Many people believe that it’s impossible to grow an organic garden while living in an apartment in an urban city. Growing organic vegetables, herbs, fruits, and even berries is entirely possible for people who live in apartments, and all you need is a window or balcony to get started. In this post, we’ll learn more about indoor organic gardening and why you should begin to grow an indoor organic garden. Let’s get growing!
Indoor Organic Gardening 101
If you’re a gardener with no land, indoor organic gardening is a solution that is reasonably easy to put in place but also fun.
Besides, not everyone wants to dig up dirt in their backyard. Anyway, you can grow almost any vegetable in recycled bottles, old shoes, containers, pots, hanging baskets, and planters, etc.
You can also find everything you need readily available from organic potting soil, fertilizer, and seeds—all of which are essential to growing vegetables, herbs, and edible flowers.
But, an indoor organic garden does have its limits. Although hybridizers have increased the number of small or miniature vegetables in the last few decades, you still can’t grow things like corn or melons indoors successfully.
Instead, try growing leafy greens such as lettuce, spinach, and radishes. Experienced indoor gardeners can also grow bush beans, dwarf beets, carrots, peppers, or even dwarf vine vegetables like cucumbers and squash. These plants perform well indoors and don’t need plenty of sunlight and high temperatures like other vegetables that produce flowers, seeds, or fruits.
If natural conditions aren’t ideal, gardeners can use different smart indoor garden gadgets like grow lights or hydroponic irrigation systems to produce greater yields with large indoor plants. Whether you’re a beginner or pro, here’s what you’ll need:
Sunlight Or Grow Lights
Plants need light to grow, so the first thing to do is pick a spot with plenty of sunlight, perhaps a balcony or a window. This means that you want to avoid both cold and drafty areas since most veggies need warm environments to grow. You should keep them away from heat vents and fireplaces that could overheat or dry them out.
If your space doesn’t have access to enough sunlight, you can use grow lights. Grow lights are ideal for growing fruits and vegetables indoors. But because artificial light doesn’t offer the perfect balance of wavelengths, many vegetables and herbs still thrive under low-light conditions.
The next step is to gather pots or containers where you grow your indoor organic garden. You can get creative and recycle bottles, glass, or boxes, or buy containers from a store or even do it online. Either way, you’ll need containers that are at least 4-inches (about 10 cm) deep for most greens, while carrots will need at least 6 inches (about 15 cm), depending on the variety. Lastly, remember to use a tray beneath the containers to prevent water from dripping.
Once your containers are ready, it’s time to select an all-purpose soil, preferably an organic one for your indoor garden. High-quality organic potting soil not only helps your plants thrive, but it’s free from any pesticides or chemicals. It is made from natural organic matter like worm castings, compost, manures, bat guano, etc.
Since organic soil doesn’t contain processed minerals, it creates natural nutrient cycling, reducing weeds, conserve water, and enhancing crop quality.
Seeds, Seedlings, Or Cuttings
Growing your indoor organic garden from seeds, seedlings, or cuttings gives you flexible options for different conditions. For instance, herbs mature slowly, so growing them using cuttings from established plants or seedlings will provide you with a faster harvest. On the flip side, veggies like radishes and salad leaves grow incredibly fast, so you can grow them from seeds.
13 Reasons Why You Should Grow An Indoor Organic Garden
For healthy people with plenty of vitality and some land around their accommodation, indoor gardening might not seem necessary. So, why should anyone create an indoor organic garden? Today, indoor gardening is more than just a great hobby to pass the time.
Apart from having fresh herbs, fruits, and vegetables to use in your cooking, there are many other bonuses from growing an indoor organic garden. Here are 13 reasons why you should get started right away:
1. You Save Money
When lettuce goes from $1.3 to $3.19 or higher in the space of a few months due to a pandemic, for example, it’s time to find a better way to get your food. It seems like every vegetable’s price increases, and the money we have available barely pays for necessities like rent, utilities, medications, and insurance. This leaves little or nothing for frivolous items like food or, more importantly, healthy food.
Going to the local food bank can help, but not everyone wants charity. Growing vegetables at home can improve food security and help you save hundreds of dollars monthly.
2. Eat Healthier
Health complications can make individuals more careful with their diet. But considering our toxic fast-food culture and consumerism, it’s nearly impossible for people to change their ways and eat healthier.
Growing an indoor organic garden can provide more nutritious and fresh food options than store-purchased greens or salad from a restaurant.
When You Grow Indoors, It Almost Forces You To Eat Healthier
Organic fruits and vegetables can excite our taste buds with thousands of seeds available in the market. You can also find organic live plants online. Plus, there are many ingredients that we cannot afford or find available. Indoor organic gardening gives you more options and offers authentic flavors without chemical boosts like growth hormones or antibiotics.
