Start an indoor garden

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How to Start an Indoor Garden

Even when it’s cold outside, you can learn how to start an indoor garden. To up your excitement, make it a fun family activity! One way to get your little ones involved is to let them choose a type of veggie or flower they want to see grow. Growing herbs and greens inside is a great way to get started.

That’s right—with the right tools and a bit of planning, you can enjoy fresh, year-round greens, grown and picked right in your home. Of course, whether you choose herbs, greens, or flowers, they’re all perfect gardening activities for kids.

Make a Plan

Decide what you’re going to grow: herbs, greens, or flowers. Growing herbs and greens are both great ways to teach kids about food and cooking.

Herbs are compact, easy, and edible, and they’re a great way to start an indoor garden. If herbs are what you want, find a sunny spot and decide which you’d like to grow. Common choices are rosemary, basil, and mint. You can pick up seeds in the gardening section of many home improvement stores or at the grocery store.

Greens are another popular choice. If you’re growing an indoor garden, however, you may be concerned about size. Your solution is microgreens: They are smaller versions of popular greens, pack a nutritious punch, and have a delicate taste. Since microgreens are grown in soil, they’re a good alternative to sprouts—growing sprouts in water can harbor bacteria, according to NPR.

There are many plants that can be grown as microgreens. Try lettuce, spinach, watercress, or cabbage. Microgreens add a bit of color and fun to salads. They also work as a garnish for main dishes.

Once you’ve decided what you’ll plant, gather your supplies and find a good place for the garden. Here’s what you need:

  • A sunny, south-facing window or a grow light
  • Shallow container with drainage holes. A plastic container such as a prepackaged-salad box (with holes added to the bottom) or a nursery flat are good options
  • Organic potting soil
  • Seeds
  • Mister or watering can

When you have all of your supplies together, you’re ready to start planting!

  1. Place one to two inches of organic potting soil into your container. Smooth the surface or gently push down, creating an even plane.
  2. Scatter seeds over the surface of the soil. It may seem like you’re using a lot of seeds, but the trick with microgreens is that you’re growing a lot very quickly and harvesting them when they’re still sprout-sized.
  3. Now, you’ll want to cover your seeds with a thin layer of soil. Be gentle—some people even use a mesh sieve to make sure the soil is fine. Take a look at your soil to decide if it needs to be sifted or if a thin layer with your hands will suffice.
  4. Put the container with your seeds into a drip tray, and give your seeds a gentle shower. Use a small mister or a water can that diffuses the water. Be gentle with your tiny garden!
  5. Once the tray is in the sunny spot or under grow lights, mist them with water every couple of days (just enough to keep the soil moist). But you don’t want soggy soil, so if you see water accumulating in your drip tray, remove it.

You can expect to see your greens growing within a week, and they will typically be ready to harvest in two to three weeks. It depends on what type of green you’re growing, but once the leaves unfurl, they’re ready.

Then, when it’s harvest time, trim your microgreens right above the soil line. Give them a rinse, and enjoy!

What do you grow indoors? Let us know! Tweet us using #GoodMatters.

Image source: Mali Anderson

The views and opinions expressed in any guest post featured on our site are those of the guest author and do not necessarily reflect the opinions and views of Tom’s of Maine.

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Do you have a dream garden in mind but can’t seem to find the space to make this dream a reality? Despite popular belief, you really don’t need a huge yard to have an amazing garden. With the recent growing appeal of tiny homes and smaller, minimalistic spaces, there are so many ways to achieve a wonderful garden area without having to take up too much space.

Whether you live in a small apartment and have a side garden or call a studio home that has no planting areas, there is so much you can do by way of pots, planters and even custom-made garden areas. If having a beautiful garden seems nearly impossible given your living arrangements, fret no more! We’ve got a perfect list of examples on how to make the most of your space and get your dream garden flourishing in no time!

Table of Contents

Indoor Garden Ideas

Cupped Plants

Don’t let the thought of taking care of potted plants scare you. In this nifty idea, the plants are basically set into tiny little cup holder looking planters. A wide misconception with potted plants is that you need to have large pots in order to keep the plants healthy. It is true that plants do tend to grow bigger and stronger in larger pots, but depending on what you want to plant, tiny pots should work, as well. Herbs and other tiny plants and even some vegetables do very well in small pots.

Indoor Atrium

If you have a spare room or area to utilize, you can’t go wrong with a gorgeous indoor atrium. Even a home or apartment that has a porched area could easily be turned into an atrium. You really just need a covered area that you can easily close off. If you don’t already have an existing room, you can add some trellis or fencing along the edges to give the illusion of a closed off garden room. Atriums are as elegant as you want to make them and can be decorated up or down depending on your décor preference.

Window Herbs

Herbs do exceptionally well in small planters. Anything, even a mug, can be used to house herbs, basically. In this photo, tiny colored pots hold delicate herbs basking in the sunlight on this windowsill. You could place as many planters as your windowsill could hold in this case. Since the planters are also in an area you’d see everyday (a good spot is the kitchen sink window) you would easily remember to water them and look after them on a day to day basis. Some herbs need less water than others, so make sure to keep that in mind as well.

Herb Wreath

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This just goes to show how versatile herbs are. You can literally house them in a wreath and they’ll do just fine! This is a really creative concept, actually. All you’d need is a decorative, sturdy wreath, tiny pots, seedlings or seeds and any type of decoration you’d want to use on the wreath. Hot glue should work well enough if the pots are tiny, but it’s always a good idea to enforce anything on the wreath with some garden ties or wire. Imagine guests coming to your front door to see a lush garden wreath greeting them? It’s a fun, creative idea.

Cup Garden

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I love this idea! Using a simple mug or cup, you can create your very own tiny garden! This would be a great idea for a kid’s party or for some kind of crafting event. Since cactuses and succulents do very well with minimal water, utilizing these plants could be your best bet, especially if entrusting a child to watch over the cup garden. You can get as creative as you’d like with a cup garden. You could even choose a jumbo sized cup or the tiniest tea cup you can find. The possibilities are endless with this creative concept!

Zen Garden

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Don’t have a lot of luck with living plants? No worries at all with this unique garden idea. A Zen garden uses elements from nature without having the responsibility of actually having to water a plant or take care of something. Zen gardens typically call for sand, rocks, moss and mini statues depending on the look you’re going for. Zen gardens are pretty simple to make and are really great because they are so versatile. They also instill a sense of peace and calm, which is always a good thing!

Mini Gardens

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This great DIY article gives wonderful information on how to create your own mini gardens. Adorable and affordable, these darling little gardens can be filled with all kinds of plants, rocks, statues and other decorative elements to make this a tiny piece of nature right in your own home. Since the garden can be as tiny as you need it to be, there’s no need to worry about where to place it and no need to worry about spending too much.

Water Garden

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This is a fantastic water garden that incorporates your own fish friend into the mix! Using a plant, such as a fern, it’s roots can withstand complete water submersion can add an interesting garden element to your space. The roots of the plant create a natural food for your fish, while the fish’s waste acts as natural nutrition for the plant. It’s a symbiotic relationship that is not only really cool, but your guests will love it. Of course, feeding the fish his or her normal food is highly, highly suggested.

Chicken Garden

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Spice up your mini garden by adding tiny, adorable miniature chickens into the mix. Not only is this a super fun concept, but these would surely become really trendy in shops or boutiques. Once you have a chicken garden or two set up in your own space, everyone is going to want one! They bring all the charm of a regular mini garden with that added fun flair of the tiny chicken charms. What’s even better is that these are multicolored and can match any type of decorative setting.

