The Northern Winter Gardener - Growing Veggies Indoors
With the right amount of light, you can grow your own herbs, leafy greens, and small fruits indoors — even in small spaces.
Crops such as tomatoes, peppers, beets, strawberries, and basil thrive and produce outdoors in full sun conditions, where they typically receive direct sun for 6 to 8 hours per day. You'll need to replicate those conditions with your grow lamps indoors. Some folks swear that they grow good plants using regular shop lights. I like to give plants the proper spectrum of light. Atnd I wouldn't mind growing in both types of light.
Spinach is very easy to grow indoors under lights. Spinach is one of the
fastest-growing leafy green vegetables. Sow the seeds in a pot or you can
use plastic bottles. Do not use the topsoil from your home or garden. For pots
potting mix is necessary.
Lettuce is another easy growing leafy green. Like spinach, lettuce can also grow in pots or plastic bottles. Sow the seeds of Lettuce in potting mix. Or you can start growing lettuce from the bottom part of store-bought lettuce.
For small space indoor growing, choose compact or dwarf fruits such as mini cherry tomatoes, compact peppers, mini-beets, or day-neutral strawberries (alpine strawberries are a good choice). The Bamboo Light Garden easily accommodates strawberries and mini-tomatoes and peppers in the 12" fixture, and compact tomatoes, peppers, and herbs in the 30" fixture. Your light source will need to be about 6 to 12 inches above the plants to provide enough light. You can always prop up shorter plants to place them closer to the light source.
Sun-loving crops will need the high-output LED grow lamps turned on for 14 to 20 hours per day, depending on the type of plant and the ambient light in your space. If you can place your Bamboo LED Grow Light Garden next to a window you can further boost light levels. If plants are not growing vigorously or flowering enough to produce good fruit yields, leave the lamps on longer.
If you keep larger fruiting edibles in containers during the warm season, it can be a challenge to keep them healthy once you move them indoors for the winter. You can overwinter dwarf citrus plants, compact figs, and many other tropical container plants and houseplants with gro lightd
Fertilizer Tip: Fruiting crops are heavier feeders, so fertilize twice monthly with a natural liquid fruit or vegetable fertilizer.
The key to successfully growing any type of plant indoors is understanding how much light it needs to thrive. Different areas in your home will offer up varied levels of natural light. The average windowsill can support low- to medium-light loving plants. If you want to germinate seedlings or grow high-light edibles, such as basil and cherry tomatoes, you'll need to boost your light levels with grow lamps. This is especially true in winter months, when natural light levels are low and day lengths are
The natural ambient light in your indoor space may be adequate to support low- to medium-light plants, and it can supplement the light provided by grow lamps. This natural ambient light will vary depending on window size and exposure, as well as many other special factors. In general:
The more windows you have, the brighter your space will be. However, obstructions such as nearby trees or buildings — and the time of year — can significantly reduce the amount of light to any of these locations inside your home. The farther you move towards the center of your home, the less light is available to your plants. It's common to need supplemental light from grow lamps, even when your plants are growing right next to a window. This is especially true when you're growing edibles and seedlings.
Start with the Easy Ones
Cool-tolerant leafy salad greens like spinach, kale, or arugula grow quickly (4 to 6 weeks) and easily in compact spaces. They are reliable and easy to do. Any vegetable or herb like these ones that are edible at any part of the growth cycle are a great choice.
Understanding basic light levels and how different plants respond to light is your first step to indoor gardening success. People and plants "see" and use light differently. What looks like a bright lamp to you might not be very efficient for plant growth. Light provided to your plants from grow lamps needs to be within the right spectrum for good photosynthesis. Lamps must also provide enough volume of light for the type of plant you're growing. Skip the shop lights. Quality, efficient grow lamps that generate more light and less heat are your best bet. New innovations in LED grow lamp technology have made them good choices for growing seedlings, leafy greens and herbs, and small fruits indoors.
