Bringing the outdoors into your home provides many benefits. The bold colors of your plants will liven up your space. You may enjoy fragrances to lift your spirit and hardworking greenery that helps purify your air quality, depending on the plants you choose. Then, of course, if you choose fruit- or veggie-bearing plants or herbs, you can elevate the quality and taste of your cooking. If you’re ready to exercise your green thumb, these tips will help you cultivate a garden inside your home.
Analyze your space and tastes
Before you head to the garden store or shop online for seeds and plants, take a good look around your home and figure out what space you can dedicate to your indoor garden. Assess the available lighting, which can also determine what plants will thrive in your space. Consider your skill level, too. If you’re a beginner, start small and slow. An indoor garden takes time and attention; you want this to be a joyful pursuit, not a dreaded chore. You can always expand your garden over time.
Gather the right supplies
The containers you use for your plants don’t have to be expensive, pretty, or unique. They just need to be roomy enough that your plants have adequate space to grow, according to Glenda Taylor, writer for BobVila.com. “Typically; ‘greens’ such as lettuce, spinach, and kale need at least 5 inches of soil depth for root development. Peas, beans, cucumbers, peppers, and other small bush or vine plants need a soil depth of at least 7 inches,” she advises.
Although you may have a limitless amount of free dirt in your backyard, it’s best to invest in quality potting mix. The dirt from your backyard is too compact to stimulate easy root development and may also feature unwanted pests, warns Taylor.
Having fresh herbs on hand will be a game-changer in your recipes, especially during winter when it’s harder to find what you need at the store. According to Gemma Johnstone, writer for TheSpruce.com, a healthy herb garden just needs a sunny spot to thrive. “Some easy herbs to grow indoor include basil, rosemary, thyme, and oregano,” she adds.
If your counter space is limited, you can still create a diverse herb garden. You just need to look up and take advantage of your kitchen’s vertical space by creating a hanging herb garden, advises Melissa Epifano, writer for ApartmentTherapy.com.
Maintain correct water levels
Balancing the right amount of water can be tricky to keep your plants healthy and happy. According to Taylor, soil that is damp but not soggy provides the best foundation for fruits and vegetables. The roots shouldn’t fluctuate too drastically from dry to wet. “Check the soil daily by pressing a finger on the top — it should feel springy and slightly damp. If it’s dry, it’s time to water,” she adds.
Banish bugs, critters, and pests
Even though your garden is not outside, insects can find their way into your blooms. You’ll want to protect your plants from bugs determined to destroy your hard work. Taylor cautions you from using a chemical pesticide and instead using neem oil, which is an organic pesticide. “Alternately, you can make your own safe pesticide by combining 2 teaspoons of Dawn dishwashing liquid with 1 pint of water in a spray bottle and spraying it on the plants,” she suggests. Taylor says to aim the spray onto the soil and foliage. If you the hit the vegetables or fruits, you may impact the flavor quality.
There are many ways to create an indoor garden. You can customize the look, size, and types of plants to fit not only your space, but also your flavor preferences. These tips will help your garden bloom.