Which Vegetables Can You Grow Indoors?
No garden? No problem. You can grow vegetables right on your windowsill, so long as it gets plenty of sun. Here’s how.
Whether you’re concerned about your health, the environment or animal welfare, eating a plant based diet is as good for the planet as it is for you. It’s small wonder, then, that growing your own vegetables is increasingly popular.
But what if you don’t have a garden to grow them in? Or even so much as balcony?
An Indoor Vegetable Garden Can Be A Container Or A Wall — Whatever You’ve Got Will Do.
Thankfully, it’s possible to help keep your pantry piled high with fresh greens, even if you’re short on space. Microgreens are perfect – these high-flying salad favourites are a seedling’s first flush of leaves and are harvested when they’re no larger than 10 cm. So are tender vegetables that are slower to bear crop (chillies, tomatoes, French beans, eggplants) and late bloomers like celeriac and Brussel sprouts.
Grow upwards and onwards: you can sling any vertical surface with trellis or wires to act as climbing frames for beans, peas, climbing squash or nasturtiums.
Here are 17 of our favourite vegetables to grow indoors.
Best Vegetables To Grow Indoors:
Everyone loves sweet onions. Fold them into omelets, toss them into noodles, turn them into bold, vibrant dips – scallions are as versatile as they are easy to tend to! So long as you don’t grow them in direct sunlight, you’re all set.
These bright, hardy root vegetables are known to be a favourite of indoor gardeners everywhere because they don’t need a whole lot of sunlight — or a whole lot of anything, really, save a container roomy and deep enough to house their growing bulbs.
3. Rainbow Chard
Stunningly Michelin-starred in appearance, absurdly hard to locate in a grocery store, and stupendously easy to grow right at home, rainbow chard is something you could plant tomorrow.
A plate of steaming rainbow eggs Florentine on a rainy morning is a thing of beauty — and with any luck, an indulgence you’ll soon be enjoying all the time.
A homegrown beetroot is the earthy, red, iron-rich apple of every indoor gardener’s eye — and an excellent example of “root to leaf” eating to boot. Its leaves are a particularly excellent substitute for spinach. A quick Google search will net you all sorts of pretty, coloured seedling varieties. We’re partial to rainbow beets ourselves — they really are beautiful indoor vegetable plants.
AKA the world’s absolute favourite fruit. As luck would have it, the quintessential taste of warm, balmy summers doesn’t require a garden at all. Just dig a suitably wide wooden box out of your trash, stick it on a sunny outside step or ledge, and you’ll have a pretty little patch of your own in no time.
Growing vegetables indoors for beginners is never harder than when they’re trying to grow tomatoes and other fruits because cultivating them indoors can often be tricky.
It’s best to begin your tomato plant indoors and then move it outside once it’s warm enough. If you don’t have that option, you might also have success with some growing lights or a hydroponic system, both of which are far less complicated than they sound. Your tomatoes will need 8-10 hours of sunlight each day. You’ll also want to choose a compact variety to ensure they don’t outgrow the spot you’ve picked for them!
Like most other leafy greens, spinach is a breeze to grow indoors and come rain or shine, will do swimmingly all year round. Perfect indoor garden plants.
But good drainage is imperative. Spinach hates when it’s soggy, so be absolutely sure you’re growing your greens in sandy, well-draining soil in and a pot with holes for drainage. We recommend an indoor potting mix amended with some perlite or the like for adequate drainage and plenty of aeration for your plant’s delicate roots.
Ah, the ever-reliable potato. Fried, mashed, boiled or baked — the power of the potato is uniquely unparalleled, and never more than when you’re growing it for yourself!
The versatile, humble spud can be grown in no-muss planter pouches, though they’ll need a lot of light once they’ve started to put out growth. You’ll also need to carve out quite a bit of space for them, given that they can get pretty large. But a colossal potato is a resolutely good thing.
Marvelous, miniature microgreens — the favourite of celebrity chefs and vegans everywhere. And for good reason. These highly-nutritious baby greens are by far the easiest vegetable to cultivate indoors.
If you can make room for a few seed trays by a bright window inside your home you can harvest tender, sharp shoots and microgreens all year round. Put simply, microgreens are just the seedlings of any plant with edible leaves.
Salad crops like rocket and pak choi, and herbs like basil and coriander can all be grown as microgreens. They’re a fun, easy way to get a harvest in as little as five days — and score very highly in terms of nutritional value, particularly broccoli and kale.
Carrots are a wonderfully accommodating vegetable. And they love it in indoors: that’s right, carrots are resolute, unabashed homebodies that prefer sitting around in containers to roughing it outdoors in often heavy, rocky soil. These are probably one of the best vegetables to grow indoors out there.
Smaller carrot varieties are by far the easiest to grow indoors — plus, they don’t need nearly as much room or time to mature. A nice, long container, such as a window box, will do quite nicely indeed. Spread a nice thick layer of peat moss overtop the seeds to prevent them from drying out. Keep the soil moist, and your seeds should germinate within two weeks, though the number of days to maturity will, of course, depend on the variety you’re cultivating.
