When you think about the word “garden”, you start to envision a small tilled patch of soil with beautiful flowers, aromatic herbs, and fresh vegetables.
Or you might start thinking about rows of lettuce, corn, tomatoes, etc., proudly sprouting out of the ground. Thought of that huge greenhouse with plastic pipes and covers might also cross your mind!
You can grow plants without soil. Researchers have discovered that soil is merely a medium that contains the essential nutrient solution for adults to consume and grow. Therefore, it is not mandatory for the growth of plant roots.
The key here is to provide your plant with various nutrients and minerals. These include phosphorus, potassium, and nitrogen. If you add these ingredients to your plant’s water supply, the soil will no longer be necessary for growth.
No matter what types of vegetables you want to grow, we’ll guide you on how to grow vegetables indoors without soil.
Can You Grow Food Without Soil?
Growing vegetables indoors won’t require soil, and you can also keep growing throughout the year. It also allows you to overcome any space constraints with the help of hydroponic gardening.
Hydroponics is a kind of gardening technique involving water usage instead of soil. The roots of a plant remain submerged in water containing nutrient solution. The water level is kept right where the soil level would have been if you planted the plant in the soil.
Growing vegetables with hydroponics is healthier because there are no chances of developing soil-borne pests, bacteria, or weeds. You can use hydroponics to grow your favorite veggies year-round. If you are thinking about growing vegetables in your home garden in an unusual place, this is the technique you need to adopt.
Whether you have space constraints or unacceptable conditions to grow anything, with the help of a hydroponic system, you can quickly grow vegetables anytime.
What Vegetables Can Grow in Just Water?
There are some vegetables you can grow in just water. You will need nothing more than a container with a small neck to provide proper support to your plant. You can also go with metal containers, but they should be your least favorite option.
But make sure you place these plants if their cuttings are in direct sunlight and keep changing their water every 1 to 2 days. Here are some vegetables you can grow just in a glass of water.
- Green onion
- Bok Choy
- Bell peppers
- Sweet potatoes
You can grow numerous other vegetables in water, but you will need assistance from nutrient solutions for the best results. The above-listed vegetables can be grown solely in water.
10 Reasons You Should Have an Indoor Vegetable Garden
Whether you like growing plants as a hobby or want access to your favorite veggies year-round, there are various reasons you should have an indoor vegetable garden. Here are ten reasons for an indoor vegetable garden.
- With the help of your indoor home garden, you can conveniently grow fresh vegetables straight from your window ledge.
- With your indoor vegetable garden, you can grow throughout the year. Sometimes it is too cold outside, and indoor growing will be beneficial if you live in a cold climate. Most plants don’t like snow or colder environments, so you need to grow them indoors.
- You will always have access to fresh produce year-round.
- You can grow exactly what you want and create a garden that suits your needs. Plus, you don’t have to grow anything that is not required, and you grow loads of anything you love. It also means you can grow for your livestock as well.
- With your indoor garden’s help, you can naturally purify the air inside your house. This is especially true when it is too cold to keep the fresh air circulating.
- Your indoor garden can also add to your room’s overall looks and aesthetics. Plus, it’s a fantastic introduction to the world of gardening. You can teach your kids and learn a lot about this field.
- You can even grow in low light conditions and don’t need to have all the plants’ elements to grow.
- Your garden can be limited to a couple or even a single plant. You don’t need to go for an over-the-top fancy growing space.
- Homegrown vegetables taste better as well. Moreover, no harmful chemicals or pesticides are involved in your food. It significantly reduces any chances of food contamination as well.
- With your indoor garden, you will waste less food and save more money at the grocery store. Plus, you’re adding a layer of safety to your food for your health.
What is a Hydroponic Garden System?
An indoor hydroponic system is based on water and doesn’t require any soil configuration for the plants to grow. With research and development in gardening, it has been discovered that soil is not mandatory for plants.
The nutrients and minerals present in the soil are essential for the plants’ growth. Therefore, the soil is just playing the role of a medium to distribute the nutrient solution.