Indoor Fairy Garden Ideas

Fairy Garden Kit

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This all-inclusive fairy garden kit takes out all of the hassle of finding things to fill your fairy garden with. This would be a great gift for a loved one or even a wonderful purchase for someone who has never built their own fairy garden or doesn’t know where to start. The adorable little fairy house comes complete with warm glowing lights that burn throughout the night as its tiny fairy occupant looks out onto her vast realm. This would be a fun project to do with a child or a kid at heart.

Fairy Garden Varieties

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There are so many ways to make a fairy garden and this article is chock full of fantastic ideas. No matter what size pot or container you use, you can easily scale up or down depending on the bulk of the project. Succulents are used often in these idea concepts since they are typically pretty small and are super easy to take care of. They require very little water and flourish in almost any type of environment. Fairy gardens look especially great on a covered patio or in between garden rocks outside in a sort of out of the way area. They are fun for guests to stumble upon.

Indoor Fairy Gardens

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Indoor fairy gardens are great because they’re easy to care for and you can basically fill them with whatever you want. Since these gardens are protected inside instead of left out in the elements, you can use all sorts of decorations or plants you’d typically want to keep indoors. Anything from decorative scarves, candles or delicate tiny furniture can be used since you won’t have to worry about these things getting rained on, sun bleached or carried away by little critters. These also make great conversation pieces in a kitchen or breakfast nook area.

Fairy Garden Furniture

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You can’t have a fairy garden without plenty of fun furniture for your miniature guests to use! Almost like a doll house, your fairy garden can be stocked with all kinds of fun décor and furniture. Instead of having to buy all the furniture (which you could totally do if that’s what you prefer) it would be kind of neat to make all the furniture with elements from nature, much like the things actual fairies would use. Make a table out of stones and sticks, create a hammock out of some twigs and moss, or create your own tiny little fishing pond.

Indoor Vegetable Garden Ideas

Herb Planters

Many people just assume in order to have a decent garden you need to have the outdoor space for it. When it comes to gardening your own vegetables, you can easily do it indoors, you just need to choose the right plants for it. Herbs and most root vegetables can be successfully grown indoors, no matter the size of the planter. Green onions, peas, dill, cilantro and green beans are just a few of the vegetables and herbs that can do really well indoors. Just be sure to have their pots in a sunny area and water regularly.

AeroGardens

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AeroGardens are incredible because they make growing indoors so easy and mess-free. These amazing, compact little greenhouses monitor all the levels in sunlight, water and food your plants would need. All the guesswork is taken out of planting and the prolonged care of your plant because these nifty machines come with little touch screen monitors to let you know just how well your plants are doing. If anything is insufficient, the AeroGarden will be sure to let you know before your plants start to wilt and die. Basically anyone can care for a garden, green thumb or not.

Tiered Mini Greenhouse

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Using a tiered mini greenhouse in your space can not only help your plants grow in the perfect temperatures, but they are so easy to use and setup. These particular greenhouses are meant to be moved around, so they come with wheels you can attach to the feet of the greenhouse. Keep in mind, these greenhouses are light, so you may want to enforce the shelf racks with some zip ties if you plan on equipping it with heavier pots to prevent your pots from falling through. Other than that, these are amazing little greenhouses that definitely get the job done.

Vertical Indoor Garden

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This vertical indoor garden uses a network of tiny pots to help your plants grow to their fullest potential. This design comes with a patented flow through design which helps ensure that all your plants receive sufficient amounts of water. This no-hassle concept is perfect for the gardener who prefers to garden as a hobby. Gardening can take a lot of time, after all, so this is a great idea for the person on the go who still enjoys having fresh herbs or vegetables to use. Plant anything from herbs to strawberries in this nifty gardening idea.

Corner Garden

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This wonderful garden design only needs to take up the space of one corner. Acting as its own greenhouse, this garden area utilizes heat and condensation to keep your plants healthy and happy. The best part is you can fill the space with as many plants as you want. This unique concept is a minimalistic approach to a full blown greenhouse where you can plant all sorts of vegetables, herbs and plants. Not only is it a great concept, but it’s actually pretty adorable to look at, as well. Surely all your guests will be impressed by this nifty greenhouse concept.

Indoor Cactus Garden Ideas

Cactus and Succulent Gardens

Cactuses and succulents go hand-in-hand on the ease of gardening scale. These are great plants to have for a beginner gardener or just a cactus enthusiast because they require minimal water, can grow exceptional well in all types of sunlight and really just do well on their own. These are the kinds of plants where the more you ignore it, the more it will flourish. They know what they’re doing and would prefer to be left alone. Cactus and succulent gardens are perfect for a busy person or someone who is not home on a regular basis.

Boxed Display Garden

This boxed display case contains inside it a cute menagerie of cactuses. Since cactuses can stay pretty tiny, you can use the tiniest, most adorable pots you can find and arrange them in a display like the one depicted. This is a great idea for a patio area with a large garden table or just to have as decoration on a windowsill overseeing a yard. This will basically look great anywhere you place it. And, the best part, you won’t have to worry about watering it all the time since cactuses are pretty self-sufficient. Double win.

Air Garden

An air garden is a super cute way to house a succulent or cactus in a suspended ball of glass. Since succulents and cactuses require minimal care, you can easily place them inside a thin, blown glass vase, tie some twine through the top loop and have it suspending in a covered patio area, garden or windowsill. These types of glass vases are extremely delicate, but they would look absolutely fabulous hanging in different areas of your house. You might want to make sure, if using several of these vases, to make sure they are spaced far apart from each other if using them outdoors since an especially windy day could lead them crashing into each other and breaking.

Indoor Cactus Garden

Cactuses are great to use indoors in a wide, well-lit space, such as depicted in the picture. They aren’t messy, don’t require much work and always look fantastic. This concept would look especially great in an office or home that has a sort of southwestern theme since cactuses are heavily used within these settings. Whatever the décor may be, having an indoor sort of atrium looking garden naturally draws the eye over to the area because it is peaceful and serene. Guests will love it and you won’t have to worry about maintenance.

Windowsill Planters

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These windowsill planters will make succulents and cactuses look so great! They are slightly rustic and completely charming. They will liven up any space, indoors or outdoors. Using repurposed wood, such as the wood in the photo, makes the planters look even more quaint and interesting to look at. You can fill these up with your favorite tiny succulents and cactuses, or even both. The link features a DIY you can either follow or use to create your own sort of trough windowsill planter. Such a great idea and a wonderful project to do by yourself!

Succulent Garden Bowls

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These succulent bowl ideas seriously look good enough to eat, but that is highly unadvised. These are absolutely adorable to use as a decoration on a kitchen table, breakfast nook or even to set upon an outdoor garden table. Since succulents are so great at sustaining themselves and require minimal care, you don’t need to worry about draining or watering these little guys. They will most definitely thrive well in a bowl where other plants would need adequate drainage. This DIY covers all the bases when it comes to creating your very own succulent bowl planter.

Creative Concepts

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There are so many places you could plant your succulents. Flat bottles, corks, picture frames – these are just a few of the creative concepts you can try when utilizing your very own succulent garden. The fact that succulents don’t require much fuss makes them a highly versatile plant that are popularly used in cute decorative ideas like the ones depicted. Even someone who is not very garden savvy could successfully sustain a succulent garden. Take some of these ideas and try them out for yourself or come up with your own creative concept entirely!

Tiny Landscape

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This idea is so creative and absolutely adorable! Create your own succulent mini landscape with lights that actually turn on! Talk about a great conversation piece! These mini landscapes could feature anything you’d like. The landscape depicted features a tiny camper nestled within a succulent forest encircled by little garden lights. It’s such a cute idea and would make an absolutely fabulous project to do with kids or as a craft idea for a party. Everyone will love this concept and you can easily make these as individualistic ad you’d like.

