Most of us know both the value—and the expense of working to buy ultra-fresh
organic vegetables in such a challenging economy. So how can an apartment
or small house-dwelling person with no yard be able to augment the diet with fresh,
garden-grown organic vegetables?
Yes, I think you know. You can grow them by the pot. If you have a sunny window,
or the ability to set up a few grow-light fixtures above your growing area, you can have a
very nice assortment of kitchen vegetables all year round.
Warm soil temperatures are what signal plant growth. When growing vegetables in pots indoors, you can have warm soils all year round and with sunny windows or grow-light fixtures you can design your own indoor garden. Cabbage, lettuce, green onions, spinach, kale, basil, rosemary and broccoli are some of the easiest to start with. It is also not very difficult to grow a few carrots, onions, beets, radishes and even yams. The depth and width of your pot is what largely determine the number and type of vegetables or roots you can grow.
When growing indoors there are a few things to do for best results. Watering with room-temperature water prevents any plant-shock that can stunt or slow your plant’s growth. Watering with old fish-tank water if you have an aquarium or fish-bowl is also a great idea. This water tends to be alkaline, and filled with decomposing fish foods and by-products which is good fertile water that can assist plants nutritionally.
When growing indoors, high-quality fertilizer becomes very important. Choose blood meal, rabbit droppings, chicken manure and bat guano as first choices. Many times you can find free sources of some of these fertilizers. In general, fertilize your plants once every other week or so, while augmenting their fertilization with regular watering. Most garden vegetables don’t like to stay too wet, and root-rot can set in if the plant soil is not allowed to dry out a bit between watering. Also, when growing indoors, make sure you place rocks, gravel or broken pottery into the very bottom of your pots before adding your soil. This helps the plant roots not become soaked or too-wet and prevents the roots from sitting in pooled-up water, which can cause some rot to occur.
Choosing a nice dark, rich loamy soil is also important. You can dig this from a friend’s garden, find some in places where plants (and worms) are doing very well, or buy it by the bag from your local garden center. The best pots to use are the ones that allow your plant to breath, in a similar way that they can when growing out of doors. This means clay pots, wood pots or the decomposing natural plant containers that many bushes, trees and other outdoor specialty plants arrive in, as these are designed to just be dropped into the soil for a long-term decomposition as the plant grows.
Indoor gardens can be a lot of fun. Enjoy experimenting, and visit www.growingvegetables–inpots.com for other tips and ideas.