If you’re looking for indoor apartment vegetable gardening tips, you’re in the right place!
Why? In light of recent past events, many people realized the need to go back to the basics of growing food for their families. However, not everyone lives in a location that offers the land space needed to grow a vegetable garden.
People who live in apartments and condos and have no outside land space can still grow fresh vegetables. It is challenging but possible.
You can grow a wide variety of fresh produce year-round. Growing your own food indoors helps reduce your grocery bill and also improves your diet.
All you need to grow vegetables indoors is good soil, water, lots of light, and these tips for indoor apartment vegetable gardening.
Indoor Apartment Vegetable Gardening Tips
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Here are some indoor apartment vegetable gardening tips that are sure to help you grow a maximum amount of food in an apartment or in other indoor location.
Choose a Bright Location
Garden plants need at least six hours of direct sunlight every day. Some herbs thrive on four-hours a day, but a bright location is necessary for an indoor garden.
Fortunately, all that light does not have to come from the sun. If your apartment doesn’t have an indoor sunny location, you can use grow lights as the only or supplemental lighting. LED grow lights are best because they don’t produce heat. In contrast, incandescent lighting produces heat, and may cause your plants to overheat.
Be Creative with Lighting
There are a few tricks you can use to increase the lighting inside your apartment, so garden plants thrive.
The use of mirrors and wall paint makes an indoor space brighter and won’t increase the utility bill. Place mirrors on the walls that are adjacent to and opposite the window to reflect the sunlight onto the garden plants.
Glossy white wall paint also reflects the light and makes the indoor space brighter. If you don’t want to paint the entire room glossy white, just paint the wall(s) the mirrors are on to increase the light reflection on the plants.
Grow Vegetables in Vertical or Hanging Planters
Plant containers don’t have to sit on the floor or on top of furniture. Look up to find more space in your apartment for a vegetable garden.
You can grow a variety of vegetables in hanging planters.
Indoor (or outdoor) wall space can also be transformed into a vertical garden. You may need to place a moisture barrier between the wall and the planters to protect the wall from water damage.
There are a wide array of vertical planters on the market that can be used indoors. If you’re a crafty person, you can make some DIY vertical planters that are customized to fit on your wall or in front of a window.
Rotate plants every few days so each side of the plant receives sunlight equally.
Start a Balcony Garden
If you have any outdoor space, like a balcony, you can grow a lot of food in containers. Start planting cool-season vegetables, like cabbage, broccoli, lettuce, radishes, and carrots in containers as soon as all danger of frost has passed in the spring.
As you harvest the cool-season vegetables in late spring, amend the soil in the containers with compost and re-plant them with warm-season vegetables, like tomatoes, squash, and cucumbers.
Towards the end of summer when the warm-season vegetables are ending their lifecycle, get ready to amend the soil with more compost and re-plant the containers with a second crop of cool-season vegetables.
A small balcony garden will provide you with fresh vegetables throughout most of the year. If you have windows that you can attach window boxes onto you can increase your apartment garden space even more.
Use Grow Tents
Grow tents are great for growing an indoor apartment garden. The grow tents come in several different sizes, and provide the proper lighting, temperature, and humidity level for garden plants. Grow tents can be purchased anywhere garden supplies are sold and can easily fit in an apartment corner. Using a grow tent enables you to produce an abundance of fresh food in a small space.
Microgreens can be grown year-round indoors and make a healthy, tasty, and nutritious addition to a green salad, soups, or stir fry recipes.
To grow a continual crop of microgreens indoors, start with a shallow container filled with potting soil and compost mix. Choose seeds from several of your favorite leafy vegetables, like lettuce, kale, mustard, cabbage, and spinach.
Moisten the top of the soil in the shallow container and sprinkle the seeds on top. Mist the seeds with water and cover them with 1/4-inch of potting soil and compost mix. Mist one more time and cover the container tightly with plastic wrap. Place the container in a warm location away from drafts. If you have a grow tent, place the microgreen container in it.
When seeds germinate, remove the plastic and place the container in bright light. Keep soil moist and harvest the leaves any time after they reach two-inches tall. Make two trays two weeks apart so you will have a continual supply of microgreens.
Pro Tip: I buy all of my microgreen seeds and supplies from True Leaf Market. You can check out their entire microgreens collection here.
Best Soil for Apartment Vegetable Gardening
Use potting soil that contains compost in the containers for an indoor garden. If you want to grow 100% organically, use potting soil that does not contain slow-release fertilizer and mix in your favorite organic plant food, like bone meal or worm castings.
Be sure to start an indoor compost bin so you can recycle your food and garden waste into nutrient-rich compost. There are several kitchen composters on the market that will keep everything tidy and eliminate all odors.
The compost in the potting soil will feed the plants organically, and will also prevent soil compaction. When plants are watered repeatedly, the soil in the containers tends to compact and the compost prevents that from occurring so roots can spread out and uptake moisture and nutrients better.
Best Plants for Indoor Vegetable Gardens
Since the apartment space is small, it makes sense to choose to grow small plants. Dwarf varieties of your favorite vegetables take up minimal space yet produce the same full-sized vegetables. Cucumbers, tomatoes, lemons, beans, peppers, and other garden favorites grow on dwarf plants. They have been adapted to grow in a container in small spaces and are well suited to life inside of an apartment.
Here are some of my favorite dwarf vegetable varieties that you can buy on Amazon or True Leaf Market:
Don’t avoid growing root vegetables indoors. Potatoes, parsnips, beets, and carrots grow very well in containers that are 10-12 inches deep. You can grow radishes in containers that are 4-inches deep and ready to harvest in 30 days.
Look for plants that are self-pollinating when growing them indoors. Tomatoes, green beans, peppers, eggplants, lima beans, and sweet peas are a few popular self-pollinating plants.
Pollinating is easy to do when needed. Use a cotton swab and gently swab the inside of the plant blooms. You can also gently shake the plants or use an oscillating fan in the room to ensure the pollen is spread from plant to plant.
Benefits Of an Indoor Apartment Vegetable Garden
An indoor garden provides more than fresh food, there are several hidden benefits these vegetable plants have to offer.
- Watching plants grow, bloom, and produce foods reduces stress.
- Eating a healthy diet that includes fresh vegetables reduces the risk factors for many diseases.
- The air quality inside your apartment will be improved by garden plants. Plants remove allergens, toxins, and odors from the air.
- Save money on your grocery bill by growing vegetables.
- Increase food security
If you enjoyed this article, you may also enjoy these articles:
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- The Best Tomatoes to Grow in Pots
- Growing Ground Cherries in an AeroGarden Bounty
- The Ultimate Guide to Growing Microgreens in an AeroGarden
- How to Grow Basil in Water