Indoor Wall Garden Ideas

Modern Art

Indoor wall gardens are not only super cool to look at, they can also act like a living, growing modern art piece. These would look great in a minimalistic or modern apartment since it’s an interesting design concept. Not only do these look great, but they are easy to take care of since most wall gardens have built in watering systems. Even if you utilize a wall garden that does not have one of these nifty watering systems, these are easy to care for anyways since most of these have a cascade watering effect that makes sure all the plants are watered at once.

Garden Wall Boxes

Kind of like a concept of a shadow box, these garden wall boxes are a great way to grow plants in your own living room or bedroom. The design is so great and interesting to look at. These would definitely be interesting conversation pieces to have throughout the house. Since air plants or succulents do so well with little maintenance, these would be the ideal plants to have in this sort of setup. Use several different plants in all shapes and sizes to create a truly unique look in your living space.

Simple Wall Planters

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Wall planters not only look super great to have around your house, but they are super easy to make, too! Using items as simple as painted pails and wire could transform your living space from boring to flourishing in no time. The best part is you can use any type of color, shape of pail or plant you want to match any existing décor. Change it up and add funky bold colors to make the space interesting and unique. You can do so much with his fun idea and it’s a really inexpensive way to transform a room or patio area.

Garden Rods

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Utilizing an indoor garden has never been easier by way of these super cool garden rods! Using anything from a coat hanger rod to a curtain rod, you can easily adjust the rod to hold hanging planters and pots. These hanging plants can be set anywhere throughout your home or even your outdoor area and provide an interesting, fresh concept everyone will absolutely love. Plant your favorite flowers, cactuses and succulents in these nifty pots and watch them flourish where they hang. It’s a really simple project that will continue to reward you.

Zen Bathroom Wall

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Imagine being able to relax in a tub and gazing at this wonderful wall of plants after an especially stressful day? There is just something relaxing and peaceful about live, growing plants and a bathroom would be one of the best places to have them. In this concept, the wall just behind the bathtub has sprung into life by way of all these vibrant green plants. If you’d prefer not to cover up the entire wall as depicted, you could easily make some of those great wall garden boxes we saw earlier to create a more subdued approach to this concept.

Terrarium Glass Planters

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These hanging glass terrariums are a great way to add some intrigue and living plants into a room. Since they are so tiny, they look especially good in a large number. This could even be considered a modernistic art piece because of how uniform and interesting they are. You could easily fill these with decorative rocks or shale to go along with your plants for an even more interesting look. These are highly versatile and will no doubt be the center of attention in any room you choose to set these up in.

Hip Herbs

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Make a super hip herb garden with this funky DIY concept. I love the idea of using tiny mason jars as planters and adding some vibrant paint to the backboard for added décor. This is a great way to have fresh herbs all year long and add a contemporary art piece to your living space. What’s even better about this idea is that you can easily customize it to fit any particular tastes. To keep it more minimalistic, keep the wooden backboard raw or stained to add a classy look to a kitchen or side room area.

Wooden Palette Garden Design

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Make the most out of a large wall space by utilizing a wooden palette frame. Wooden pallets are so great because they are highly customizable, are easy to find and can be transformed into so many great home DIY projects. This particular palette frame incorporates tiny plants in clear votive vases while warm string lights twinkle on. The incorporation of the wood, vases and lights all work so well together, making this piece original and absolutely stunning. This would look great near a breakfast or brunch nook when gathering with friends.

Plastic Bottle Planters

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How do you stay eco-friendly while making space for your favorite indoor plants? Utilize all those plastic bottles, of course! This is a great DIY idea that is awesome in itself but even better because it’s earth conscious. Recycle all those old soda or drink bottles and create your own hanging wall planters. These are cute, fun and will no doubt be impressive to anyone who has the pleasure of seeing it. Plus, you’d be setting a great example for friends and family to be greener, too.

Indoor Hanging Garden Ideas

Freestyle Plants

Half the beauty about having plants indoors is that they can still grow the way they want. Anyone who has had creeping vines or ferns can attest to this. These plants simply look better when left to roam as they please. I’m not saying make room for a jungle in your home, per se, more like make sure you carve out some space you don’t mind these kinds of plants creeping on. Vines are the best because their natural instinct is to latch onto their surroundings, so this creates some pretty interesting textures to whichever area they’re in.

Hydroponic Garden

Creating a hydroponic garden space is a great way to have your own hanging garden. Hydroponic gardens stimulate root growth on their own, so there isn’t much you need to do as far as care and concern. You do, obviously, need to make sure the water supply is sufficient and that the space you are using has adequate sunlight, but other than that, these types of gardens take care of themselves. This would look great in a corner or against a kitchen wall for fresh herbs all year long.

Hanging Vegetable Baskets

Using those great recycled drink bottles, you can easily create your own hanging garden. You can set this up in either an indoor pantry area (one that has sunlight, obviously) or even against a bright kitchen wall. This is a fantastic way to watch over your herbs and have them easily accessible for whenever you need some fresh thyme or cilantro. People are discovering the joy of harvesting their own fresh herbs more frequently these days, and this idea brings the concept easily into your own home.

Wall Planters

Here’s a great idea for an indoor wall garden – easily create your own wall of planters that exude ambient light from behind them. This is fantastic because if you’re willing to put in the time and money to create the space, you can set this wall up anywhere. Due to the ambient light, the planters will be able to hold all kinds of plant that can get sufficient artificial sunlight. This type of wall would look great across a foyer or even down a hallway.

Light Planters

Incorporate lights and planters with this interesting concept. By adding a planting reservoir off of a hanging lamp, you can easily set up your own hanging garden that is a sight to behold. Obviously you’d have to make sure nothing can cause any sort of electric current going where it shouldn’t be, but this idea should be relatively simple to setup if you’re careful. Since the planters are located right beneath the light, there’s no need to worry about your plants not receiving adequate light.

Hanging Baskets

You just can’t go wrong with hanging basket planters. You can easily fill these types of baskets with any kind of plant or flowering plant you prefer. What’s great about these concepts is how easily you can customize them. You can fill your space with huge, flowering plants or keep it simple with smaller, hanging votive vases that house fresh herbs. Whatever your preference, there’s a reason why hanging planters are such a huge hit and a typical go-to when it comes to fresh greenery indoors.

Vertical Garden

Here’s a great idea for a vertical garden that not only looks unique, but will surely provide you with all the fresh herbs you want! Even if you prefer to use a garden idea like this for something other than herbs, it’s a great look that will draw much attention. I appreciate the bold blue color of these particular planters, but of course you can switch up the colors for whatever you like best. This would look great in a kitchen or dining room area – almost like a living spice rack!

Earth Bowl

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Many people prefer to use these natural looking earth bowls as planter holders because they look absolutely fabulous. In these planters, the plants are basically suspended in soil wrapped by either moss or natural elements such as roots. These look particularly great in an outdoor garden area or hanging in an indoor garden space. Even about your kitchen sink, these planters are truly unique and bring so much décor into the space. You can find a variety of shapes and sizes in most garden stores or online.

Upscale Light Bulb Planters

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This is a great idea for a planter, but definitely a project that you’d have to go about carefully. I’m assuming you can’t use just any kind of light bulb for this project. You’d probably have to use a heavy duty bulb with thick glass in order to make a circular opening without shattering the light bulb completely. This is another great project to execute when you’re feeling green and just want to recycle something to create something beautiful.

Hanging Pots

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Hanging pots are adorable and so easy to create. In this picture, a double rod planter setup is taking place as the sun beats down gently on these potted plants. This is another great way to incorporate those easy to use rods and make your own planter space. This is an idea that would look best in a kitchen window or maybe even in a bathroom window. Whatever the space, these pots can be easily customizable by shape, size and color. The possibilities are endless.

Conclusion

So, which of these ideas are you planning on trying? Are you going to try a totally unique concept or pick and choose a few ideas to string together? All of these ideas are so cute and creative, it’d no doubt be hard to pick just one concept to go for!

