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How to Grow an Indoor Vegetable Garden: A Beginner’s Guide

How to Grow an Indoor Vegetable Garden: A Beginner's Guide

Growing an indoor vegetable garden can be a great way to enjoy fresh, healthy produce year-round. With the right setup and care, you can create a thriving vegetable garden in your own home.

If you don’t have an outdoor space to grow your own vegetables or live in a small apartment, you may believe that you can’t have the vegetable garden of your dreams! But that isn’t true at all! You can grow your own lettuce, tomatoes, kale, herbs, and even small lemon trees indoors.

And if you do with an indoor vegetable garden system instead of growing your own from scratch, then you’ll have the option of growing more than 150 different veggies with minimal input and effort.

If that all sounds exciting, then this guide is perfect for you! We not only share exactly why you should consider growing your own indoor vegetable garden but also discuss the two most common ways of doing that and go into detail to share with you everything you need to have a successful indoor vegetable garden.

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Why Grow an Indoor Vegetable Garden?

Growing an indoor vegetable garden can be a great way to enjoy fresh, healthy produce all year round. They are also a great way to save money on groceries and reduce your environmental impact by reducing food miles. Plus, it’s fun and rewarding to watch your plants grow from seedlings into mature vegetables.

Indoor vegetable gardens are also great for those who don’t have access to outdoor space or live in an area with a short growing season. With the right setup, you can grow vegetables indoors year-round, no matter where you live.

They are easy to maintain and require minimal space. You can start small with just a few pots of herbs on your windowsill and go from there. You can grow a variety of vegetables in containers, such as tomatoes, peppers, salad greens, and herbs.

And if you lack time, you can invest in an indoor vegetable garden system and let it do most of the work for you! Keeping that in mind, let’s move on to the next section to see what are the two main ways to grow an indoor vegetable garden.

Two Ways to Grow an Indoor Vegetable Garden

Let’s look at the two main ways you can grow an indoor vegetable garden all year round:

1. Grow Plants from Scratch

The most basic way to grow your own indoor vegetable garden is to grow your plants from scratch. All you’ll need is some basic gardening supplies and a sunny windowsill along with some patience to get your own indoor vegetable garden.

Pros:

  • Can use organic techniques to grow healthier produce
  • Offers the opportunity to try new kinds of vegetables that may not be available in stores
  • It’s a sustainable way to enjoy delicious home-cooked meals
  • Save money on grocery store produce

Cons:

  • Time-consuming and requires maintenance and effort
  • High risk of introducing pests or diseases if not properly cared for

2. Use an Indoor Vegetable Garden System

The other way is to buy and use an indoor vegetable garden system that will do most of the work for you! This might be a bit more investment upfront but these innovative systems resolve all the problems that growing your own indoor vegetable garden may have!

Pros:

  • Easy to use and a low-maintenance way of growing plants
  • Harvest your own veggies year round
  • Uses less water and space than traditional outdoor gardens
  • Grow a wider variety of vegetables
  • No need to worry about lighting, regularly watering, etc as these systems are automated
  • No pests and diseases to worry about

Cons:

  • May be more expensive initially

How to Grow an Indoor Vegetable Garden from Scratch

Let’s start by first learning about all the basic things you need to grow your own indoor vegetable garden from scratch, including what you need to keep in mind while setting up:

Sunlight

Sunlight is essential for any indoor vegetable garden. Make sure to choose a spot that gets at least a few hours of direct sunlight each day, and maybe even more depending on what you want to grow.

A south-facing window will provide the most natural light, both direct and indirect. If you don’t have access to natural light, you can also use artificial lighting such as LED grow lights.

Keep in mind that different plants require different amounts of light, so be sure to research the specific needs of the vegetables you are growing. For example, lettuce and herbs require less sun than plants that bear fruit like a pepper plant. There are still exceptions to this rule, so certain herbs taste and do better with more sunlight, e.g. rosemary and basil.

