If you’ve found your way to this blog, you know it already: organic gardening is awesome. For our readers who don’t have access to an outdoor patch, we have some good news – and you can garden successfully indoors. And even if you do have a flourishing outdoor veggie garden, there are so many reasons to extend that into your indoor living spaces.
· An indoor garden helps purify the air in your rooms.
· It can reduce stress.
· It beautifies your home.
· It can improve sleep.
· It lets off a refreshing fragrance.
· It’s relaxing and therapeutic.
· It produces generous harvests of wonderfully healthy, organically grown food.
Here are our top indoor vegetable gardening tips and tricks.
1. Use large garden pots wherever possible.
Plants need room to wriggle their toes! They will become stunted if their roots are cramped. You can give the environment a little love by repurposing old buckets, tubs, barrels, baskets and boxes into planters. Just make sure to include drainage holes. You can also use large clay, ceramic or terracotta pots – they’re hardy and reusable, and they look lovely.
2. Water your plants often.
Plants grown in plant pots dry out faster than those growing in spacious soil beds. Use mulch or double pot to make your garden more environmentally friendly and save water.
3. Make sure excess water can drain away.
Improve drainage by layering the bottom of your pots with an inch or so of coarse gravel.
4. Feed your plants liquid fertilizer at least once a fortnight.
They don’t have as much access to nutrients in containers.
5. Compost your indoor plants often, too.
You could start your own compost bin using your household waste.
6. Position your pots strategically.
And not just because your plants are happy green soldiers in the war on global warming and sustainability problems! Indoor plants need good ventilation and maximum exposure to light. As a rule of thumb, the smaller the leaf, the bigger the need for loads of sunlight.
7. Have a plan when grouping plants together.
Seedlings with similar needs will get on well in one container. Having some climbers, some root veg and some leafy low-growers planted together will also make the best use of space.
8. Get the kids involved.
If you have children, there’s a good chance that they will be fascinated by your indoor garden. Here’s our best tip for damage control (because let’s face it, some havoc wreaked by curious little fingers is inevitable!) Including them in your gardening routines isn’t just a beneficial natural learning initiative: it will also help them to feel responsible for the garden, educate them on how to interact with plants, and inspire a desire to nurture and protect.
Here’s to flourishing indoor gardens everywhere! Keep up the good work – you’re spreading fresh air, vitality and happiness across our cities.
Written by Rifke Hill
About the Author
Rifke Hill was raised on the sort of farm your grandparents told tales about – milking cows, gathering eggs, hoeing the soil, and building fires to heat water. She now spends part of her time copywriting online as a freelancer. The rest of it is spent nurturing and teaching her four energetic children, growing vegetables, baking bread, reading voraciously, having coffee with the neighbors, and enjoying the sunny slopes of the smallholding where she lives, in the Garden Route, South Africa.