Instead of soil, water can be used as a medium if it contains the same amount of minerals and nutrients the plants require. Most plants can even grow in the water independently with just a little assistance from the sunlight.
This growing method brought a revolution that ensured fresh produce was available regardless of the season.
A hydroponic garden system is usually not that big, and you can also fit it in tight corners. There are also grow cabinets you can use, which are a bit bigger. These days, you can grow from your kitchen window or counter, which also looks nice.
Benefits of a Hydroponic Garden
1. Smaller Footprint
There are different options available when it comes to growing indoors. And the best thing about growing indoors is you can easily choose the right footprint size according to the space available in your home. It can be as small as your drinking glass or as large as your entire closet. And then, of course, you can also use grow tents kits, or cabinets, which are even bigger.
2. Automation and connectivity
With the development of technology, these indoor growing solutions are also evolving. The current models are equipped with more connectivity options and automation. Some models come with Wi-Fi connectivity, and you can use a mobile application to automatically alter the conditions from remote locations based on the plant growth stage.
3. Full control over conditions
A hydroponic setup for an indoor vegetable garden puts you in control of the situation. No matter the time of year, you can alter temperature, moisture, and light to increase or slow the growth process.
You can either go for natural sunlight that comes from your windows or go for artificial light systems. There are plenty of options available for your indoor vegetable garden.
What Do You Need to Set Up Your First indoor vegetable garden?
If you are ready to jump into gardening, you must remember that it will be a lot more daunting in the beginning. You might be thinking right now that you should have given it a second thought and not decided to go indoor gardening.
But it is not as tricky as outdoor or traditional gardening. You will only have to take time from your busy schedule for the plants to change the water with nutrient solution. Moreover, you might have to change the light conditions at different stages of a plant’s life cycle.
You can start by growing some plants that only need water to grow. We have listed a few above for your assistance. You will need a container filled with water. Just change the water every day or two to keep them growing. Of course, you will also have to place your plants in a suitable sunlit area.
When you think you have enough experience in growing these tiny plants, you can increase the number and bring some equipment for assistance. The most important piece of equipment that you will need for indoor growing is a hydroponic system, a grow tent, a smart indoor garden, or just some cups of water. Based on your indoor growing needs, you can go for either one.
There are some important aspects associated with indoor vegetable gardening. It relies heavily on some key factors, and these are briefly explained as follows:
1. Grow lights
Some plants need more light as compared to others. In natural conditions, the sun provides light. But when you are not cultivating outside, you have two options.
You can either grow your plants near your window or use artificial lighting.
Growing near the windows will get your plants the much-needed sunlight. But with the help of grow lights, you can go for artificial lighting and provide your plants with close-to-natural lighting.
There are two different types of grow lights as well. You can go for cool spectrum lights or hot spectrum lights.
- Lights with a warm spectrum have low numbers on the scale, usually around 3000K. This light is suitable for tomatoes, cucumbers, and other fruiting plants.
- On the other hand, cool spectrum lights have high numbers on the scale, around 6500K. Cool spectrum lights are better suited for leafy vegetables and seedlings.
There are different types of growing bulbs as well. There are fluorescent bulbs, LEDs, and incandescent. Most people go for LEDs because they are cost-effective and consume less energy. You might find them a bit experienced upfront, but they tend to last very long.
A grow cabinet can be a good option because these grow cabinets and grow tents have grown lights in them. Read here our best grow tent list for 2023.
Temperature variations can influence plants just like humans. And any sudden changes can harm the growth of your plant. The best temperature range for plants to grow is around 70F to 75F.
You can also use your central air conditioning to make the temperature suitable for indoor plants.
An inbuilt hygrometer that will tell you about the current moisture conditions. It will be a good help for you to maintain the right conditions that are ideal for the plant you are growing.
Most of the grow cabinets and tents can maintain moisture levels themselves. If you don’t know anything about this metric and learn anything about it, you should go for an automated grow box that can self-regulate.
4. Growing medium
Growing medium refers to soil because you cultivate your plants in that. In terms of indoor growing, there can be different growing mediums. Most people go for the soil because it is more forgiving and stays right on top of your plants all the time, and keep an eye on them to see the results.