Temperature

Temperature is another important factor to consider when growing an indoor vegetable garden. Most vegetables prefer temperatures between 55-70°F (14-21°C). If the temperature in your home fluctuates too much, you may need to invest in a thermostat or other temperature control device.

Additionally, make sure to keep your plants away from any drafts or air vents that could cause extreme temperature changes.

Humidity

The humidity levels should be taken into account when cultivating a vegetable garden indoors. Most vegetables prefer a humidity level between 40-60%. If the humidity in your home is too low, you can use a humidifier to increase the moisture in the air.

Additionally, make sure to water your plants regularly and mist them with a spray bottle if needed. You can also place containers of water near your plants to help increase the humidity.

Air Circulation

Air circulation is another thing to keep in mind. Proper air circulation helps to keep the temperature and humidity levels in check, as well as prevent pests and diseases from taking hold.

Make sure to place your plants in a spot that has good airflow, such as near a window or fan. Additionally, you can use a small fan to help circulate the air around your plants if needed.

Growing Medium

The soil you use for your indoor vegetable garden is just as important as the other factors mentioned above. Make sure to use a quality potting mix that is specifically designed for vegetables. Regular garden soil will most likely not be enough.

Additionally, make sure to add compost or organic fertilizer to provide your plants with the nutrients they need to grow healthy and strong.

Container

When it comes to growing an indoor vegetable garden, having the right pot is essential for good drainage. Make sure to choose a pot that is large enough for your plants and has plenty of drainage holes at the bottom.

Additionally, you can add a layer of gravel or pebbles at the bottom of the pot to help with drainage. This will ensure that excess water can easily escape and your plants won’t be sitting in water for too long.

Pick the Right Plant

When it comes to picking the right plants for your indoor vegetable garden, it’s important to do your research. Different vegetables have different needs when it comes to sunlight, temperature, humidity, and soil type.

For example, tomatoes prefer full sun and temperatures between 65-75°F (18-24°C). On the other hand, lettuce prefers partial shade and temperatures between 55-65°F (14-18°C).

By doing your research and picking the right plants for your indoor vegetable garden, you can ensure that your plants will thrive and produce a bountiful harvest.

Luckily, at Planet Natural we have hundreds of different guides that share with you everything you need to know about the vegetables you’re planning on growing. So use our search function to quickly do your research.

With these tips in mind, you can easily create your own indoor vegetable garden and start growing delicious vegetables right from the comfort of your own home!

What Indoor Vegetables Can You Grow?

When it comes to growing an indoor vegetable garden, you have many options available! Here are some of the easiest ones you can go at home:

Herbs

Even though they are not technically vegetables, growing your own herbs is an improvement over purchasing them at the store and a good first step for your indoor garden, especially if you are completely new to gardening.

Plus, they’ll enhance the flavor of everything else you cook. You can either purchase a starter plant from your neighborhood garden store or plant the seeds yourself.

Some great herbs to grow include basil, thyme, rosemary, oregano, mint, parsley, and cilantro.

Salad Greens

If you love salads, then growing your own salad greens and other leafy greens is going to be enjoyable and rewarding! Growing your own lettuce, arugula, kale, spinach, and swiss chard, are all possible in an indoor vegetable garden.

Microgreens

Microgreens are one of the easiest and most nutritious things you can grow indoors. This includes miniature radishes, broccoli, chard, mustard greens, and many other options. We’ve written a full guide to growing your own microgreens as well.

Not only will it save you money (because boy are they expensive in the grocery store!) but also add a great hint of flavor and nutrients to everything you cook at home.

Peppers

There’s truly nothing like growing peppers at home! And the best part is that there is just so much variety out there. From hot peppers to milder ones like bell peppers, you have a bunch of options that can all enhance your cooking and meals significantly.

If you’re short on space indoors, it’s best to start out with smaller peppers on a windowsill that gets a lot of sunlight.