Whichever idea you prefer, you can always make everything you see here pretty customizable. Mix and match or just go with the flow and create a living space area you and your family or friends will enjoy. All these great ideas just go to prove how easy it is to incorporate your own indoor garden into the mix. Have any suggestions or ideas of your own? Let us know in the comments! Good luck and happy planting!

* You might be interested in:18 Of The Best Succulents You Can Grow Indoors –

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Plant room equipment may be linked to a Building Automation and Control System (BACS).

When designing a plant room, the following points should be considered:

  • The ease of access for the maintenance and/or replacement of equipment when locating a plant room.
  • The ability to expand if required in the future.
  • The ability to expand the equipment in the room if required.
  • Ventilation requirements.
  • Where the plant is located externally and may be in view, screening devices may be required.
  • Floors should be low maintenance finish and comply with slip resistance standards.
  • Access should be restricted to authorised maintenance personnel.
  • Sound transmission should be minimised with acoustic attenuation if in close proximity to user rooms/spaces.

Find out more

Related articles on Designing Buildings Wiki

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  • Building Automation and Control System BACS.
  • Building management systems.
  • Building services.
  • Building services engineer.
  • Concept services design.
  • Cooling systems for buildings.
  • Ductwork.
  • Electrical control systems.
  • Equipment installed in buildings.
  • Industrial plant and construction operations.
  • HVAC.
  • Mechanical, electrical and plumbing MEP.
  • Types of building services.

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Growing plants indoors can make your home look lively and lavish and if you too love that– Must see our 19 best DIY indoor garden decoration ideas!

If you too love indoor gardening (like we do!), learn about the arrangement ideas, DIY tricks and how you can maximize your planting space available indoors in this article.

1. Use Wall Mounted Storage to Keep Pots

Source: Ikea.com

The space between windows can also be prime real estate for growing, just like this one in the picture above. You can use wall mounted storage to keep the pots to decorate your home with plants.

2. DIY Pegboard Planter

This DIY pegboard planter project is simple, inexpensive, and easy to follow. If you want to see the step by step tutorial, visit brePURPOSED!

3. DIY Ladder Planter/Ladder Shelf

Ladder planter creates a lot of space for keeping plants.

If you have got an old ladder, use it to keep pots in it. It can be made into an astonishing pot holder, perfect for growing indoor plants. A step by step tutorial is available on our !

4. DIY Succulent Frame or Succulent Wall Planter

A DIY succulent frame or succulent wall planter is a great way to add a whim to your interior without spending a lot of money on materials you can make this. Here is the tutorial to follow.

5. Mason Jar Ideas

Upcycle mason jars can used to grow herbs. Here are some DIY ideas.

Mason jar can become adorable small pots and can be used to grow plants and herbs indoors. There are myriads of ideas available on the web to look for inspiration, you can look at one of our posts for more ideas!

6. Indoor Chair Planter

Not only outdoors, if you’ve got an old chair create an indoor chair planter and grow succulents or indoor plants on it to add a dramatic touch to your rooms. See more chair planter ideas!

7. Indoor Zen or Japanese Garden

An indoor Japanese or Zen garden can be a beautiful addition to your home when combined with a water feature, flowers of cool colors, stones, or succulents, a great way to add “calmness” to your home. You can also make a mini succulent zen garden in a pot, check out the tutorial here.

8. Flowering Houseplants

Decorate your indoor garden with flowering houseplants. They can add a bright touch to your home, growing them is similar to other indoor plants. Check out our article on best flowering houseplants here.

Also Read: DIY 4th of July Decoration Ideas

9. Use Plant Stands

Plant stand can not only increase your indoor planting space but also look elegant and decorate your home. The best thing about them is that you can also DIY them easily, here are some ideas.

10. Succulent Bookend

Prop up your favorite reads with this easy-to-make mini garden. Succulents are easy to grow. They add a welcome pop of greenery to any book collection when planted in clear vases filled with pretty river stones. See more of it here.

11. Hanging Coconut Planter

Use coconut shells after eating to create this super cute hanging indoor garden. This project is unique, still simple and doesn’t require much. Check out the tutorial here.

12. Sea Shell Planter

Sea-shell planters are creative ways to show off plants. You can tuck smaller succulents and use them as a centerpiece of your home. Check out these ideas!

13. Use Utility Cart to Hold Pots

Utility cart can be found in stores easily, it has many uses and one of them is this, especially if you’re short of space. Use it to hold planters.

14. Create an Indoor Fairy Garden

This well-planned fairy garden that resembles a gnome village (or many more other fairy garden ideas here) is looking amazing with colorful mushrooms, walkway, tiny houses, and banners.

15. Make a Succulent Dish Garden

Plant succulents in a dish and place it on the table top. It will make the focal point of the room. A complete DIY article on how to make a succulent dish garden is available here.

16. Plant Stand Room Dividers

Ikea plant stand (Socker series)

Plant stands can be used as room dividers, keeping cut beautiful cut flowers, herbs, and small plants. This way you’ll be able to maximize your growing space and create a division in a room too!

17. Keep a Plant Stand Near Window

Why just keep plants on a windowsill, let the plants use the sunlight comes from the windows by keeping a plant stand like this.

18. Teacup Herb Garden

Grow a herb garden in vintage teacups that you no longer use. Not only it will look good but this way you will be able to grow your own herbs. If you want to make a teacup planter too, here is the tutorial.

Also Read: Indoor Herb Garden Ideas

19. DIY Mosaic Pots

Take some of your old clay pots and turn them into astonishing mosaic pots. It’s easy! You’ll need a terracotta pot, vase filler chips or alternatively use pot shard or broken tile pieces. You’ll also need glue and spray paint. The first step is to paint the pot in your favorite color and leave it to dry. Once done, lie the pot and glue the chips or shards one by one. See more mosaic ideas!

Regardless of whether you have a small garden, a huge garden or no garden at all, there should be no excuse for not growing your herbs.

They’re very easy to maintain and there truly is nothing better than picking your very own fresh herbs right in your home. You can build a big garden feature or a subtler indoor hanging garden or wall; either way, an herb garden won’t only provide you with fresh produce and delicious food, but it’ll also brighten up your home.

And don’t even get me started on the wonderful smells that will be emanating from your little plants!

Table of Contents

Mason Jar Garden

The Mason jar craze is still in full force, and I don’t think it’ll be dying down anytime soon. So when it comes to using them for DIY projects, making a wall herb garden just seems like the next logical step!

Without holes for drainage you have to be careful not to overwater your plants; you could also put some stones in the bottom of the jar so that the water sits there and not in the soil.

DIY Instructions and Project Credit – CamilleStyles

Herb Spiral

This spiral ideas is absolutely stunning and will make for a wonderful feature in your garden; depending on how much space you have, you can make it as big or small as you like. With a raised garden bed design, your herbs will be safe from weeds and better protected from cold temperatures.

DIY Instructions and Project Credit – TheMicroGardener

Platic Bottle Vertical Herb Garden

DIY Instructions and Project Credit – Rosenbaum

Faux Ladder Planter

I just love the ladder design of this planter – it just really suits the outdoors. You don’t have to be a professional carpenter to pull off this relatively easy build, and the best part is that the whole thing won’t cost you more than $50.

DIY Instructions and Project Credit – AnaWhite

Gutter planter

DIY Instructions and Project Credit – Diyncrafts

Simple Hanging Garden

This indoor hanging garden is the epitome of elegance; the minimalist design is what makes it so appealing. It won’t take all that long to make this and you actually don’t need that many supplies either. Just make sure to pick a spot in your home that gets enough sunlight.