Edibles will require more light than your average houseplant. If your indoor light levels are low to moderate, and your light source is farther away from your plants, stick to leafy greens and shade-tolerant herbs. Sun-loving foliage herbs, such as basil and thyme, will need medium to high light levels indoors with a closer light source. Fruiting plants, such as tomatoes, peppers, and citrus, will need the highest levels of light. Germinating seedlings also fall into the high-light category.
Grow Lighting Tip: You can increase your light levels, to simulate full sun conditions, by moving your plants closer to the grow lamp. You can decrease your light levels, to simulate part-sun to shade conditions, by moving your plants farther away from your grow lamps.
If you're just getting started, try growing low- to moderate-light tropicals and edibles. Leafy greens, such as many varieties of lettuce, mache (corn salad), watercress, sorrel, spinach, and kale grow in moderate light levels. If you think about how these plants grow in the outdoor garden, they can be maintained successfully in conditions that are partly shady. This also applies to cool-season herbs in the carrot family, such as parsley, cilantro, and fennel — as well as mints.
Most leafy greens and cool-season herbs have a compact to medium-sized growth habit that is perfect for small spaces such as your kitchen or living room corner. Your light source can be a little farther away from these leafy crops, as they don't require intense light levels to thrive. Use a light timer to keep your grow lamps on for approximately 12 hours a day. If your light garden is situated next to a bright window, you may be able to leave the lights on for fewer hours per day.
They grow very fast. Sow the seeds in a pot, use some wood skewers to support the plants.
Kale - Grow kale directly from seeds, in pots or grow bags
These bombs of vitamin C are extremely easy to grow indoors. Use pots, grow
bags or plastic bottles to grow them. When fruits of bell pepper are ready,
harvest immediately. Because the more you harvest, the plant will produce more
Arugula grow svery fast and are easy to grow inside. They prefer a cool
temperature which makes them best to grow indoors. Sprinkle the seeds of arugula
in a pot filled with potting mix.
Each arugula plant produces multiple harvests .Harvest the bigger leaves first.
Beet is very beneficial for the patients of blood pressure. Choose a bigger container or grow bag for beets. Grow them directly from seeds. But first, soak the seeds overnight in water. Now sow the seeds in potting mix, water them and place the grow bag
It is one of the fastest-growing crops. Radish can be harvested in just 3-4 weeks. It is a moisture-loving vegetable, so do not let the soil dry. Do not overwater them Tomatoes
They only grow 7-10 inches in height. You can grow them in grow bags (I love growing in the fabric grow bags. You can grow them in pots using potting mix.Mohamed
Swiss chard is not that different from kale. and it is one of the toughest
crops. The plants of chard required 6 hours of full sunlight. It means a good
and slightly bigger source of light will be needed for this crop indoors
You can grow them in pots or any container available.
Moderate to High Light 12-16 Hours a Day
Vegetables and Herbs You Can "Regrow"
Ginger-Take a long piece of Ginger 2 inch long and 2-inch wide. Break into two pieces, plant these pieces 1 inch deep in the soil. Potting mix is more suitable. Water the pieces and ginger will produce shoot in one month and produce your own homegrown ginger.
Lettuce - Cut the bottom part of lettuce about one inch long. Plant the cut and cover the bottom part of the cut in the soil. After about two weeks lettuce will regrow
Scallion - If you have fresh scallion, cut the bottom of green onion about half-inch with roots. Plant the cut of green onion in potting mix. Water them and green onion start producing shoots in a couple of days
Garlic - Select the big bulb of garlic. Break it into cloves. Pick the bigger cloves and plant them 2 inches deep and 6 inches wide. Garlic should be planted in very loose soil. Water them and every clove will produce a bulb of garlic.
Potatoes - very easy to grow. Potatoes produced little eyes when they are ready to grow. When you saw little eyes on potatoes, plant the whole potato in potting soil. Dig a hole in the soil and plant the potato eye facing up.
Carrots - Cut the top about 1 inch in length. Plant the cut in potting soil (stem facing up). After a week cut produce leaves.
Leeks - re-grows the same as lettuce
Celery - has the same method as lettuce. Cut the bottom part about an inch long. Plant these cuttings in potting soil and cover the bottoms with soil.
New: Mary's Bloomers Gardening Blog