Other Options

We’ve listed out some of the easiest options above, but that’s not all that you’re limited to. You can also grow smaller tomatoes such as cherry tomatoes, scallions, green onions, strawberries, and even citrus trees like lemon trees if you have a spot that gets a lot of direct sunlight.

Tips for Growing an Indoor Vegetable Garden from Scratch

  1. Choose the Right Location: When it comes to growing an indoor vegetable garden, it’s important to choose a location that receives plenty of sunlight. If you don’t have access to natural sunlight, you can also use grow lights to provide your plants with the right amount of light and nutrients.
  2. Use the Right Containers: When it comes to growing an indoor vegetable garden, it’s important to use the right containers for your plants. Make sure to choose containers that are large enough for your plants to grow and have adequate drainage holes.
  3. Provide Adequate Water: It’s important to provide your plants with the right amount of water. Make sure to check the soil regularly and water your plants when needed.
  4. Fertilize Regularly: Fertilizing your plants is an important part of growing an indoor vegetable garden. Make sure to use a fertilizer that is specifically designed for indoor gardening and follow the instructions on the package.
  5. Prune Regularly: Pruning your plants is an important part of keeping them healthy and productive. Make sure to prune your plants regularly to keep them from becoming overgrown.
  6. Monitor Pests and Diseases: When it comes to growing an indoor vegetable garden, it’s important to monitor your plants for pests and diseases. Make sure to inspect your plants regularly and take action if you notice any signs of pests or disease.
  7. Harvest Regularly: It’s important to harvest your vegetables regularly in order to keep them productive. Make sure to check your plants regularly and harvest your vegetables when they are ripe.
  8. Monitor pH Levels: It’s important to monitor the pH levels of your soil in order to keep your plants healthy and productive. Make sure to test the pH levels of your soil regularly and adjust accordingly.
  9. Monitor Light Levels: It’s important to monitor the light levels in your indoor garden in order to keep your plants healthy and productive. Make sure to provide your plants with enough light and adjust the lighting as needed.

How to Use an Indoor Vegetable Garden System

If starting your own indoor vegetable garden sounds like a lot of work and research, then an indoor vegetable garden system is what you need!

Indoor vegetable garden systems are incredibly easy to set up and use, requiring minimal input from your end apart from refilling the water reservoir, and checking up on your plants every few days.

These garden systems are perfect for those who are busy or who feel they don’t have a natural green thumb. These days, you can choose from a variety of app-enabled smart garden systems that do most of the work for you and even send alerts to your phone when it’s time to add water.

They are a great way to get started with your own indoor vegetable garden and the best part is that you can grow just about anything you can imagine in them! The biggest perk is that they’re low maintenance with a hands-off approach, and some even come with vacation modes in case you’re worried about being able to take care of your plants while you’re out of town.

Plus, they’re beginner-friendly so even if you’ve never grown or taken care of a single plant your entire life, you can rest assured that you’ll still be able to grow an indoor vegetable garden with one of these.

If this sounds like something you’re interested in, then keep reading to learn more about the best indoor vegetable garden systems you should consider in 2023.

Best Indoor Vegetable Garden Systems in 2023

1. AeroGarden

AeroGarden is one of the most popular indoor vegetable garden systems on the market. This system uses a combination of hydroponics and aeroponics to provide your plants with the perfect environment for growing.

The AeroGarden has a built-in LED light that provides your plants with the right amount of light and nutrients, while also conserving energy. With over 150 seed pod kits available, you can grow just about anything you can imagine.

They also come in different sizes and models, with the AeroGarden Harvest being the most popular one, and can grow up to 6 plants at a time in a design that can easily fit on top of your kitchen counter.

But in case you’re looking for a bigger one, the Bounty or the Farm is great! The latter can grow up to 24 plants! Talk about some serious indoor vegetable gardening! We’ve written a full guide on AeroGarden that we highly recommend you check out.