Unlike the poor soil quality that commercial farms have had since the ’30s, indoor organic gardening allows you to control the soil quality and put the proper nutrients into the food.
Simply put, plants can produce fresher air by absorbing carbon dioxide and releasing oxygen. So, not only can you improve the quality of your meals but also the quality of the air you breathe.
5. It’s A Healthy Hobby
More and more people spend their days in front of screens using their electronic devices. Indoor gardening is a great hobby that offers edible rewards. Sure, it requires patience and commitment, but the results are outstanding.
6. Contribute To Weightloss
Consuming fresh organic produce has been a consistent link to weight loss because plants are higher in fiber and nutrients. They are more filling than commercially grown produce and help us control our appetite.
Cooking with ingredients from your indoor garden also offers another unique benefit. It allows more meal portion control since you’ll only be cooking as much as you need, usually with no leftovers.
7. Mental Health
Bringing nature indoors can be therapeutic and brings a sense of peace to individuals. Continually seeing and being around plants helps you feel more calm and relaxed, thus decreasing anxiety levels. Caring for indoor plants teaches us patience, improves the look of the room they are kept in, and increases the ability to remember things.
More importantly, growing and cooking vegetables at home gives you a sense of victory and accomplishment as your body releases more dopamine, a hormone that boosts happiness. Lastly, eating healthy and saving money are among the best ways to reduce dependency and become self-sufficiency. This way, you don’t have to worry about running out of money or consume unhealthy meals.
8. Better Tasting Produce
There are no store-bought products that can match the taste of freshly-picked, homegrown, nutrient-packed organic produce. Just imagine yourself strolling around the home and picking all the ingredients for a meal from your windows or balcony. It’s hard to relate to those who claim dried oregano or thyme is better than fresh leaves.
Moreover, did you know that homegrown tomatoes taste much better than those picked green and then ripened? Store-bought tomatoes contain more water and don’t pack the same crunch organic ones do. If you don’t believe it, try an organic salad or marinara sauce.
9. Outdoor Gardening Isn’t For Everyone
Outdoor gardening can be hard work, and usually, it can take hours, which means that it’s not suitable for seniors or people with health conditions. Don’t get us wrong – before millennials got onboard, gardening was mostly a hobby for the elderly.
We’re implying that indoor organic gardening is much easier because it saves time and effort and allows you easier access and control over the lighting, temperature, and humidity conditions. Having an indoor garden means that you can produce whatever you want and care for it whenever you like.
Plus, you don’t have to run to the market every time you decide to prepare an unplanned meal. The most significant advantage is that you will have most of the food ingredients on your windows or balcony.
10. Organic Vegetable Farming Business
Have you ever considered turning your hobby into a business? Yes, you can turn your indoor organic garden into a farm and sell your homegrown produce. Organic farming is like regular farming, just without using chemical fertilizers and chemical pesticides. The organic fruit and vegetable market neatly hit $18 billion in 2019, so it’s among the country’s fastest-rising industries.
More people are looking to buy local and support small businesses. This not only benefits the farmers but also creates a sense of community in your neighborhood or town.
11. Beauty And Décor
Plants are beautiful! Not only do you boost your home décor and smell great, but you can also eat them. Besides, you can use your indoor garden for growing other things besides vegetables. You can grow many edible flowers and use them in salads and desserts for food décor or even brew homegrown herbal tea.
Moreover, it’s not just about the vegetables you’re growing but also about the containers you’re using or where you’re placing them. Sure, you could use recycled bottles, but there’s so much more you can do visually to boost your home décor with plants.
12. Year-Round Harvests
Most vegetables we buy from the local store or even the farmers’ market are annuals, or at least, farmers usually grow them this way. If you’re wondering what an annual is, they are plants that we must sow and grow from seed each year. Plants like lettuce, squash, corn, peas, and soybean belong to this category.
Indoor organic gardening has no seasons unless you choose a particular one to grow in. Many vegetables can grow all year long. It all falls to selecting the right ones that suit your specific needs, experience, and home conditions. For instance, most folks stick to just growing herbs because they’re easier to care for, but some people only eat homegrown food.
13. Fewer Bugs
Unlike outdoor gardens, there are usually fewer bugs indoors, especially if you live in an urban area or large building. And even if there are some, you can get rid of them using non-toxic ways. More importantly, organic soil creates plants that are resilient to pest pressure. This means that not only do you avoid using pesticides that alter the taste and growth of your veggies, but you also save money.
More Indoor Gardening Ideas!
We hope you found this post informative and entertaining. Indoor organic gardening offers everything a gardener could ask for, be it a homegrown nutritional meal, saving money, not having to work for hours outdoors, and elevated home décor.
Featured image credit – © fotofabrika – stock.adobe.com