How about saving money by growing vegetables and pants in your home? Here are some tips to get you started in your home garden.
The weather is too chilly, and the threat of winter storms is looming. On the brighter side, spring is almost here, and there isn’t any better time to start planting your seedlings and growing your indoor garden. If you start developing your plants now, you will be the first person to have fresh vegetables and blooming flowers when summer approaches. Here is the ultimate guide on how to achieve this:
Select A Plant And Buy The Seeds
You can get any seed you like from home and garden centers. If you do not know one in your areas or are just too lazy to go to the store, why not make an online order and have it delivered to your mail? Some of the less popular or lesser known plants are not available in stores. So, you will have to start with seeds. The good thing about using seeds is that you can get what you want. Once again, seed mailers and online seed stores come in handy.
Seeds cost less than plants, so starting with seeds will cost you less money. Also, seed packets contain many seeds, which you can use for the following years. If you do not wish to store them until next year, you can switch them with friends, so that you have a variety of plants in your indoor garden.
Make, Buy Or Reuse Containers
When growing an indoor garden, you can make use of any container at your disposal. You will be surprised by just how many bottles you have in the house that you can use to grow the seeds. For instance, empty yogurt containers will do just fine. Make sure they are at least three inches deep and 2 square inches.
You can also make a planting container using a newspaper. Using a newspaper container will make transplanting easy since the newspaper is biodegradable. The paper container is a creative way of reusing and recycling. Just make sure that the container you use allows water to drain. If you let the roots to stay in too much water, they may rot. Therefore, make holes on the container if they do not have any.
If you had planted a home garden last season, you could reuse the containers. However, you must clean then first to get rid of any bacteria or disease that might harm the seedlings. Mix bleach and water in the ratio of 1:9, and then use the solution to clean the container. The mixture disinfects the container of all diseases, so you are sure to be starting with a clean bowl. If you like, you can use CowPots, which are containers made using cow manure. Just like in the case of newspaper containers, these can also be placed in the outdoor garden when you want to transplant.
Pick A Spot For The Indoor Garden
Now that your containers and seeds are all set, the next step is to designate a specified location inside your house for the indoor garden. When you first plant the seeds, heat is usually more important than lighting. That is why the place you select for the garden should be warm enough. After the seedlings break the soil, remember to provide adequate illumination.
Many indoor gardeners start at a corner in the basement or the front of a large window. The latter is convenient because the seeds can access heat and light from the sun. If the window is drafty, choose another spot, because seeds and bulbs cannot do well in cold soil. Once the seedlings are visible, you can move them to a brighter spot under artificial fluorescent lighting. You may also place them on a pot that receives sufficient sunlight.
Prepare The Soil And Plant The Seeds
Once the timing is right, you can prepare the soil for planting. It is easier to make the soil for indoor gardens than that for outdoor patios because the former involves less into space. Use a sterile soil mix or seed-starting right out of the bag. Most seed packages will give you directions at the right time to plant the seeds depending on your region.
If you are unsure of the timing, make sure to inquire from a local gardener. Can you plant sooner than it’s indicated on the seedling container? Does the plant grow too large for the indoors? When should you transplant? Will the plant gets stressed when transplanted? If you start too late, will the plant mature? These are some of the questions you should ask the expert.
Do not transplant the seedling immediately after the plants start growing. Although you might be anxious to get started, if you move it outside too early, you might get a frost, or the soil might be too cold. All of the work you have been doing might be lost, simply because the land was not warm enough. Thus, allow enough time for the soil to warm up.
One of the tricky aspects of indoor gardening is how to water the plants. If you put in a lot of water, the roots will soak up and rot. If the water is insufficient, the leaves will dry up. Make sure that the container has perforations to let excess water out of the bottle. Check the moisture daily by sticking your finger into the soil. You may cover the pot with a newspaper to ensure that water is retained inside the land.
Provide Sufficient Light
Even if you expose your indoor plants to sunlight, artificial lighting is essential. You will achieve the best results when you supplement natural light with a fluorescent bulb because it will give you a full spectrum of light. Consider LEDs and CFLs for efficient artificial lighting.
Place the lighting about 6 inches above the plants. You may lower or raise the bulb as the plants mature, so, make sure you have a chain attached to it. If you want to be an even better gardener, you can place an aluminum foil or whiteboard on the container surface to reflect light. It allows you to maximize the available light by reflecting it on the seedlings.
Are you ready to start your indoor garden already?