AeroGarden Harvest Elite Hydroponics

2. Click and Grow

Click and Grow is another popular indoor vegetable garden system that makes growing vegetables easy. This system uses a patented Smart Soil technology to provide your plants with the perfect environment for growth. It’s a nano-tech growth medium that’s similar to actual soil but works to balance water, oxygen, nutrient, and pH levels for your plant.

Additionally, this system has an LED light that provides your plants with the right amount of light and nutrients.

The Click and Grow system comes with a variety of pre-seeded pods, so you don’t have to worry about planting seeds or buying soil. The company sells over 75 different types of pods with a wide selection of fruits, vegetables, herbs, and flowers! If there’s a vegetable you’ve always wanted to grow, Click and Grow probably sells the plant pod for it.

Click and Grow has a special model called Click and Grow 25 designed to give you a continuous supply of leafy greens all year long! It has a patented tray system that allows you to grow up to 25 plants at a time, with 5 plants in each tray and 5 trays in each unit that grow in different stages to allow you to always have leafy greens available to harvest.

If you want to learn more about the different models that Click and Grow has and their different features, then check out our complete guide on Click and Grow.

Click and Grow 25

3. Garden Tower 2

The Garden Tower 2 by the Garden Tower Project is a revolutionary indoor vegetable garden system that makes growing vegetables easy and fun. This system uses a patented vertical gardening technology to provide your plants with the perfect environment for growth.

The Garden Tower 2 is a food-grade plastic vertical garden planter that can grow up to 50 plants at once! It is, without a doubt, the ultimate patio farm.

The Tower mimics a natural ecosystem, allowing plants to access nutrients recycled via organic composting processes. This is an excellent alternative to complicated hydroponic systems.

It’s also self-contained, with a section for collecting kitchen scraps that turns them into compost, replenishing the soil with nutrients. This means that taking care of the plants is simple.

The 6 cubic feet of potting soil allows for abundant growth in a small footprint while eliminating weeding, electricity costs, nutrient loss, and the majority of water loss associated with traditional gardening.

Additionally, it has components made of non-toxic, food-grade HDPE that is made in the USA and is free of PVC and BPA. For added durability and recyclability, it also comes with a UV-protection antioxidant package and dye that has received FDA approval. Read our complete guide to Garden Tower Project to learn more.

Garden Tower Project 2

4. VIVOSUN

The VIVOSUN Hydroponic Growing Kit is a cheap and effective way to grow herbs and other small vegetable plants indoors.

The small garden is easy to use and put together, making it ideal for first-time gardeners. This indoor garden is constructed out of PVC-U piping that is safe for human consumption, and it features 90 individual growing compartments for growing various vegetables and herbs.

Since it uses hydroponics, a technique for growing plants without soil, it can produce twice as much in a lot less space than a traditional soil-based garden.

According to Vivosun, it is particularly useful for growing leafy vegetables like lettuce, as well as beets and celery. You can eliminate the need for guesswork thanks to the device’s built-in timer, which gives you the ability to program the device to activate the pump for a period of five minutes after every thirty minutes.

This allows your plants to get the nutrients they need without requiring constant attention. Furthermore, you can manually adjust the pump’s settings to gain greater control over the growing process.

Even though this indoor garden is simple to set up, it does require some maintenance to keep it clean.

To effectively scrub and wipe down the inside pipes, you will need to take apart some of the parts. This can be inconvenient and time-consuming compared to the other systems mentioned in this article above.

Vivosun Hydroponic Grow Kit

Related Articles:

AeroGarden Products: A Complete Guide for Beginners

AeroGarden Harvest Review: How to Setup and Is It Worth It?

AeroGarden Harvest Elite: Is it Better Than the Harvest?

Complete Guide to AeroGarden Bounty: Is it Worth the Price?

Click and Grow Products: A Complete Guide for Beginners

Complete Garden Tower Project Review: Should You Buy It?

10 Best Indoor Garden Systems of 2023 + Factors to Consider

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