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Successfully Growing Vegetables Indoors

Updated on May 28, 2013

Simple Growing Advice And What Vegetables To Choose


Growing your own fruit and vegetable is an enjoyable and rewarding pastime. There can be nothing better than picking your own fresh produce and having it on the table with moments. Food bought from shops and supermarkets can’t compete on freshness and taste with home grown produce. But what if space is a problem? Many people don’t have their own garden or access to an outdoor area to grow their own food. It is still possible to grow your own even if you have no outdoor space as many edible plants can be successfully grown inside. Even if you live in a flat or apartment, you can still successfully grow your own food.


Space is going to be one of the main limitations to what can be grown inside. For this reason, it is best to choose plants that produce the maximum amount of produce in the minimum amount of space. For example, although pumpkins are a great tasting vegetable, they take a long time to grow and require a large amount of space, so are not ideal for growing indoors. Ideal plants are those that grow quickly or are cut and come again, take up minimal space, and also varieties that are expensive to buy in shops but relatively cheap to grow yourself. Unless you are happy to have large pots in your rooms, it pays to choose plants that do not require a deep growing medium. Shallow rooting plants are the most suitable vegetable to grow indoors, again maximising the space available for the produce itself rather than the pots it needs to grow in.


Source


Plants require sunlight and will grow towards it. Make sure you rotate the pots or containers regularly so that all sides of the plants get exposure to the light coming in through the windows. The plants will have to cope with less light than they could possibly get outside so they will need to be types that are able to tolerate some shade. Although growing indoors does pose its own set of challenges, an advantage of growing indoors is that your plants will not be susceptible to most of the pests and diseases that they would be outdoors.


Here are some edibles that you should be able to successfully grow indoors:

Salad leaves.

Perfect choice for growing indoors. Several leaves of the plant can be cut off and the plant will continue to grow and produce new leaves. This can be done several times with each plant. They are quick to grow, and benefit from being eaten as soon after being picked as possible. It is surprising how much can be produced from just a few pots. For the small price of a packet of seeds you can have a continuous supply of fresh leaves for many months.


Rocket.

Another leaf vegetable that does well indoors and can be also grown as a cut and come again crop. Rocket does have a tendency to bolt (go to seed and get bitter and tough) in hot weather, so keep watered and reposition if exposed to too much heat and sunlight. Rocket requires slightly more root space than salad leaves, so when choosing containers, use deeper ones for this tasty leaf vegetable.


Radishes.

A very fast growing vegetable and can be ready from sowing in as little as 4-6 weeks. The leaves of the plants can be eaten as well, making them an ideal indoor plant with all of it being edible and little going to waste. Sow every few weeks, to prevent having a glut (all being ready at the same time) and ensure a continuous supply.


Spring onions.

Can be sown close together, taking up far less space than regular onions and so a large crop can be maximised in the minimum of space. They are ideal for salads and stir fries. Like radishes, do successional sowings for regular harvesting. They require hardly any care after sowing apart from being watered.


Basil
Basil

Tomatoes.

Tomatoes make an attractive plant to have indoors and strictly speaking are a fruit rather than a vegetable. Choose the dwarf or bush variety, rather than the cordon type, as these varieties are more suitable in appearance for indoors and will take up less space but still produce a good crop. Unlike cordon tomatoes, these varieties do not require pinching out and structural supports, so are easier to care for. Keep the tomatoes well watered and feed with tomato feed (organic options are available) once the plant has started flowering. Tomatoes like as much sunshine as possible so give them prime position in the best place to catch the light. Tomatoes do need to be pollinated. Outdoors this would be done by bees and the breeze. If you can expose your plants to open windows, and give them a regular gentle shake from time to time this should suffice. You can give the plant an extra helping hand by using an electric toothbrush to mimic the vibration the bees make which stimulates pollination. Hold the head of the toothbrush for a few seconds on the petals of the flowers or stems of the plants. Do this every few days and you will have a far better crop.


Herbs.

If you have very little space or just want to grow a few plants without too much fuss, herbs are a great choice. There are plenty to choose from but don't make the mistake of growing the common ones unless you will use them. Choose varieties that you enjoy using in your cooking. So if you are fond of Italian food, consider basil or oregano, or if you like Asian stir fries, maybe coriander and chives might be a good choice.


Living without a garden or outdoor space is no barrier to growing your own food. It can be great fun to experiment with different vegetables to see what will happily grow in your home.Growing vegetables indoors can be an enjoyable and successful way to have fresh and tasty, home grown food.


Have you grown your own vegetables indoors?

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    • jasmith1 profile image
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      Adrian Smith 6 years ago from UK

      That sounds perfect!

    • Lilleyth profile image

      Suzanne Sheffield 6 years ago from Mid-Atlantic

      My laundry room faces south and is very sunny and warm which makes it the perfect little indoor greenhouse where I start seedlings and, before the last frost, bring tender herbs inside to enjoy over the winter.

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