Indoor Gardening for Beginners: How to Start Planting Your Own Vegetable Garden

There was a time when everyone grew their own food. It was a way to ensure that you had a sustainable source of nutrition, and it was also a way to connect with nature.

But over the years, we have lost touch with our roots. We have become reliant on grocery stores and supermarkets to provide us with our food. This is not good for our health, nor is it good for the environment. We need to start growing our own food again!

Here’s what you’ll find here.

Planteli is full of indoor gardening tips for an indoor gardening beginner. Even if you have no experience with gardening, we will help you get started with your own indoor garden.

In this beginner’s guide, we’ll share with you everything you need to know to start your indoor garden. Trust us, it’s easier than you think!

Our blog is for you if:

  • You want to start a vegetable garden indoors
  • You want to save money on groceries
  • You think it’s a shame to let good food go to waste
  • You are interested in sustainable living
  • You want to eat healthier

Who are we?

We are two indoor gardeners passionate about sustainable living and healthy eating. We started Planteli as a way to share our knowledge with others who want to start growing an indoor garden and grow their own food.

We started with indoor gardening a few years ago and haven’t looked back since. It has been such a rewarding experience, and we are excited to share it with you!

Why indoor gardening?

There are many reasons why indoor gardening is a great idea.

For one, you don’t need too much space. Even if you live in a small apartment, you can still grow a lot of food in an indoor garden.

We hear of many people that think they can only grow herbs in their sunny window, but the reality is that you can grow almost anything (well. almost, after all, you will not grow a pecan tree indoors ;-)).

Another great reason to start indoor gardening is that you can control the environment. This is especially important if you live in an area with a harsh climate (which is the new reality to many due to climate change).

Growing your food indoors can protect your delicate plants from extreme weather conditions. Actually, indoor gardening also allows you to extend the growing season so that you can enjoy fresh fruits and vegetables all year round!

Choose the type of your indoor garden

There are a few Common Types of Indoor Gardening:

is hydroponics better

Hydroponic Garden

Hydroponic growing is perfect if you want to get started with indoor gardening but don’t have a lot of space or if you don’t want to deal with dirt.

All you need is a hydroponic system, some water, and a nutrient-rich solution.

However, hydroponics is sometimes not recommended if you are a beginner, as it requires more technical knowledge.

What’s Better for Indoor Growing Plants: Hydroponics vs Soil

Aeroponic Garden

This is a type of hydroponic garden where the plant’s roots are suspended in air and misted with a nutrient-rich solution.

This method is very efficient as it uses less water and nutrients than other methods. However, it can be tricky to set up and maintain.

Easiest vegetables to grow indoors

Soil-Based Garden

This is the most common type of indoor garden and probably the easiest one to set up. All you need is a container (with a drainage hole), some potting mix, and just a few plants!

This method is perfect for beginners as it is relatively easy and requires no special equipment.

The Best Vegetable Container Gardening Guide For Beginners

Grow Tents

Grow tents are a great option if you want to create a controlled indoor environment for your indoor houseplants. They’re also very easy to set up and take down, which makes them perfect for small spaces.

This method is preferred by many marijuana growers but can be used to grow any type of indoor plant.

What are the 3 crucial things to consider in growing indoor plants?

In this beginner’s guide, we will share with you the three most important things to consider when growing indoor plants:

1. Pick the right location

When growing indoors, the location of your plants is vital for two reasons: sunlight and temperature. Choosing the right location for your indoor garden will depend on the type of indoor garden you want to create.

  • If you’re growing hydroponically, you’ll need a place where you can set up your water reservoir and grow lights.
  • If you’re growing in containers, find a place in your home that gets enough light (preferably natural). A windowsill is usually a good choice for small indoor gardens.
  • If you’re using grow tents, you can set them up anywhere in your home with enough space. Ensure that the area is well-ventilated and that you have a power outlet nearby.

2. Get the right supplies

Before you get started, you’ll need to get the right supplies for your indoor garden.

If you’re growing hydroponically / aeroponically, you’ll need: 

Hydroponic System

A system that will deliver water and nutrients to your plants. There are different types of systems available, so do some research to find the one that’s right for you. You can make your own DIY system, but buying one is usually easier (and less messy).