Here is another great gardening article. How To Store Vegetables?
11. Garlic Greens
As far as indoor vegetable garden ideas go, this is probably the easiest.
If you’ve ever forgotten about the bulbs of garlic in your pantry a little too long, or left them laying about in the fridge, you’ve probably noticed they’ve got a tendency to start sprouting little green feet all over the place.
Don’t toss it: plant I plant that sprouting garlic clove about an inch deep in a small container and water it. Within weeks, you’ll have crunchy, pungent garlic greens that are a treat in a stir fry or noodles.
Start harvesting when they grow to 8 to 10 inches long by cutting off just what you need and leaving the rest. Put out new cloves once you’ve harvested the previous flush.
12. Hot Peppers
Peppers, too, are one of those blessedly forgiving little plants that just love it indoors. They’re tropical perennials through and through that’ll shrivel at the barest hint of frost but are quite happy nestled in a sunny spot by your window.
You’ll want to use a container at least 8 inches tall and ensure your peppers get at least 10 hours of light each day for optimal fruiting. Additionally, you should allow the container to dry out between waterings so as to avoid drowning your plants (peppers like to be treated a little rough, so it’s okay to skip watering once in a while).
There’s nothing like sweet peppers harvested directly from your indoor patch to brighten up a steaming pad thai or cold noodle salad.
Lettuce gets an unfairly bad rap: it’s not nearly as boring or bland as it’s made out to be. In fact, you’d be surprised at the pungency and crunch of a little homegrown lettuce — it’s nothing like the drab, wilted green heads you get at the grocery store that are doomed to spend the rest of their sad lives wasting away in your crisper.
Lettuce, like all other salad greens, is quick to grow and shallow-rooted so it won’t need a deep container. Choose a planter that is two to four inches deep and fill it with moist, well-aerated soil. You should start seeing the earliest flush of growth about a week but allow the plants to grow at least four to 6 inches before you start thinking about harvesting.
Full to the brim with vitamin C which helps the body synthesize collagen, absorb iron, and metabolize protein — these lovely vegetables are every bit as good for you as they are aromatic and zesty. While they prefer to be outdoors, most citrus varieties are pretty O.K hanging out in your apartment, too, so long as you’re careful, that is.
Choose a clay, ceramic, or plastic pot slightly larger than the root ball of your tree, and make sure it has several holes in the bottom. Use a potting soil specifically formulated for citrus trees, or pick one that’s slightly acidic, loam based potting mix. Water regularly, but never so much as to oversaturate the soil.
Lemon plants love humidity and to bask in lots and lots of sunlight. However, creating humidity in an indoor environment can often be more trouble than its worth (mold, mildew, peeling paint) but thankfully, using a humidity tray is an easy fix to the woes of running a humidifier all day. Fill a run-off tray with pebbles and leave the runoff water in there. As the water slowly evaporates, it will raise the humidity enough to make things a little easier on your plant.
Chives pack a heady nutritional punch — they’re ultra-rich in vitamins A and C and phytochemicals that have antioxidant-like benefits.
Plus, they’re a walk in the park to grow, for even the most inexperienced of indoor veggie growers.
Head to your nearest garden supply store and purchase seeds and a pot that’s 6 to 8 inches in diameter. Fill it almost to the brim with rich, moist potting mix. Plant the seeds, making sure they’re covered by a light but not insubstantial layer of soil. Place the container in an area that’s partially shaded. Water regularly, making sure the soil never dries out.
This delicious, flavorful aromatic deserves a spot in your garden for all the wonderful, wonderful things it’ll do for all your pasta sauces henceforth but it’s also super healthy and has notable anti-inflammatory that can block enzymes in the body that cause swelling.
Whether you choose to start by purchasing seeds or a starter plant, the fact remains that basil is almost embarrassingly easy to grow. Choose a container that’s at least 4 inches wide and has plenty of drainage holes.
Basil loves warm temperatures and tons of sunlight — at least 6 hours of direct sun each day. You’ll want to fertilize the soil about once a month with organic or slow-release fertilizers like compost tea.
A little pruning once in a while will also go a long way towards increasing your basil yield.
This spicy, pungent little root is best known for calming nausea and reducing inflammation. It’s also a treat to have on hand to breathe a little life into drab chutneys and salads.
Growing it is a matter of purchasing a sizeable chunk of ginger at the grocery store and cover it with soil in a container, making sure the perkiest buds face up.
Set the container someplace with indirect sunlight and settle down to wait for new growth. Ensure the soil remains constantly moist, so that it’s never parched (but never waterlogged). That’s pretty much all there is to it.
Your Indoor Veggie Garden Awaits.
As we grow increasingly detached from the food we eat, growing your own vegetables can go a long way towards putting some clarity back on your plate. And if you fancy some home-grown chards, or carrots, well, now’s your chance.
Get ready, get set — sow.
Here is another great gardening article.
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