tarmac, you have an easy case to make for having an indoor garden.
Modern indoor gardens are designed to provide everything that any plant would need when growing in the wild outdoors. Watering plants in pots near a window is one of the most basic ways of managing plants indoors.
This often works well. The light that comes in through the window is usually enough for the basic needs of most plants. The problem with some buildings is it’s not always convenient to place plants near windows. This is when an artificial light source can make a big difference.
What is an indoor garden? It’s a micro-oasis of fresh greenery!
Why have an indoor garden?
An indoor garden could almost be described as a work of ‘growing-art’. Having fresh, leafy vegetation growing in your living or working space will surely improve any indoor environment.
An indoor garden need not be just for appearance.
A micro-garden creation indoors doesn’t have to be just for looking at and improving the indoor-atmosphere. You can grow fruits and vegetables that can be consumed. This can only be achieved if the plants are receiving enough light. Daytime light that comes in through the window won’t be enough to generate any meaningful production from plants.
They will grow and reach a level of self-sustenance using whatever natural light is available but there will be a limit to what plants can achieve. There may be a level of fruiting from plants that are contained in a space where there is limited natural light but restriction in light levels will be noticeable.
Growing plants of any kind in an indoor garden will require an element of artificial light to have any chance of production.
This is where modern, specially designed, indoor gardens have a place. LED (light-emitting diodes) light bulbs are a highly efficient low-energy way of generating light. This is ideal for an indoor garden. With careful management and planning, modern indoor gardens can produce leafy vegetables all year round.
There is the added bonus of a spectacular, well-lit, display of growing plants that can become food. It’s also possible to grow small fruits including tomatoes and peppers in a modern indoor garden. Find out more about indoor gardens.
Can I have an indoor garden?
You can easily have an indoor garden if you haven’t anywhere outside to grow anything. There are a number of options if you’re thinking of having an indoor garden. You can have an indoor garden on a table or a windowsill. You can have the most basic of window-shelf boxes for growing plants or a modern LED system.
There are a number of things that you need to consider if you want to have an indoor garden.
It will depend on how much room you have in your dwelling but you need to be able to allocate enough space for your indoor garden project. If you’re serious about running an indoor garden you need to allow it to become a permanent feature.
It may be possible to arrange your indoor garden in a position where there is a favourable natural light-source. A conservatory appended to the house would be an ideal place; there would be plenty of light.
However the amount of light that comes through into a room, may not be enough for a plant to be fully productive. This will be important if we want an indoor garden to generate foliage and fruits that we want for regular consumption.
- Routine maintenance
An indoor garden won’t look after itself. Whatever system you have, regular watering has to be the first consideration. Nothing must be allowed to dry out.
Some people with indoor gardens report bad smells. This can only happen if there are rotting materials from vegetation that’s been generated by the garden or the water has been allowed to go stagnant or a combination of the two.
Don’t over-water an indoor garden. Consider using mechanical ways of introducing water. This can be set up to provide enough water but not too much.
Can I have an indoor garden? Yes and grow salad vegetables.
Where parts of plants have dropped off or started to decompose, this may be the source of bad smells. Cut off anything that doesn’t look or smell right and put it in the compost.
Here’s an issue that’s sure to come up. If you have an indoor garden that’s intended to bear fruits, pollination will be necessary. In an outdoor garden there shouldn’t be a problem. There will be bees or other flying insects that can get into regions that need visiting and get the fertilization done.
This may not be so easy in an indoor garden. Unless you leave enough windows open for bees and everything else to come in, there won’t be the naturally occurring facility.
The good news is that some of the plants that you will be growing in an indoor garden are self-pollinating. Among these are tomatoes, peppers, beans and peas.
Lettuce plants won’t be an issue because all you want to harvest are the leaves.
What can I grow in an indoor garden?
Anything that will grow outdoors can be grown in an indoor garden. It comes down to what you want to grow that will be practical either for producing fruits and vegetables for eating or plants that provide visual attraction.
Then, we have a choice of indoor garden systems. We can have a soil based system or a water based system where the roots of the plants dangle in water. Whichever system you use, a well-run indoor garden of any type will provide the best conditions that any seedling or mature plant will ever need.
You can grow most plants in an indoor garden
These can be grown in containers of soil. You need to be selective about the soil that you use for growing carrots. They do better in light soil that’s made up of, mainly, humus.
Garlic cloves will sprout green shoots at the first opportunity. If you find a garlic clove that does this, here’s your chance to make an addition to your indoor garden empire. You could set it up to have the roots dangling on water or plant the sprouting clove in soil. A 4-inch deep container of soil would work well. Plant the sprouted clove about an inch deep.
Garlic, growing in an indoor garden, should yield green tops which can be harvested in a few weeks. Cut the tops when they’re about 8 inches long. Don’t leave them for too long. The perfect conditions of an indoor garden can lead to the tops becoming over-mature and past their best.