Aeroponic System

A system that will mist your plants with a nutrient-rich solution. Again, there are different types of systems available.

If you’re growing in containers, you’ll need:

Pots or containers

Pick the right size pot or container for your plant. If you’re growing vegetables, make sure the pot is big enough for the plant to grow to its full size.

Potting mix

A potting mix is a type of potting soil specifically designed for indoor plants. It’s usually lighter and has more drainage than regular garden soil. A typical potting mix comprises peat moss, perlite, and vermiculite. 

Best Potting Mix For Vegetables Container Gardening With Soil for (Updated for 2022)

Fertilizer

Fertilizer is not always necessary, but it can help many plants to grow more quickly. If you’re using fertilizer, make sure to get one that is specifically designed for edible plants.

Pest control

You’ll also need some pest control supplies, just in case your indoor garden becomes infested with pests. Some common indoor garden pests include fungus gnats, mealybugs, and spider mites.

If You’re Using Grow Tents, You’ll Need (Or Get A Grow Tent Kit That Includes It All):

A grow tent

Grow tents come in all sizes for different needs. They can fit hydroponics and potted plants. Choose one that is big enough for the number of plants you want to grow.

Get The Best Grow Tent Your Money Can Buy
The 5 Best Grow Cabinet for Hydroponics or Soil Indoor Gardner
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Grow light

Grow lights are necessary if you don’t have a lot of natural sunlight in your home. They are providing artificial lighting that simulates sunlight.

Grow Lights for Herbs: Buying Guide and 7 Product Reviews
How To Make Grow Lights For Indoor Plants

Fan

A fan is necessary to circulate the air inside your grow tent. This will help to prevent mold and mildew from growing.

Control The Temperature of Your Garden With This Grow Tent Ventilation Guide

Thermometer and Hygrometer

A thermometer and hygrometer are devices that you can use to measure the temperature and humidity inside your grow tent.

pH test kit

You’ll need a PH tester to test the acidity or alkalinity of your grow medium or water.

How to Use A Tester, Strips, Vinegar, or Cabbage to Test Your Soil pH

3. Pick the right plants

indirect light for growing herbs

One of the best things about having an indoor vegetable garden is that you can grow just about any plant, regardless of the climate. Some plants are better suited for indoors than others. When choosing plants, it’s essential to consider the amount of light and space you have.

One of the questions we often get is what are the easiest vegetables to grow indoors and what is a good beginner plant. The thing is, there is no one answer to that question. It depends on a few factors, such as the amount of light and space you have, the type of indoor garden you’re growing, and your personal preferences.

Here are a few general gardening tips:

  • Start with plants that are easy to grow indoors, such as herbs, lettuce, or tomatoes.
  • If you’re short on space, try growing plants that can be grown vertically, such as climbing vining plants or pole beans.
  • If you want to grow fruits or vegetables that need pollination (such as cucumbers or squash), you’ll need to hand-pollinate them.

Some popular posts on plants that you can grow indoors:

Gardening Basics

When we just got started, there were a lot of terms and techniques that we had to learn in order to be successful indoor gardeners. Here are a few of the basics for indoor gardening for beginners:

Gardening Terms

Transplanting

Moving a plant from one container to another. Transplanting is typically done when a plant has outgrown its current pot.

Harvesting

The process of collecting fruits, vegetables, or herbs from your garden.

Plant root system

The part of the plant responsible for anchoring the plant in the ground and absorbing water and nutrients.

Stem

The part of the plant that supports the leaves and flowers. Stems can be either hollow or solid.

Leaf

The part of the plant responsible for photosynthesis or converting sunlight into energy.

Flower

The part of the plant that produces seeds. Not all vegetables have flowers, but most fruits do.

Plant Stages

organic potting soil

A plant has different stages of its life cycle:

Seeds 

This is the first stage of a plant’s life cycle. Seeds are encased in a hard shell containing all the nutrients a plant needs to grow.