DIY Instructions and Project Credit – SusieFrazier

Tea Cup Planter

DIY Instructions and Project Credit – Acultivatednest

Bottle-Top Vertical Garden

Not only is this project adorable and functional, but it’s a great way to reuse those old plastic two-liter bottles. The opening at the bottom provides the necessary drainage, and the shape makes your herbs look like mini trees.

DIY Instructions and Project Credit – Home-Dzine

Pallet Planter

Yes, the pallet projects truly seem never ending, which is fantastic when considering that these things are pretty easy to get for free. This project is actually ridiculously easy, and you get to paint and decorate your planter however you want.

I think some chalkboard paint could work well here too – that way you can name each herb.

DIY Instructions and Project Credit – DIYnCrafts

Vertical Garden Wall

A lack of physical space shouldn’t deter you from having your very own herb garden, so going vertical is the perfect option. This stand-alone wire netting wall is pure brilliance and despite its genius function, it is absolutely beautiful! It looks like some modern art creation.

DIY Instructions and Project Credit – AkaDesign

Indoor Garden Wall

This is one of those super easy projects that come out looking absolutely incredible. With just some little tin buckets, picture hangers and your plants, of course, you’ll have this beautiful display up in no time, bringing both visual beauty and a lovely, fresh aroma to your home.

DIY Instructions and Project Credit – TenJune

Crooked Pot Garden

I adore this crooked pot idea – it’s just so charming and cute! A metal rod through the middle keeps your wonky pots in place so that they just look like they’re about to fall over but won’t actually fall over.

If you’re buying everything new, including the herbs, this pretty little project will only set you back about $25.

DIY Instructions and Project Credit – OurCozyCubbyhole

Hanging Bottles

These mercury glass bottles are absolutely beautiful, but don’t fret if you can’t find any – you can simply customize plastic bottles by cutting holes into them. I’d recommend a nice paint job if you’re using regular plastic bottles.

DIY Instructions and Project Credit – 11Eureka

Wine Bottle Holder

I just love coming face to face with the ingenious creativity that some people possess. This DIYer decided to turn her vertical IKEA wine bottle holder horizontally, pop in some herbs in glasses and turn it into a stunningly modern indoor herb garden.

DIY Instructions and Project Credit – Curlby

Shoe organizer planter

DIY Instructions and Project Credit – Instructables and Greenupgrader

Repurposed planter

DIY Instructions and Project Credit – Apartmenttherapy.com

The Herb Grower’s Cheat Sheet

Infographic source – Anglianhome

Vintage Tea Pots

If you’re lucky enough to already have a few of these gorgeous vintage silver tea or coffee pots then you’re already halfway there. Otherwise just head out to thrift stores or flea markets to pick some up for a good price.

This is such an unorthodox way to repurpose such beautiful pieces, so it’ll make a real statement in your kitchen.

DIY Instructions and Project Credit – AnyoneCanDecorate

Growing your own healthy, organic veggies and herbs? Growing them all year round? Decorating your home with the natural beauty of your favorite flowers? There are certainly plenty of incentives to get into indoor gardening; unfortunately, many a prospective indoor gardener is intimidated by the sheer amount of information, planning, and purchasing that seems to accompany this endeavor. Simply put, many of us just don’t know where to begin!

The following points explain what you need to get started with an indoor garden – and hopefully make indoor gardening seem less like an overwhelming undertaking and more like the exciting, totally achievable lifestyle upgrade it is.

Location and Space

A common concern of small apartment and condo-dwellers is that there might not be enough indoor space for a garden to flourish. The truth is that indoor gardens can be any size you want them to be! A windowsill can do the job, or if you have more space, you can set up a bench or table for a larger garden. An ideal spot would be an area that receives plenty of direct natural sunlight from an east or west-facing window as you’ll be able to rely less on artificial lighting that way. You can separate the plants that require more shade, or simply close the shutters on your window to adjust the amount of light your garden receives. If you would love to grow a particular type of flower or herb, look it up – there are plenty of shade-loving plants that would thrive in a darker room (or even a closet), and keep in mind that supplementary artificial grow lights make it possible to cultivate a garden just about anywhere in your home! Tip: Keep your plants away from air vents in order to prevent them from drying out.

Seeds vs. Transplants

The great thing about growing plants indoors is that you are not at the mercy of the seasons, and plants that take longer to grow can do so any time of the year without the impending threat of frost. Given the greater control and peace of mind you have with indoor gardening, growing from seed is definitely doable – and may actually be better than transplanting. Plants moved to a different location often suffer from “shock,” stifling their growth and even causing plant death. Additionally, plants transported from outdoors may bring diseases or pests with them. We would recommend ordering seed packets online, where you can browse a much wider variety than you would be able to access at an average garden center. Seeds are also ideal postage items, with low-cost shipping and little risk of being damaged in transit.

Containers

You can plant seeds in old yogurt cups, ice trays, and many other recycled containers. Though many people still turn to clay pots or stone bowls for aesthetic purposes, plastic containers are actually better at keeping moisture in the soil and regulating temperature, and are much more easily transportable. Planting in old plastic pails and containers is also a way to reuse these items for a few seasons so that they don’t go straight into a landfill! If you are purchasing new containers however, you may want to consider the environmental impact of plastics and opt for sustainable clay or stone containers instead. Wood and metal containers are also visually appealing options to consider – we would suggest avoiding them for growing edibles however, unless you can be sure there is no lead in the metal or harmful chemicals used to make the wood rot-resistant. Tip: A container made for planting will most likely come with a small hole at the bottom – if your container does not have one, you’ll want to drill a hole yourself to ensure proper drainage!

Heat and Lighting

When you first plant your seeds, heat – not light – is what’s essential. Most seeds germinate best in soil temperatures between 75°F and 85°F; if your house temperature is not near or within this range, you can simply purchase heat mats to put under your planters. In fact, before the first shoots break through the soil, you can even keep the plants in a dark room so long as the room is warm enough! Once the seedlings have sprouted however, you’ll have to provide light for them to continue growing. As we stated earlier, most light-loving plants will thrive in east or west-facing windows; however, you can definitely find plants that require less sunshine if your living space happens to be a bit challenged in the natural light department. We would strongly recommend looking into artificial lighting as well – grow bulbs and grow panels can be an excellent supplementary source even for those with daily access to natural sunlight. LEDs, while relatively new to the indoor gardening scene, are our #1 recommendation due to their high energy efficiency and recyclable, toxin-free construction.

Soil and Watering

Preparing the perfect soil for plants to grow in is much easier indoors than outdoors because you’re dealing with less space. Simply purchase a seed-starting or all-purpose potting mix, and enjoy the peace of mind that comes with pest-free, disease-free soil! As for keeping your seeds or seedlings hydrated, you can easily find information online for how often you should water any type of plant. Afraid you might forget to water your plants? We suggest starting out with two or three plant varieties with similar watering needs and adding more as you get used to the first watering schedule. Once you incorporate feeding your plants into your daily life, it will feel as routine as brushing your teeth in the morning – but much more rewarding, we promise!

Gardening has been proven to reduce stress, uplift your mood, improve your sleep, quicken your thinking, and even reduce your risk of heart disease and diabetes – why miss out on these wonderful benefits just because you don’t have outdoor gardening space or live in an area with a short growing season? We are all for expanding the joys of gardening indoors, and we would love to hear about your plant-growing experiences. Share your tips and stories with us in the comments below, and keep on growing those fresh veggies, herbs, and blooms all ye ar round!

You can start creating your own DIY indoor garden with these simple steps!

