Growing your own plants indoors

Growing your own plants and vegetables is a fast-rising trend that saves you money and gives you a sense of satisfaction as you raise your seeds into fully edible foods. However, you don’t need a large garden or an allotment to grow your own – lots of herbs and vegetables can be raised in your home.

For fitness and healthy living enthusiasts, growing fresh veg is a great way to add authentic flavours to your cooking. To get started, we’ve prepared a quick guide to growing your own fruit and vegetables indoors.

Herbs: One of the easiest plants to grow indoors, herbs need about six to eight hours of light per day and are best grown in window boxes. You can either buy baby plants or seeds. Plant them in pots with drainage holes and organic, nutrient-rich soil. Water when needed and make sure you don’t overwater – soil should be moist but not soaked.

The best herbs to grow indoors are mint, chives, oregano, parsley, rosemary and thyme. These are great to add to meals to accentuate the flavours.

Carrots: Carrots are hardy, easy to grow vegetables that can be grown indoors. Get pots that are around 8 to 10 inches deep. Moisten the vegetable seeds and sprinkle them over the surface. Thin the seedlings when growing so that they’re an inch apart. Place them on a sunny windowsill and keep the soil moist.

Begin a regular feeding schedule once plants reach around three inches in height. Once they reach their mature colour, carrots are ready to be harvested. Make sure you pull straight up so you don’t disturb the roots.

Tomatoes: You can grow tomatoes indoors on window boxes. Ensure they’re in a place they’ll get plenty of light, as they’ll need about 6-8 hours. Choose an indeterminate variety, as determinate tomatoes — ones that reach a certain length and stop growing — are harder to raise indoors. Smaller breeds such as cherry or pear tomatoes are preferable.

Place a plant in the largest container you can fit in your space. Avoid anything smaller than a 5-gallon or 19-litre container and purchase some grow lights — two lights will do the job for one tomato plant. Gently shake the plant’s flowers daily to stimulate pollination. Make sure you turn your grow lights off at night to simulate the natural rise and fall of the sun.

Houseplants: If you’d like to grow something but you don’t have much time to care for your crops, you can experiment with some houseplants. They’ll oxygenate your room and add to its aesthetic appeal. Focus on easy to grow plant species like Snake Plants, Spider Plants, Peace Lilies, Ponytail Palm, Cacti and Dragon Trees. Keep them watered whenever you see signs of under watering, like dry soil or leaves going brown or see-through. Always avoid over-watering.

With a bit of care, you can enjoy growing your own vegetables or plants indoors. Even if you live in a small apartment, you can grow herbs on your windowsill, so you’ve got no excuse — get growing!

Read more about gardening in small spaces with the below infographic courtesy of Compost Direct.

compact gardening (final)