Growing vegetables can be a rewarding hobby that can save you money on grocery bills. Unfortunately, though, not everyone has access to a large vegetable garden. There has, however, been an increasing trend in growing vegetables indoors, either from scraps or seeds.
Successfully growing vegetables indoors depends on how the plants are cared for. There are a few essential things you can do to help vegetables grow well. These are:
- Putting plants where they get plenty of sunlight
- Avoiding drafty or cold places to grow vegetables
- Keeping them away from overly hot places such as fireplaces
- Using quality soil
- Checking regularly for bugs and disease
- Watering them often
- Using potting containers with good drainage
If you are considering starting an indoor vegetable garden, you will need to find out what you can easily grow in your house, so here is a list of vegetables that many people have had success growing inside.
Surprisingly, you can grow all varieties of potatoes without much effort. It is easier, however, if you follow a guide about how to grow potatoes indoors and make a note of the essentials you will need, such as the right drainage and soil. You can grow potatoes from chitted potatoes, scraps and seeds. Either way, you will need to keep increasing the pot size and amount of soil, as potatoes can get quite large.
One method for recycling potato scraps, especially if they are growing sprouts, is to cut them up into chunks and plant them in at least four inches of soil with the shoot pointing upwards. After as early as two months, you should have potatoes.
If you want low-maintenance and fast-growing vegetables that can easily fit on most windowsills, then scallions are a good option. Scallions can be grown from seeds or scraps by placing the cut-offs in a glass of water. Be sure to change the water every two days and after around 2 weeks, the scallions will have regrown.
Another good option for indoor vegetable gardens is carrots, as they generally prefer cooler climates. Carrots are root vegetables and need space to grow long, so make sure you find a pot that is plenty deep enough, so the roots have space to grow into.
If you are a fan of adding radishes to salads, then you might want to try growing some on an empty shelf or windowsill with good lighting. Radishes, just like carrots, are root vegetables and prefer the cooler temperatures found inside a home.
You can grow tomatoes very successfully indoors, especially if you choose the dwarf varieties that are easier to grow in pots. Tomatoes need lots of sunlight, a spacious pot, and stakes to provide support for their vines. Tomatoes are self-pollinating, but you can speed up the process by giving them a gentle shake, so pollen can transfer from flower to flower.
There are some smaller varieties of pepper that can be grown indoors, such as chili peppers and shishitos. Since peppers naturally grow outside in hotter climates with plenty of direct sunlight, you will need to place your pepper plant in a bright and warm window to ensure it thrives.
Growing lettuce and other leafy greens such as arugula, kale, spinach and swiss chard indoors are relatively easy. You can grow them from seed in windowsill pots or regrow them the same way you would celery by placing the stump with roots in a container of water.
Even though they are not technically a vegetable, mushrooms are regularly bought and combined with most vegetables. Mushrooms are a fungus, and so require different growing conditions from vegetables. Therefore you will need to grow them in darker and cooler places, such as a basement or cupboard with a stable temperature between 55 and 60 degrees Fahrenheit.
A small herb garden in your kitchen can help you improve your cooking and open up new recipe possibilities. Some herbs that are typically grown indoors include basil, chives, cilantro, mint, oregano, parsley, rosemary, sage and thyme. Ideally, you should be growing your herbs in a window with a lot of sunlight and watering them daily.
For smaller spaces, it is possible to grow miniature greens that are excellent additions to salads, sandwiches, and wraps. Microgreens such as broccoli, chard, lettuce, mustard greens and radishes are low maintenance and easy to harvest.
One of the easiest plants to regrow from the cut-offs that are usually thrown away is celery. The stumps can be placed in a container of water or in some potting soil to be regrown. After a few weeks, the stalk will usually regrow as long as you change the water in the container every few days.
For people who live in an apartment or house with no garden, then starting a vegetable garden may seem impossible. There are plenty of vegetables you can grow on empty shelves and window sills, however, as long as they receive a reasonable amount of light.