For people who want to grow plants in their houses and have idle space in their residential areas, indoor gardening is an ideal way of growing plants. This type of gardening is primarily done in enclosed settings and doesn’t require much resources or labor to start. Indoor gardening can also be in an office building, a restaurant or school.
TYPES OF INDOOR GARDENING
- AEROPONICS: This technique of indoor gardening requires you to spray down roots with a nutrient mist. The roots hang and are suspended in the air as they consume nutrients in the form of a mist. There is no need for soil use in aeroponics as the plants grow just by the nutrients they get via the mist.
- CONTAINER GARDENING: Clay pots, glass containers, and plastic bags are all ideal in this method. All you need to do is mix the appropriate soil type with a little fertilizer and keep watering. Seeing that containers can be small enough to fit in your living room, ensure that the plants get enough light for better germination. Container gardening is the most popular form of cultivation as the caring process is easy.
- HYDROPONIC GARDENING: As the name suggests, this method of indoor gardening requires you to place your plants in a mineral nutrient solution in a water solvent. The roots of the plant could either be exposed to the mineral solution or supported by an inert medium like gravel. Hydroponics is more complex than other forms of gardening and will require more attention and time. The good thing about this type of gardening is that plants get their nutrients directly into the roots. Plants that are grown through this method often appear bigger and healthier compared to other traditional methods.
TIPS FOR ANYONE WHO WANTS TO START INDOOR GARDENING
You have some little space in your home and want to grow some vegetables and fruits. Before planting your veggies for home consumption, consider the following tips, as they will come in handy in your gardening journey.
- PROPAGATION: With propagation, you get new plants from plants you have already grown. One propagation method is cutting. You can cut your leaves, stems, and roots. Cut the most grown leaf of your plant together with an inch of its stem and dip it in rooting hormone. Plant the entire stem in a moist rooting medium. You can also place the container with the plant in a plastic bag as this will increase humidity.
Remember to keep the plant out of direct sunlight. The new plant will grow in about two months, and you can transfer it to a bigger container. When cutting the roots, ensure that the plant is inactive and full of carbohydrates. Stem cutting is the most common form of propagating and is easily done for indoor plants. Other types of propagating include layering, divisions, and scaling bulbs.
- PEST CONTROL: Though pests may be rare in this form of gardening, be prepared to deal with them. Like any other form of gardening, keep treating your plants every once in a while. Use pesticides and always look out for new pests. When dealing with slugs, you can use caffeine as an alternative to other known pesticides. Caffeine makes slugs release excess slime which makes them dry and thus limits their movement. Spread coffee around new seedlings to stop slugs from eating your plants. To prevent mouse and squirrels from digging into your plants, use chicken wire. Don’t fret if you see ants in pots as they won’t kill the plant.
- IMPORTANCE OF LIGHTING: Unlike plants which are grown outside, indoor plants require artificial lighting for growth. Grow lights are a good option when looking for ways of lighting your plants. Grow lights will make your houseplants, orchids, fruits, and vegetables flourish. When selecting which grow lights to use for your indoor gardening, consider the color, light intensity, and duration. Full spectrum bulbs are good for seedlings and houseplants as they produce cool and warm light almost similar to natural light.
The three main types of grow lights include Fluorescent Grow Lights, LED Grow Lights and HID Grow Lights. Before installing grow lights, know the number of bulbs required for your plants or fruits as each plant requires different wattage ratio. Use grow light racks as plants increase in height from time to time, and need adjusting. Devise a way of raising the light racks as this will help them absorb light better throughout their growth stages. Note that bulbs with higher watts should be kept farther from the plants.
- IT’S OKAY TO BE WRONG: Well, gardening seems fun, but it may not be easy the first time. Don’t beat yourself up if you fail the first time. Failing in the initial stages is alright, you learn as you progress. If your plants fail to grow well the first time, note where you went wrong and improve. Ask for expert advice when stuck. There is no shame in learning. It will help you grow healthier plants in the future.
ADVANTAGES OF INDOOR GARDENING
- FRESH AIR: Plants absorb gases like benzene and formaldehyde and release oxygen for breathing. They also increase humidity levels which is beneficial to you if you have dry skin. Growing houseplants improve the quality of the air you breathe, and can be a remedy for respiratory conditions and eye irritation.
- LITTLE ENERGY USED: When gardening outside, you have to use a lot of energy as you deal with weeds and predators. A lot of physical labor is also required when farming outdoors. This often leaves the farmer exhausted and unable to properly do other activities in the house. With indoor gardening, you will not get tired as you are not required to lift hoes or other gardening tools for long.
- YOU ARE ALWAYS IN CONTROL: Unlike the other type of farming, indoor gardening gives you total control of your plants. Extreme weather cannot interfere with your work, and you can go to attend to your plants at any time of the day.
Practicing indoor gardening will enable you to have access to fresh and healthy foods. You will generally improve your diet since you have direct access to fruits around the home. This will strengthen your immunity and help you lead a healthy lifestyle. You have the confidence in your food since you grew it by yourself.