RELATED: Why Compost? How To Compost at Home

In this article:

  1. Three Reasons This Guide Works for Me
    1. Step 1: Find a Space with Sunlight
    2. Step 2: Choose What to Grow Depending on Your Needs
    3. Step 3: Evaluate Your Plant’s Lighting Needs
    4. Step 4: Consider Temperature Where Plants Thrive Better
    5. Step 5: Get Creative with How You Grow Your Indoor Garden
    6. Step 6: Use or Make a Potting Mix of Well-Draining Soil
    7. Step 7: Choose Between Seeds or Seedlings
    8. Step 8: Mark Your Plants According to Feed Instructions
    9. Step 9: Mulch It Up to Maintain Moisture and Temperature
    10. Step 10: Harvest and Transplant as Necessary

How to Create an Indoor Garden in 1o Simple Steps

Three Reasons This Guide Works for Me

I’m beginning this article with a confession: I’ve never had a “green thumb.” In fact, I couldn’t keep plants or these green growers alive if my life depended on it, until, that is, I learned how to create an indoor garden.

This works for me for a few reasons:

  1. I forget about my plants, so unless they are right under my nose, I won’t remember to water them. (Thank goodness I don’t have this problem with my dog!)
  2. An indoor garden doesn’t require a lot of real estate or resources to start, unlike an outdoor garden where you need to have a huge outdoor space. All you need is an area you’re willing to devote to your garden and the natural light (or an artificial lighting system) to grow your leafy greens.
  3. It’s very rewarding, especially if you are like me and don’t inherently know how to grow anything. Whether just a handful of herbs in the kitchen or a vegetable and fruit garden somewhere else, growing your own produce can save you money in the long run. You’ll also feel more secure about what you’re eating – knowing you’re not consuming dangerous pesticides or purchasing produce that’s labeled “organic” only to learn it’s really not.

If you’re considering your own indoor garden, here are the 10 steps to take to get yours thriving.

Step 1: Find a Space with Sunlight

A woman stands in a doorway looking outside.

If you don’t have a large yard, but you do have a windowsill, then you’re in luck! Any space with direct or indirect sunlight will work well.

Step 2: Choose What to Grow Depending on Your Needs

Once you’ve decided how much space you have for an indoor garden, determine what you’ll grow. Start by thinking about the things you need most often.

For example, do you find yourself running to the market or grocery store for fresh herbs or tomatoes often? Does your cooking or food prep require a certain ingredient, which, as a result, you always need to have on hand?

These are natural selections for your indoor garden. Maggie Villalobos, a 70-year-old woman who has maintained both an indoor and outdoor garden for nearly 45 years, says she focuses on growing herbs and vegetables in her indoor garden she needs most often.

For example, herbs like basil, mint, and cilantro are staples for Villalobos, along with occasional seasonal additions like figs.

Step 3: Evaluate Your Plant’s Lighting Needs

Three potted plants with herbs sit in a garden.

You need to think about how well your indoor plants will play together. Studies repeatedly find that natural sunlight is always best for most plants since it’s generally more powerful than artificial light or “grow lights.” It’s more equally distributed among the different wavelengths that help photosynthesis occur.

With that said, indoor lighting systems can make areas or dim apartments available for growing your herb garden. The New Seed Starters Handbook by Nancy Bubel quotes two university studies that tested fluorescent lights or bulbs for plant growth and found that fluorescent tubes, ideally a mixture of something like cool white and daylight or cool white and warm, provided the best results.

You can easily decipher light needs on plant tags with these rules of thumb:

  • Direct light – Plants need at least six or more hours of sunlight hitting it directly per day.
  • Moderate light – Houseplants need direct sunlight about four hours a day.
  • Indirect light – Growing plants need to be out of direct sunlight; these plants are best for artificial lighting if you have areas you want to garden in that don’t receive a lot of sunlight.
  • Low light – Plants need no direct sunshine and a little ambient light.

Step 4: Consider Temperature Where Plants Thrive Better

Most plants grow best between 65 degrees and 75 degrees Fahrenheit. An occasional increase or decrease of 10 degrees or so is fine to continue strong growth.

If you keep your home warmer than 75 degrees on average, you may want to consider plants that do well in warm environments, like tropical and desert natives like salvia and succulents.

Step 5: Get Creative with How You Grow Your Indoor Garden

A woman smells an herb growing in her garden.

You can get pretty creative with this part. Got an old boot lying around? Or some vintage glass jars grandma gave you that you don’t know how to use?

They’re perfect for your indoor herb garden project! Find the containers you’ll use for each plant and judge based on a typical full growth size.

If you’re placing any of your growing plants in a wooden trough, on a table, windowsill, or other areas that can either be damaged, line the bottom with a shallow drip container to catch any excess water, or you’ll have quite a mess on your hands and possibly eroding flooring as a result!

Step 6: Use or Make a Potting Mix of Well-Draining Soil

Well-draining soil (which actually isn’t really “soil”) allows water to percolate through it a lot more quickly than garden soil and does not pool, which helps to ensure plant roots are not deprived of oxygen – a common effect caused when water sits on top of the soil.

Using a potting mix that’s full of nutrients and minerals helps plants to better absorb them. Something to consider when using potting mixes though is they tend to dry out more rapidly than regular soil, so they may require more frequent watering.

Potting Mix Definition: Also known as potting soil, potting mix is a mixture of soil, compost, and perlite used to grow plants placed in pots or other plant containers.

To account for this at seeding time, you can soak the soil in a bucket of water, so it retains more water and is easier to work with when you begin to seed.

RELATED: Benefits Of A Plant-Based Diet

Step 7: Choose Between Seeds or Seedlings

Tomato seedlings grow in pots on a window sill.

You’ve come a long way; you’re ready to get started in planting your herbs by either seeding your own plants or beginning with seedlings you can get from any gardening store. Before you decide whether to start from scratch or a small seedling, consider these two questions:

  • Does the plant transplant well?
  • Are you looking for mature growth in a short timeframe?

If your answers are yes to both, you can begin with a seedling. If not, stick to seeding your edible plants yourself, and then consider some best practices for seeding from Purdue University’s Department of Horticulture:

  1. Fill your pot (or other containers) with approximately ¾ of your already pre-wet, potting soil.
  2. Level out and gently press your soil’s surface. Make sure not to press too firmly since doing so can lead to poor aeration.
  3. Set rows, of about 1-2 inches apart, for your seeds.
  4. Sow your seeds uniformly and thinly in the different rows, ensuring not to overseed.
  5. Cover seeds, other than those that are very fine like petunia seeds, for example, with moss or smart soil. Spray a light mist of water on top of your soil for a little moisture or put in a pan of warm water to absorb from the bottom of the container (if possible).

Step 8: Mark Your Plants According to Feed Instructions

A small but critical step in the process of starting your indoor garden is marking your plant(s) with what it is when you planted it and how often to water and/or feed. This will help you create a system that is manageable to care for all your plants and to help you gauge each plant’s individual growth and troubleshoot when there are issues with growth.

Step 9: Mulch It Up to Maintain Moisture and Temperature

Besides having aesthetic appeal, mulch helps keep soils at even temperatures and prevents the loss of water that happens through evaporation. Get in the habit of covering all your growing plants in your indoor vegetable garden in mulch to keep them healthy and growing strong.

Step 10: Harvest and Transplant as Necessary

Fresh vegetables sit in a box with a straw hat on top.

Once your plants have produced ripe and delicious produce or have grown large enough to clip, you’re ready to harvest. No doubt, this will come at different times for different plants, but be sure to keep an eye on them to ensure you catch when they need to be transplanted or switched to another, larger container.

Some plants grow very shallow roots, and some grow deep roots. When you’re ready to transplant something, moisten it with transplant fertilizer one to two days prior to moving it.

Then, repeat steps 5 and 6 above – using a container one size larger than the one you’ve had the plant in and carving out a hole in the potting soil for your plant to fit in nicely.

I can bet that once you start seeing your vegetables, fruits, and herbs produce, you’ll be hooked on your blooming indoor garden. Personally, I’ve found gardening, whether indoors or out, to be one of the most therapeutic tasks; touching and caring for Mother Earth are rewarding in many ways that even a person with only a little “green thumb” will enjoy.