In the case of hydroponics or growing in water, you need to be much more careful to see the positive results. Apart from water, there are other soilless mediums, including gravel, coco coir, clay, perlite vermiculite, and peat moss soil.
Questions and Answers for a Successful Vegetable Garden
You must consider various factors if you want your indoor garden to succeed. It might seem like a pretty simple task, but you need to follow these tips carefully if you want to grow successfully.
1. What if you don’t know how to grow vegetables indoors without soil?
You don’t need to expect so much of yourself in the beginning. If you don’t have any indoor gardening experience and starting fresh, try to do everything as an experiment. And don’t expect a supermarket quality produce right from day one. You won’t be able to control different vegetable cultivation in one go.
Plus, you can grow a few crops within a few weeks, especially radish and salad leaves. But most of them will take months. The good thing is you don’t have to worry about any pests. You can always ask for assistance from anyone with some experience with gardening or search online for tips and more help.
2. What if you don’t have any vegetable plant seeds?
If you don’t have any seeds and don’t want to buy and waste your first lot in experimenting, don’t worry. You already have plenty of seeds to grow right in your kitchen. Use the vegetable plant seeds from the vegetables you already have in your refrigerator.
A pulp of tomato or seeds from the pepper, coriander, fennel, dill, or even fenugreek. Dried peas can help you grow pea shoots. There are various other vegetables you can use to grow your garden. Make sure to grow the plants you can identify quickly and work on your knowledge.
3. What if you don’t have soil?
You can always go for various soilless mediums for growing your indoor vegetation. And the best one of them all is the water-based hydroponic system.
You will only have to use nutrients and minerals for your parents and make water solvents with them. With a hydroponic setup, you can conveniently grow your plants without using soil. This way, you won’t have to deal with any pests or bacteria.
4. What if you don’t have any space or an Outdoor garden?
You don’t need to have a lawn or any extra space for it. For this purpose, you can use small pots (rock wool cubes), glasses, jars, and even buckets. Rock wool cubes are best because they contain your plant quite well.
As they are small, you can place them anywhere in your window, on your kitchen counter, or anywhere else you prefer. But a better way of proceeding with this matter is to go with a grow box or cabinet. That will allow you to grow indoors even if you don’t have much light available conveniently.
5. Make sure to start small
If you don’t have any growing experience, make sure you start small. With a small space to cover, things will be much more manageable. Also, confirm you don’t expect too much from your garden right in the beginning. Take small steps and ensure you advance and learn continuously.
6. Grow what you like the most
When working on your favorite type of vegetable, you will work on it with more interest. You can grow something that you or your family love to consume. If the consumption is high, you must prioritize the growth of that particular vegetable.
7. Go for successive crops
Growing vegetables in both warm and cold weather seasons will allow you to harvest veggies right through the year. You can start with lettuce, greens, carrots, radishes, and broccoli. When you’re done with your cold-weather crops, it’s time to go with warm-weather crops like peppers, tomatoes, herbs, and eggplants. You can start cultivating kale, cabbage, and potatoes in the fall.
8. Cultivate vining crops for better yield
When choosing vining crops such as peas and green beans, you use your available vertical space. Therefore, you are increasing your yield per square foot.
There you have it. Now you know how to grow vegetables indoors without soil. You don’t need soil to grow vegetables or grip your indoor vegetable garden. Plenty of other options are available for you, not just in terms of methods but tools. And the easiest one is hydroponic gardening, which involves growing in water.
Plants will consume the nutrients and minerals that are in the water-based solvent. You can easily alter the conditions based on the needs and requirements of the plants. Furthermore, you can boost or slow down the growth process as well.
You can grow vegetables indoors without soil with the help of the right nutrient solution, accurate water level, and grow cabinets or boxes. They put you in control, and you can easily change the literature, moisture, and light conditions. Some of these hydroponic chambers also come with a separate compartment for cloning and vegetation, with a separate air chamber for each.
They allow you to utilize the minimum available space effectively and don’t need much input from you because of their automated features. Now, you know how to grow vegetables indoors without soil.