Garlic tops won’t keep coming after you cut the first crop. You may get some regrowth but this will decline. In an indoor garden you can easily pull up the spent garlic clove and replace it with another to start the process over again. It doesn’t appear to be possible to generate garlic bulbs in an indoor garden.
Hot pepper plants
You could say that pepper plants are made for an indoor garden. They need the constant warmth and moisture that an indoor garden provides. The best way to grow peppers is by using an LED system where there is an ample supply of good quality light. This will give you the best chance of producing the most peppers. Find out more about indoor gardens.
Pepper plants are self-pollinators but they may benefit from some assistance. Shaking the plant at the right time in the confines of the indoor garden will help disturb pollen for fertilization. Another more direct way is to take a fine paintbrush or cotton bud and brush the working parts of each flower.
Lettuce is one of the favourite plants grown in an indoor garden. It’s one of the easiest plants to grow and can be very productive, especially if you collect mature leaves from the outer part and allow the inner leaves to keep growing.
An indoor garden using LED is the best way to grow lettuce in your home. Lettuce will grow in a window box relying on natural light but this is not as effective as growing lettuce outside.
When you grow lettuce in an indoor garden allow the plants to become big enough before harvesting the outer leaves. Ideally the plant should be 4 to 6 inches high. You can then start taking the outer leaves and allow new growth to come from the centre of the plant.
Onions will grow out in the same way as garlic cloves in an indoor garden. The shoots from an onion will grow into long harvestable fresh greenery. Place an onion in a glass of water. They only need about an inch of water.
When the roots have grown to an inch or two, the onion can be transplanted into a shallow container of a suitable growing medium. The green shoots will keep growing. Harvest just the green shoot before they become over mature or pull away the entire side shoot.
Tomato plants can grow and produce fruits in an indoor garden but they do need a lot of light. To get a year-round crop of tomatoes by growing indoors you need to use an LED system. Tomatoes are generally thought to be self-pollinators but you may need to help things along by shaking the plants when they are in flower or intervene with a fine paintbrush.
Indoor gardening can be very productive if you manage your plants diligently. One of the best ways to get good results is to set up a LED system. Find out more about indoor gardens.
How do indoor gardens work?
Indoor gardens work by providing the conditions for plants to grow productively in the confines of an indoor environment. Growing plants in an indoor garden is easy to do. Watering of plants can be simplified but to get an indoor garden to work well you need to focus on providing enough artificial light.
Get the lighting right and you will be on your way to having an indoor garden that will look good and work well for you. It is possible to construct your own indoor garden. There are LED panels that can be incorporated into a construction that will become your indoor garden.
An easier way is to buy a ready-made unit that does everything for you. These work by providing all the light that the plants need with a timer control. The light panels are usually adjustable so that they can be raised up to allow for plant growth.
As the plants mature they will flower and bear fruits for picking, for example tomatoes. Plants like lettuce can be harvested by removing the outer leaves. The continued supply of light and moisture will encourage regrowth from the middle of a lettuce.
When an indoor garden is working as it should, you will have a constant supply of fresh leaf-vegetables or fruit.
How do indoor gardens work? They need artificial light.
Modern indoor gardens adopt a seed plug method. Plugs that contain a growing medium and a specific seed are placed in the indoor garden unit under the light panel.
This has to be made moist and then covered with a transparent dome that allows light in but prevents drying out. As the seed sends down roots and the top emerges the dome can be removed. The roots will grow out of the plug and venture into the water bath that sits below.
These are very efficient units that are simple in design and easy to use. Find out more about indoor gardens.
What is an indoor greenhouse called?
An indoor greenhouse is an indoor garden. Indoor greenhouses can be as extensive as a conservatory or a confined area that’s shrouded by transparent material within a room. A greenhouse will secure a microclimate that’s separated from the rigours of the wider climate which can be hostile to some plants.
Bringing the benefits of an outdoor greenhouse into the confines of a dwelling may not be entirely necessary. In a modern, heated home the climate is likely to be much more accommodating to delicate plants which would succumb to the lower temperatures of the outdoor world.
What is an indoor greenhouse called? It’s an indoor garden.
If we call an indoor greenhouse a framed construction that separates out the surrounding climate from the micro-climate within the greenhouse, then, what we’re doing is to provide a space for specific plants to develop.
An indoor greenhouse can be as ornate or as basic as you want it to be. A wooden framed structure fully covered with transparent plastic, can be called an indoor greenhouse. At the other end of the scale, a small container of soil with a single plastic bag covering it and held in place by a rubber band, could also be called an indoor greenhouse.
You could make your own version of an indoor greenhouse but you have to ask: is it really necessary. An indoor garden doesn’t need to be an indoor greenhouse in the exact form. Whether you want to call it an indoor greenhouse or an indoor garden, there will be the issue of having enough light.
If you want to grow anything indoors you will need to think about securing a good-enough light source, unless you have a particularly favoured sunny window or well-lit conservatory.
With lighting in mind there are indoor gardening units that have built-in LED lighting systems. Find out more about indoor gardens.
Images sources: Indoor garden with hat