Wouldn’t it be nice to harvest strawberries in the middle of winter to use in your Christmas recipes? Perhaps you’re an avid cook and like to use freshly picked and dried spices. Growing these items year round isn’t as difficult as many may assume. Realistically, it doesn’t take sunlight to grow fruits and vegetables – although it’s quite beneficial. As long as you provide the right environment, you can grow nearly anything indoors.
1. Space – First, you’re going to need the room to grow whatever it is you plan on growing. Most herbs, flowers and some edibles can fit in a single upright pot. Others will require room to branch out such as watermelons and strawberries. If you have a room you can dedicate to growing, this could be more ideal. If not, make sure you have enough room in your kitchen for the plants to grow.
2. Light – Although sunlight is great for plants and humans alike, it’s not a required light source for growing. For less than $25, you can set up a fluorescent or LED light source for the plants. Photosynthesis happens with light regardless of the source. The sun is merely an incredibly intense source of converting light into energy for the plant. Although you don’t have to leave the florescent light on all night, it won’t hurt the plants if you do.
3. Temperature – One of the most important aspects you need to consider is keeping the right temperature. According to most seeds for flowers and edibles, the temperature needs to be over 67 degrees Fahrenheit. As long as you can maintain the temperature around 72 degrees in the home, your plants could flourish. This is important for the cold radiating off of a window at night can cool your plants. Keep them in an area where you can maintain the temperature. Some people will incorporate heat lamps above plants in order to combine warmth and light.
4. Water – Warm air and damp soil could cause mold to form on your soil. You don’t want to keep your plants completely enclosed, as circulation of air can keep those molds from forming. As the sunlight is more than likely not going to shine on the soil in an indoor garden, you won’t have to water the plants as often. Sunlight helps evaporate the water in soil and without it the soil retains more water.
5. Safety – If you have pets, your plants could be subjected to damage from the animals eating the beginning stages of the stems. There are a number of ways to keep animals from invading your plants ranging from using citrus peals around planters to buying screen and building a cheap box to enclose the plants. Placing them too close to furnace vents and other HVAC devices could also be damaging causing the plant to wilt and die.
Building an indoor garden isn’t difficult as long as you manage the basics listed above. This can provide you with a near endless supply of herbs for cooking and edibles for eating. Of course the more elaborate you become with your garden the more it will produce. Many will go so far as to building small green houses onto the home for year round applications. You’re only limited by the size of the area you want to use.
Ken Myers is a father of three and passionate about great childcare. He’s always looking for ways to help families find the support they need to live fuller, richer lives. Find out more about expert childcare by checking out @go_nannies on Twitter.
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