When are you going to start an indoor garden project? Let us know in the comments section!

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Editor’s Note: This post was originally published on July 4, 2015, and has been updated for quality and relevancy.

When the winter blahs set in and you’re dreaming of fresh greens from your summer garden, consider growing indoors. Not only do plants cleanse your household air (read about Greens That Clean) and improve the aesthetics of any indoor space, they can provide your family with a wealth of yummy, organic foods.

City dwellers, or those without a good gardening spot in the yard, may find growing indoors especially useful. Plants don’t need to take up much space — a windowsill is fine if that’s all you have. For others, the indoor garden may become starter plants for an outdoor garden come spring.

Getting Started

BEST SELLING DE GROW LIGHT

Now you can enjoy growing indoors all year long! At Planet Natural, we’ve carefully selected only the best indoor gardening supplies — from lighting to hydroponics — to make your indoor growing experiences blossom. Got bugs? Check out our Pest Problem Solver for pictures, descriptions and a complete list of earth-friendly remedies.

Space

An indoor garden can take up as much or as little space as you are willing to give it. Growing plants of all kinds, even tomato gardening can be done on a windowsill or on a table.

Larger growers, or the more dedicated may want to set up a table or bench specifically for the garden. Find an area with a tile or linoleum floor to catch the inevitable drops of water, or place a tarp under your table.

Shelves provide lots of planting room while taking up little space. If using shelves, make sure that adequate light reaches every plant. This may require a separate grow light for each shelf.

Light

Plants need light to photosynthesize and need to photosynthesize to survive. Without adequate light a plant will grow tall and spindly. If there is enough energy to grow leaves, they still may not totally expand. And without enough light, don’t plan on seeing flowers or fruit.

Even plants grown near a window will probably not get enough light during the winter months to thrive. There are a few things to think about when purchasing a grow light.

  1. Plants have photoreceptors that absorb specific wavelengths of light. Your light needs to have the same wavelengths as the sun, which is why a regular light bulb doesn’t work.
  2. The light should be as close to the plant as possible without burning the leaves.
  3. Most vegetables and other plants do best with 14-16 hours of sunlight or simulated light. There are a few ways you can tell if your plant is getting enough light or not. If it isn’t getting enough light, it usually will have small leaves, thin stems, and the color of the plant will be lighter than usual.
  4. A hormone called “florigen” controls budding and flowering. Long day plants require about 14 to 18 hours of light to produce just the right amount of florigen to flower and reproduce. Short day plants require about 10-13 hours of light. If short day plants are exposed to too much light, florigen can be destroyed, preventing blooming.

Selecting a Grow Light

There are a lot of different grow lights for sale out there and it can be confusing to figure out which type is best for your indoor garden. The following run-down should bring some clarity.

Incandescent Lamps are inexpensive and can be bought at a hardware store or nursery. While they work OK for growing houseplants, they are not ideal for an indoor garden.

Fluorescent Lights work best for growing herbs and other plants that don’t require a lot of light. They are not good for plants that are budding or flowering because they don’t put off enough light. Inexpensive, they can be purchased at the local hardware or garden supply store.

The new Compact Fluorescent Systems, however, are quite bright and efficient and in some cases might even be better than the fancier high intensity discharge (HID) lights. Compact fluorescents are smaller and more efficient than older forms of fluorescent lighting so they can be used for all plants. They also produce less heat than incandescent and HID lights and consequently can be placed much closer to the plant.

High Intensity Discharge (HID) Bulbs are the brightest and most efficient lights available, but they can be expensive. One 1,000 watt grow light bulb can produce the same amount of light as 50 40-watt fluorescent lights.

SUPER SAVINGS!

Simply the best! Hortilux HPS Bulbs fine-tune your lighting system to provide optimum spectral energy levels (2100K) that promote vigorous plant growth and abundant yields. Provides 17% more total spectral energy and 25% more energy in the violet, blue and green spectrum than standard sodiums.

There are several types of HID bulbs:

  • High Pressure Sodium
  • Metal Halide
  • Low Pressure Sodium
  • Mercury Vapor

The High Pressure Sodium and Metal Halide bulbs are the only ones indoor gardeners will need.

High Pressure Sodium (HPS) Bulbs produce a red-orange light that benefits flowering. With an average lifespan 2X that of metal halides, high pressure sodium lamps are economical. This isn’t a great light if you are only going to use one, as it doesn’t produce light in the blue spectrum needed for leafy growth.

Metal Halide (MH) Bulbs produce a blue-white color that is conducive to encouraging leafy growth and keeps plants compact. A bulb will last about 10,000 hours and produce up to 125 lumens per watt compared to 39 lumens per watt for standard fluorescent lights and 18 lumens per watt for standard incandescent bulbs. This is a good light to start plants out with. When it comes time to flower, switch to a High Pressure Sodium bulb.

There is more to a grow light than just the bulb. You can purchase the reflector, cord, ballast, bulb and other parts separately, or buy a whole system that just needs to be plugged in.

What size grow light do you need? This will vary depending on the mounting height of the reflector (how far above your plants the light is) and the size of your indoor garden. In general, the following recommendations apply:

Size of Light
(Wattage)
Area Coverage
Recommendations
Mounting Height
Above Plants
400 Watt no outside light
some sunlight
5′ x 5′ area
8′ x 8′ area
1 to 4 Feet
600 Watt no outside light
some sunlight
7′ x 7′ area
10′ x 10′ area
1.5 to 5 Feet
1000 Watt no outside light
some sunlight
8′ x 8′ area
12′ x 12′ area
2 to 6 Feet

Temperature

Temperatures of 65-75°F are best for most plants. A variance of 10°F either way will probably be OK. Plants that are too hot will be small and weak. Plants grown at too-cold temperatures may have yellow leaves that fall off.

TEMP CONTROLLER

Control cooling or heating within your growing environment with the Autopilot Cooling Thermostat (APCET). Choose different day and night temperatures automatically maintained by the built-in photocell. Current conditions and set-points are shown via the easy-to-read LED display.

Humidity

A lack of humidity in the house can be a challenge for indoor gardeners. Winter tends to be drier than summer, and if you run the heat in your house the problem is further compounded.

You know you have a low-humidity problem if:

  1. The tips of your leaves are turning brown
  2. Plants look withered or puckered
  3. Plants lose their leaves
  4. You’ve researched how much humidity your particular plant needs and it isn’t getting it.

To increase humidity:

  • Mist plants daily, or more often as needed. (Do not do this with hairy-leaved plants since the water hangs around longer and could cause disease.)
  • Place a tray of water near your garden (don’t put plants in the tray, this can lead to other problems). Fill the tray with lava rocks to increase surface area for evaporation.
  • Place plants close together to create a microenvironment with a higher relative humidity.
  • Run a humidifier (this might benefit your skin as well!).
  • Purchase an environmental controller, which can humidify or dehumidify depending on your needs.

Growing Medium

Indoor gardens benefit from a good planting medium — soil found outside is not appropriate, since it’s often too heavy and may contain weed seeds and insect pests. Instead look for a mix that is specific to indoor plants. A good growing media should remain loose and drain well, yet contain enough organic matter to hold nutrients and moisture.

Most commercial organic mixes will work well, or you can create your own (see Potting Mixes for Certified Organic Production).

#1 POTTING SOIL

100% Natural & Organic. FoxFarm® Ocean Forest Soil is ready to use right out of the bag and provides the ideal environment for young seedlings to become thriving plants. Lightweight and well-aerated, it’s the perfect all-natural mix for container grown plants!

