Essentials of Successful Indoor Gardening


Essentials of Successful Indoor Gardening

Gardening is a popular hobby and although many people believe it is only for the outdoors, it is actually possible to have a thriving garden indoors. However, if nature is going to be brought inside the home then there are many preparations and conditions that have to be met in order for the plants to grow properly. Once the right conditions and indoor environment have been setup, though, just about any kind of plant can be grown. Popular types of indoor garden plants include herbs, flowers, above-ground vegetables and even small trees.

Light One of the major differences between gardening indoors and outdoors is the sunlight factor. All plants need light to grow and it is essential to their survival, or else they will just wither away and eventually die. Light can be produced artificially, but choosing the right spot can suffice. For example, plants that need direct sunlight can be placed in front or near south-facing windows, whereas plants that require indirect sunlight can be placed near any windows facing in the other directions. Some plants, such as violets or ferns, require very little sunlight and are ideal for just about any space in the room that is available. It is important to note, though, that plants should not be placed directly in a south-facing window or any other one that receives several hours of sunlight. This is because the leaves can burn when exposed to the sun for long periods of time.  

Soil and Potting Before an indoor garden can be started, it is best to have a plan including specific species of plants and where they are going to be situation. Not only is light important, but also the size of the pot, any other plants that will be in the same pot and the soil mixture used. High quality potting soils can be purchased, but it is also possible to mix that with other substrate materials should it be necessary for the plant in question. Pots should not be too small in order to avoid constant transplanting as the plant grows. Pots that have been used before should also be cleaned thoroughly before new plants are placed in them.  

Watering One of the most important, also one of the trickiest, aspects of indoor gardening is watering. All plants need water, albeit in varying amounts and frequencies. It seems simple enough to just water plants, but there are many factors that have to be taken into account since over-watering can rot the roots which will lead to the plant’s death.  The season and indoor environment play a role in watering, because plants need more watering during certain growth stages and there are conditions that could accelerate the soil drying. In order to avoid over-watering, or even under-watering, it is a good idea to invest in a device known as a water gauge. This measures the moisture level of the soil and this information can then be used to determine if water is needed or not. This gauge does not cost a lot of money, but it will save a lot of plants and hassles later on.

Fertilizer Fertilizing indoor plants is necessary, because they need to be fed in order to have enough nutrients to continue to grow and thrive. Normally these nutrients are obtained through the soil in a garden, but potted plants need to be provided with essential micronutrients from an outside source. Each plant has its own requirements and this has to be taken into consideration when purchasing fertilizer and setting up a feeding schedule.  

Pests Even though indoor gardens are not as susceptible to attacks from pests like mites or aphids, it can still happen.  Outdoor gardens are normally just treated with pesticides, but that is not recommended for any indoor plants since that can cause problems inside the home and can even be a danger to pets or children. Plants that are going to be eaten, such as herbs, should also never be sprayed with harmful chemicals.  Natural pesticides that can be made at home are a better alternative and various recipes for such formulas can be found in books or on the internet.

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