Everybody loves fresh produce, but seasonal weather or location may limit the availability of some of your favorite vegetables. Fortunately, nearly any vegetable can be grown indoors if the right requirements are met. While it is unlikely that you will have the space to grow large quantities indoors, you can grow some of your favorites right in your home so that you don’t have to wait months to get your fresh produce. A little research may be required for each specific vegetable but here are some general guidelines.
Almost any type of container can be used for growing plants. The size of container needed will vary depending on the root system of your particular vegetables. Find out how deep you’ll want to make your soil. Tomatoes, for example, have a deeper root system than lettuce so they require a larger container.
Draining is important for successful yields and can be facilitated by layering the bottom with loose gravel and making drainage holes in the container. Drainage holes work best on the side of the container, less than an inch from the bottom.
Lightweight potting mixes generally yield the best results. You can buy or create these mixes quite easily. If you plan on making your own potting mix it is recommended that you include peat moss and vermiculite.
Two types of fertilizer can be effective for container grown vegetables: time release or water soluble. Time release fertilizers are added to the soil from the beginning and water soluble fertilizers are mixed with warm water and added as soon as plants start to sprout. Both types can be purchased relatively cheaply. Be sure to follow application directions provided by the fertilizers.
Most plants will need from six to eight hours of full sunlight each day. If your situation won’t allow for plants to be placed in direct sunlight, then you can purchase plant lights that will do the job as well.
Most vegetables require daytime temperatures around 75 degrees and nighttime temperatures around 65 degrees to grow properly. Optimal growing temperatures vary according to plant, with some plants (like beans) actually growing better in lower temperatures.
Proper watering is crucial for your homegrown plants. You will want to make sure that your soil remains moist. Over-watering, however, can drown the plant so be careful not to soak the soil. One watering per day is usually adequate.
With a little effort and a little patience you can start enjoying your favorite vegetables year-round.