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For most of us, we only consider growing our vegetables outside and plant varieties according to the seasons. I know this is something I’ve always done and never thought about what vegetables to grow indoors.
But, wouldn’t it be nice to have out-of-season home-grown vegetables all year round? This is certainly something I’ve been thinking about recently. Especially since my tomatoes, cucumbers and zucchini are now starting to fruit in the garden!
Plus, some would-be gardeners live in apartments and don’t have access to a lovely garden space to grow in. For these reasons, I’ve conducted some research to learn which vegetables I could possibly grow inside.
I’m going to be trying quite a few of these once the weather starts cooling down again in a few months. I’ll keep you posted on the results I get.
Firstly, let’s look at some important considerations when growing indoors.
What You Need To Know About Growing Vegetables Indoors
Growing vegetables indoors is very different to growing them outside in the garden. Here’s what you need to consider.
Choose the right pot. The pots that you use have to be large enough and deep enough for roots to develop well. They must also have drainage holes. Of course, you’ll need to place saucers under the pots to catch the water run-off. Alternatively, you might like to consider self-watering pots.
Choose an indoor potting mix. Make sure you choose the best quality indoor potting mix that you can afford. The mix should be free-draining and if possible, have added nutrients in the form of slow-release fertilizer.
Enough light is really important. Most vegetables need around 8-10 hours of bright light. This is especially true for fruiting plants like tomatoes. The light is necessary for photosynthesis to ensure that plants will grow well. For this reason, vegetable plants should be placed near windows that let in good light. Alternatively, you can consider using grow lights. Especially if you live in a house that is often dark in the cooler months. These lights are specially designed to give plants the light and warmth they need for healthy growth.
Don’t overwater. Indoor plants will need less water than those growing outside. You don’t want the soil to become saturated all the time because this reduces the amount of air available to the roots of the plants. That’s where self-watering pots can come in very useful.
You may need to provide extra humidity. The air inside our homes can become very dry. Especially if we constantly have the heating going. While the heat is good for both us humans and plants, the dry air is not. It’s important then, to increase the humidity in the air. You can do this either by misting your plants regularly or placing bowls of water near them and around your home.
Now that you know some rules about growing indoors, here’s a list of 10 easy vegetables to grow inside your home.
1. Onion Greens
Did you know that you can use the green stalks of the onions in your cooking rather than the bulbs themselves? These are actually a perfect vegetable to grow indoors. You can even use an onion you have in the cupboard to get this started.
If you have an onion lying around, just cut off the bottom part (where the roots were) and plant this in a pot. Cover with soil and water. In a few weeks, you should see some green shoots start to pop through.
Wait until these are around 6 inches tall and then harvest them to use in your cooking.
Alternatively, you can purchase some seeds and sow these in a pot instead. Make sure that the pot is large enough to accommodate the growing bulbs.
Beets are also easy to grow indoors. Plus, you can use some of the leaves while you’re waiting for the beets to develop.
It’s best to grow these from seeds. Plant them in a large pot that has enough room to allow the bulbs to develop. If sowing seed, you might have to thin out some of the emerging seedlings to avoid your pot from becoming overcrowded.
There’s really no excuse not to have fresh lettuce growing all year round. It is truly one of the easiest vegetables to grow indoors. You’ll probably have the best success with loose-leaf varieties.
Plus, these are great because you can just snip off some fresh leaves whenever you need them.
4. Capsicum Or Bell Peppers
Surprisingly, bell peppers are very easy to grow indoors as well. Just make sure they get plenty of light and have a warm spot to grow in. Imagine having juicy ripe bell peppers to add to all your cooking, even in winter!
Because spinach has those dark green leaves, it should indicate to you that it’s easy to grow indoors. You see, any plant with dark green leaves can tolerate less light whether grown outside or in the house.
Spinach is also relatively cold tolerant and will survive in temperatures as low as 20 degrees Fahrenheit. Plus, it doesn’t mind warm temperatures either. A good misting regularly will help your plants to grow healthy and lush.
I admit I’ve never considered growing potatoes indoors but grow them prolifically outside in the warmer months. I just love homegrown potatoes because their taste is amazing.
If you have some potatoes in the cupboard that have started sprouting you might like to give this a try. Make sure you have a really large pot though because the tubers do need a lot of room to develop.
Alternatively, you might like to try one of those potato grow bags if you have a sheltered spot on a verandah or balcony. Potatoes don’t like frost. Be sure to keep your pets and children away from the plants though because every part of the plant except the tubers is poisonous.
7. Scallions Or Spring Onions
These are another easy-to-grow vegetables that you can grow indoors from scraps. If you have a bunch in the refrigerator, just cut off the bottoms with a bit of white stem attached. You can either place these in water or a pot with potting mix.
They prefer around 6 hours of sunlight a day so make sure you put them in a bright spot.
Radishes are another root crop that you can grow successfully indoors and harvest in around 4 weeks. They do prefer cool soil and plenty of moisture for the bulbs to develop. Ensure the soil is not water-logged though.
9. Dwarf Beans
Dwarf beans grow on a bush rather than being a climber. This makes them ideal to grow indoors in a bright spot. Beans are one of the best crops for beginner gardeners because they don’t take long to start producing their edible pods.
Carrots love to be kept well watered. This makes them ideal for indoor growth. Just make sure you use a deep pot that has enough room for the tap roots to grow. Plus, you can eat the carrot greens as well.
I hope you like this list of 10 easy vegetables to grow indoors. There are other varieties that you can grow inside as well, but we’ll leave that for another article.
Just as an added benefit, growing all these veggies inside is great for purifying the air in your home as well. Plants use the carbon dioxide that we exhale and turn it into oxygen that they release back into the air.
So, growing vegetables indoors is great for our all-round health.
Have you grown vegetables indoors successfully? I would love to hear your success stories. Please share them with us in the comments below.