At first I considered ‘indoor gardening’ to be an oxymoron. In the past I’ve had maybe a pot of geraniums blooming in the living room window, and a few herbs perched in the sun by the kitchen sink, but nothing more than that.
So my initial attempt at an indoor garden started out small, with some herbs and a few other greens. The Aerogarden system, although pricey, was a good introduction for me. I used heirloom seeds and followed the kit’s growing directions to a T. Batches of basil and chard were a success and I felt encouraged. But Aerogarden supplies are expensive so I looked for alternative ways to grow hydroponically.
After researching things like LED lights and making containers out of rubbermaid bins, I asked myself if it was really the way to go. Maybe I should have soil-growing containers around the house instead. Eventually I probably will do a bit of both, but after reading about the benefits of hydroponic gardening I’m happy with it.
First off, most of the fruits and veggies I want to grow need warmth. The house is kept in the mid-60’s range, so a lot of container plants wouldn’t thrive if left randomly hanging about. And sunlight is inconsistent for growing indoors, especially if windows are partially blocked by trees or don’t face south.
Dedicating a room to the plants where, enclosed, the lighting would keep everything warm, seemed the best route. On an economic level, according to hydroponics-simplified.com, the water used to grow hydroponic produce is less than a traditional garden because it recirculates. So the only real issue cost-wise is the electricity for lights.
I found a great resource on youtube ~ a guy in Canada who knows a lot about light spectra and what works best for growing plants. His website explains the benefits of hydroponic gardening very well, saying it actually uses “95% less water than you would if you grew the same vegetables outside” and the lights he uses “last for 10-12 years running them for 16 hours a day.” For anyone interested, I recommend checking him out!
So there you have it ~ some of my initial research on indoor gardening. In follow up posts hopefully there will be photos of my own plants growing and thriving!