tomatoes growing indoors

How to Grow an Indoor Vegetable Garden

June 8, 2013 | Apartment Lifestyle, Green Living

For those of us who were born with a bit of a green thumb, the prospect of having to live in the city without a backyard can be depressing. Fortunately, the possibility of apartment gardening isn’t a myth! Having an indoor vegetable garden can not only help you save money, it can also brighten up even the smallest of living spaces. If you don’t have access to a backyard or community garden, here are step-by-step instructions for how to grow an indoor vegetable garden:

1. Pick the Right Plants

If you want to have a successful indoor vegetable garden, the first thing you’ll need to decide is which plants you want to grow. It goes without saying that you should focus on vegetables you’ll actually eat, rather than growing them for the sake of a beautiful windowsill. Why put forth all that work for nothing? Tons of vegetables lend themselves to apartment gardening, including small carrots, beans, tomatoes, herbs and peppers.

2. Select the Proper Containers

Next, you’ll want to head to your local gardening store to pick up a few containers in which to grow your vegetables–or, to save a few bucks, create containers from objects you have around your apartment. You can use everything from empty milk jugs to large tea canisters. Whatever you decide to use, make sure each container has a drain hole and a plate or saucer underneath to collect water.

3. Use Good Soil

The key to growing a good vegetable is having the right soil. Most commercial potting soils are lightweight, disease-free and have the capacity to hold moisture. You can also add organic kitchen waste into the mix for a little extra fertilizer. Before pouring the soil into each pot, lightly line the bottom with rocks to help with airflow and water drainage.

4. Find the Right Location

If you don’t have a small balcony or porch where you can keep your vegetable plants, place them as near to sunny windows as possible. Vegetable-producing plants ideally need between nine and 10 hours of sunlight per day (five to six hours at a minimum), so if you don’t have windows that receive direct sunlight, you’ll need to purchase a growing lamp. When the weather permits, open your windows to give your indoor vegetable garden some fresh air.

5. Give Them Some TLC

Once you’ve planted your vegetables, it’s important not to neglect them! In addition to sunlight, vegetable-producing plants need plenty of moisture, so they should be watered daily. Whether or not you decide to talk to them is up to you.

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