Hydroponics

Instead of growing indoor plants in a soil mixture, you may want to try out hydroponics. Basically, this means gardening without soil. Soil holds nutrients and anchors plants roots. When growing hydroponically you provide the nutrients directly. Instead of being bound up in soil, the nutrients are readily available to the plants.

Some of the advantages of growing hydroponically include:

  • Faster plant growth (up to 50% faster) since plants can easily access water and food.
  • Roots grow throughout the media without becoming root bound, so containers can be smaller.
  • Plants start in a disease-free medium and are less likely to become infected.
  • If plants do become sick, the disease is usually in one plant, not all of them.
  • Plants droop before they wilt, so you’ll know to water them before they are damaged.

Check out the Hydroponics Glossary at www.hydrofarm.com. Hydrofarm is the nation’s oldest and largest manufacturer of hydroponics equipment and grow lights. We offer many of their products here at Planet Natural.

Choosing Plants

Almost anything can be grown indoors — as long as it eventually doesn’t get too big. However, do consider growing plants with similar light, humidity and watering needs together. Some obvious choices for an indoor garden include:

VEGETABLES
Peppers
Salad Greens
Kale
Chard
Carrots
Onions
Tomatoes, especially cherry types
Beans, Bush
HERBS
Basil
Parsley
Oregano
Lavender
Cilantro
Rosemary
Chives
Catmint
FLOWERS
Geranium
Pansy
Zinnia
Roses
Candytuft
Alyssum
Marigold
Petunia
Begonia
Shasta Daisy
FRUITS
Strawberries
Blueberries
Apples, dwarf varieties
Citrus

Don’t stop there, as mentioned above, almost anything — fruits, flowers, herbs and vegetables — can be grown in a container.

Plants can be grown from seed (started inside and staying inside) or they can be transplanted from your outdoor garden at the end of the season. Plants will need to be acclimated before bringing them in the house and again when you put them outside in the spring or fall.

Just say NO to plastic planters! Patented Smart Pots are fabric containers that prevent roots from circling and release heat so they’re much cooler — plants develop a better root structure. Better roots = better plants!

Moving Plants Outside

Plants and seedling grown inside need a period of “hardening off” before they can permanently live outdoors. The hardening off process gives them time to develop a thicker cuticle and avoid water loss while being better able to withstand the harshness of weather. The following steps will help acclimate indoor plants to life in the great outdoors.

  1. 7-10 days before you want to transplant your plants, place them outside in a shady spot or cold frame for 3-4 hours.
  2. Each day, increase the time spent outdoors by 1-2 hours. Bring plants back in each night.
  3. After 2-3 days, place plants in morning sun, then move them into the shade in the afternoon.
  4. If the temperature stays around 50°F, plants should be able to stay out all day and night after 7 days.
  5. In about 7-10 days transplant your seedlings or plants. If possible, transplant on a cloudy day and water thoroughly.

To acclimate plants by withholding water or by using a cold frame, read How to Harden Off Plants.

Moving Plants Inside

At the end of the growing season you may want to move plants inside to your indoor garden. After potting these plants (if they are not already in containers) they will need a period of acclimation, just as plants going the other direction do.

Maintenance

Now that your garden is planted and growing, it’s time for the watering, staking, pruning and overall general care to begin. Ahhh! The fun stuff. Need help? Our expert guides will ensure that your favorite crop is a huge success.

Watering

Plants grown in containers dry out more quickly than their soil-grown counterparts and require frequent watering (see Watering Potted Plants). Always use room-temperature water and add enough water that it runs through the drain holes of your pot or container (do not let water collect in a saucer or under the plant — this can lead to rot or disease).

Use your finger to feel the soil or use a moisture meter to be sure you are not over or under watering plants.

Signs of Overwatering Signs of Under Watering
Wilting from stem towards leaves Wilts along the outer tips of the leaves first
Lower leaves dropping Dry soil
Discoloration Brown edges along the leaves
Plant might stop growing Wilting foliage
Wilting foliage Leaves or flowers drop prematurely

Do you have a hard time remembering to water the plants? Read How To Make a Self Watering Garden or How to Make a Self-Watering Seed Starter in Ten Minutes to learn how to start a garden that waters itself.

It’s organic! Liquid Budswel is derived from a special blend of bat and seabird guanos, earthworm castings and seaweed extract. Use as needed for superior crops and huge yields. Will NOT burn plants.

Fertilizer/ Nutrients

Plants grown indoors will need an extra boost of nutrients or fertilizer since most of the nutrients in the soil or growing medium are quickly taken up by the plants or leached out during watering.

Organic fertilizers and hydroponic nutrients for indoor plants abound. Follow the instructions on the package for how much to use and how often to fertilize.

If you compost at home, you can make a compost tea to water your indoor plants. Here’s how:

  1. Fill a bucket about 1/3 full with finished compost.
  2. Add water until the bucket is full.
  3. Let the bucket sit for a few hours, if not three or four days (don’t let it freeze!).
  4. Using cheesecloth or a fine screen, strain the mixture into another container. (Anything leftover can be thrown into the garden or back into the compost bin.)
  5. Add water to the liquid until it is the color of weak tea.
  6. Apply the compost tea to the soil around your plants.

Troubleshooting

Growing Indoor Plants with Success (PDF) – To be a successful indoor gardener, you need to understand how the interior environment affects plant growth and how cultivation differs from growing plants outdoors (University of Georgia Cooperative Extension).

An Indoor Garden How To: DIY Indoor Garden Room Ideas

For some gardeners, the growing season can be frustratingly short. Without an indoor garden of some kind, they are stuck in a dark home with only a few houseplants to please them. It doesn’t need to be this way. With a little knowledge on how to start an indoor garden, you can make your own diy indoor garden room that can wipe away cold season blues.

An Indoor Garden How To

Use the following tips to help get you started with how to start an indoor garden room:

Plan how to start an indoor garden – Garden room ideas are varied, so it’s best to sit down and think about what you want from your garden room. Do you want a tropical paradise where you can escape the winter outside? Are you looking for an English-style garden to take tea? Imagine what you ideally want from your garden room with your garden room ideas.

Choose a location – Dedicating an entire area to a diy indoor garden room is no easy task. Consider the room’s natural temperature, available light and availability. Remember, you can add light and you can add heat. If you have a room that is normally on the cool side in the winter but gets good southern exposure light, you can fix this. If you have a toasty room with no sun, you can fix this too.

Outfit the room – A basic indoor garden how to says that there are four things you need to cover when preparing your diy indoor garden room. These are:

  • Flooring – Avoid wood or carpet, as these will be damaged by watering the plants. Better garden room ideas for flooring would be ceramic, slate or linoleum.
  • Light – Even if your room gets lots of light, chances are it will be too weak during the winter to sustain the plants. Add lots of either fluorescent or broad spectrum lights at varying heights.
  • Air flow – Plants need good ventilation and air flow to be happy. If the room you have chosen has poor air flow, add a ceiling or floor fan to help keep the air moving.
  • Humidity – For most plants, you will want to add humidity. A humidifier on a timer can add some additional humidity to the room.

Choose the plants – Garden room ideas for plants will need to take into consideration the look you are going for as well as conditions in your diy indoor garden room. Low light plants such as philodendron and some palms can still add a tropical feel to your room. Even higher light-need plants such as citrus trees and gardenias can be used as long as you take care to provide them with sufficient light through individual and close fluorescent or broad spectrum lights. You may also need to add a small heater to the room to accommodate your chosen plants’ temperature needs. Just remember, this room will have water in it. Keep safety in mind when setting up lights, humidity and heat sources.

Water as needed – Indoor plants will not go through water as rapidly as an outdoor plant. It is still a good idea to check the plants once a week and water only those that need to be watered at that time.

Once you get your diy indoor garden room set up, the question will no longer be, “How to start an indoor garden?” but “Why didn’t I come up with garden room ideas sooner?”

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