Germination 

The process of a seed sprouting and starting to grow. Young plants that have just germinated are called Seedlings. Seedlings are delicate and must be carefully cared for to grow into healthy plants. Depending on the plant, germination can take anywhere from a few days to a few weeks.

The vegetative stage is the stage of a plant’s life cycle when it grows leaves and stems. This is the stage where most plants need the most light.

Flowering stage – the stage of a plant’s life cycle when it is producing flowers. Flowering plants typically need less light than during the vegetative stage.

The fruiting/harvesting stage is the final stage of a plant’s life cycle when producing fruits or vegetables. This is the stage when most plants are ready to be harvested. Care

Taking Care of Your Plants

potted plants

Just like an outdoor garden, houseplants thrive indoors when each plant receives different care that matches that plant’s needs. Here are a few important things to remember and essential plant care tips:

Regular Watering

All plants need water, but how much is enough water depends on the plant. Excess water is one of the most common mistakes made when caring for plants. Overwatering is just as bad as underwatering, so check the soil before you add water to your plants. We recommend having a watering schedule and sticking to it as much as possible.

Light

As we mentioned before, all plants need light to grow. However, too much direct sunlight or too little light can harm plants. If you’re unsure how much light your plant needs, starting with a lower natural light level and gradually increasing the amount of light exposure is best. If you do not have enough light in your space, you can use grow lights to supplement the light.

Nutrients

Nutrients are critical for plant growth. The best way to provide nutrients for indoor plants is through fertilizer (or plant food). It’s essential to use the right fertilizer for your plants. Different plants need more fertilizer than others, and others plants require no fertilizer.

When you’re unsure how often to fertilize your plants, it’s best to start with a low-nitrogen fertilizer and increase the amount of fertilizer as needed. You should also ensure to only fertilize when your plants are actively growing.

Temperature and humidity

Temperature and humidity can also affect indoor growing. Most plants prefer a temperature between 60-80 degrees Fahrenheit and a humidity level of 40-50%. If the air in your home is too dry, you can use a humidifier to increase the humidity level. And if it’s too humid, you can use a dehumidifier or grow plants that thrive in high-humidity environments.

Pruning

Pruning is the process of trimming dead or dying leaves and stems from your plants. Pruning not only makes your plants look better but also helps plants grow more vigorously. You should prune your plants regularly, especially if they are growing quickly. Pruning is done when a plant is in the vegetative stage. 

Pests

Like outdoor plants, indoor garden plants can also be susceptible to pests. The best way to prevent pests is to regularly inspect your houseplants and look for signs of pests. Common indoor plant pests include fungus gnats, mealybugs, scale insects, spider mites, and more.

The good news is that there are a few things that you can do to prevent problems:

  • Inspect your plants regularly for signs of pests or disease.
  • Quarantine new plants before adding them to your garden.
  • Keep your plants clean and free of debris.

If you find pests on plants indoors, there are several ways to get rid of them. You can use pesticides, but make sure to choose a pesticide that is safe for indoor use. You can also try using natural pest control methods, such as making your own insecticidal soap or using beneficial insects like ladybugs or lacewings.

Diseases

Diseases are another problem that an indoor gardener may face. And yes, we have faced them quite a lot lately with our indoor plants. We’ve had indoor plants die from root rot, powdery mildew, and other diseases.

The best way to prevent diseases is to keep your indoor garden clean. If you find a plant with a disease, you can try treating it with a fungicide or other pesticide. You can also try removing the affected leaves or stems.

You will face common diseases during your indoor gardening journey, including powdery mildew, root rot, and leaf spot.

However, there are a few things you can do to prevent diseases:

  • Water your plants at the base of the plant instead of from above
  • Don’t let water sit on the leaves of your plant
  • Remove any dead or dying leaves from your plant
  • Avoid using too much fertilizer
  • Sterilize your soil before planting

With some care and attention, indoor gardening can be a fun and rewarding hobby. By following the tips in this guide, you’ll be well on your way to starting your own indoor garden. Remember to have patience, as it takes time and practice to master. Soon, you’ll harvest fresh fruits and vegetables and have a thriving indoor herb garden!

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