Indoor Vegetable Gardening for Fresh Vegetables
Indoor gardening can be fun, lots of pleasures and benefits to be gained from engaging in indoor gardening. You can grow many types of vegetables, root crops and leafy crops indoors, as well as manage aquariums and fish tanks. .
Indoor vegetable gardening can prove to be more difficult than outdoor gardening because most of the things provided naturally to plants, like sunlight, water, and temperature, have to be provided by you. It becomes your duty to regulate the temperature to suit the needs of a particular plant, water them, expose them to sunlight and help them pollinate.
Some crops thrive better under cool indoor temperatures like root crops and leafy crops, and so they need to be grown in a bright room that is rarely used, and the room temperature has to be above the freezing level. This will allow the plants survive the cool temperature in the day (60 degrees) and the temperature at night which is usually above 30 degrees.
Tomatoes, sweet peppers, hot peppers, cucumber and beans need to be grown in temperature higher than 70 in the daytime and temperature should not drop below 60 degrees in the night.
The plants should be exposed to about six to eight hours of sunlight daily. Therefore, do your indoor gardening in a room with bright windows facing the south to enable sun rays to enter freely. You can regulate the temperature by installing white fluorescent lighting to provide heat for the plants in case the air gets cold.
Try not to use pure outdoor gardening soil to avoid exposing your home to insects and diseases. Use a lightweight soil combination instead, made up of perlite, peat, vermiculite and potting soil all mixed in equal amounts. You will find many lightweight soil mixes commonly used in indoor vegetable gardening at stores.
Water the plants regularly and be careful not to over flood the plant with water. You can water only when the top layer of the soil feels dry to avoid washing off the nutrients in the soil with water.
There are many products which are used to make this indoor vegetable gardening easy whether it’s fish you decide to rear or vegetables. Some of them will be discussed below.
Back to the roots water garden fish tank
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With this fish tank, you can recreate the whole outdoor garden look inside. The inside of the tank looks just like a small garden which earned it its name ‘Back to the Roots Water Garden’. It is a mini Aquaponic tank which serves as a closed-loop ecosystem where the waste from the betta fish acts as a fertilizer for the plants and the plants, in turn, filter the water to make it clean for the fish. Amazing right?
Aquaponic means combining aquaculture or fish farming with hydroponics, or using water rich in nutrients to grow plants. In a regular fish bowl, the ammonia waste excreted by the fish becomes toxic to the fish over time, but in the Water Garden, the ammonia waste is used up by the plants on top. This helps to double the growth of the plants and the plants then clean the water, so only clean water is filtered back to the tank. This Water Garden saves time and cost of maintenance is low because the tank cleanses itself and produces a healthy herb garden and also healthy fish.
The Water Garden comes with a start-up Aquaponic kit which is made up of a 3-gallon fish tank, radish sprout seeds, fish food, organic wheatgrass, a coupon for your betta fish; grow stones, gravel, natural fertilizer, and a silent, submersible water pump.
Water Garden by Back to the Roots
Nice product but few changes needed
I advise people to use snail, clean fish and ghost shrimp, a snail to improve the self-cleansing nature of the tank. Use lucky bamboo as the plant in the tank and for better results, buy rocks for the tank and replace the grow stones with marble.
Semi-final review of v1: interesting product, several flaws
There seems to be a disagreement between what the fish needs and what the plant needs. Plants basically need light, and even though the wheatgrass was surviving with the little, it was getting, the lettuce was a totally different story. Tiny leaves and thin stems looked really sickly. I decided to change the position of the tank to a place near a bright window and even installed a grow light over it. The next challenge I faced was algae problem. Had to buy a snail to tackle the algae. The new challenge is that beta fish is very territorial and doesn’t like to share, so it looks like Fishie won’t get along well with his new roommate.
Good overall, a few minor issues, but worthwhile for those willing to learn
Still have this tank, still going strong. I’ve not had to do any cleaning on the fish part, only had to add water and clear off some root dirt from old herbs. Once in a while, I add a few hydroponic nutrients I use for my DWC bucket systems. If you are a beginner, you just need to make lots of research about hydroponics before using it.
Don’t Listen to the Bad Reviews. The Tank is Fantastic.
All the negative reviews I saw made me postpone buying this tank for a few months, but now that I have bought it, I don’t regret it. I have some amount of experience in caring for beta fish, and I can honestly say in my three months of using this tank, I have had the happiest fish ever. My advice to people is to buy the right fish and follow the instruction carefully to get best results.
The second product we’ll be looking at is The Miracle-Gro AeroGarden ULTRA LED
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This is a wonderful product. It is a soil-free indoor garden that makes your plants grow five times more than traditionally planting with soil. All the vegetables you plant grow very fresh, you can grow fresh salad greens, herbs, flowers, basically anything you want. The AeroGarden ULTRA LED has a very simple and advanced Control Panel with an interactive LCD that makes it easy for you to use. Just follow the guidelines on the screen prompts, and you are on your way to having a bountiful harvest in your indoor vegetable gardening. This machine regulates the temperature and sets it at degrees that are conducive for the plant by automatically turning the Grow Lights on when needed and off when not required. It also provides gardening tips, notifies when to include water and also when to include our patented, unique formulated Liquid Nutrients. It is very easy to set up the AeroGarden ULTRA LED, and you don’t need tools for it. After set-up, put the Seed pods that have been included in the kit into the garden, add the nutrients and water and leave it to grow. You can grow your plants any time of the year and be guaranteed of sure growth.
All you need to do is add water, and the AeroGarden will make use of its advanced hydroponics to regulate a temperature that supports fast plant growth. The AeroGarden reservoir will water the root system; provide it with nutrients and enough oxygen to increase plant growth five times faster than when you use soil.
Best thing ever
Miracle-Gro AeroGarden ULTRA LED
Best thing ever. Just 20 days after planting, they have grown so well. Seems just like magic. The setup process was easy, and the growth has been massive. Would have argued it was fake if I haven’t eaten the plants myself.
A non-gardener’s best friend
I own 4 of this product, and I can honestly say I have not been disappointed. I love it. It’s not a cheaper alternative to buying groceries at the store, but it gives me easy and closer access to vegetables in my house especially during the winter period which is really nice for me.
Yes, it works. Extremely well.
I am not really the indoor vegetable gardening type, but after I had got one for my wife, I realized it was actually fun, and I loved it. I even went and got one for my mother, one for my brother and an extra one for myself. In just ten days, I have had to trim the plants because the growth has been so rapid. If you don’t have one, then you’re missing out. The grow light automatically turns itself on and off, reminds you to add water and nutrients every 14 days. Very simple. The only bug is the very bright light. You can place it in a room where the lights won’t disturb you, and you’re good to go.
The next product is Keter Easy Grow Patio Garden Flower Plant Planter Raised Elevated Garden Bed, Brown
The Keter elevated garden is voluminous and has a large holding space of 31.7 gallons. The space is large enough to plant many varieties of flowers, vegetables, houseplants, and herbs. It can be placed outdoors in a small area and can even serve decorative purposes for your balcony, deck and patio. It is very beautiful, and its attractive design blends easily with the new patio furniture trends. It is made using polypropylene resin and then designed in a rattan pattern which is the current stylish design making raves in patio furniture. It can be used season after a season out as many times as possible. It’s beautiful and natural brown color makes it easy for you to blend it with any décor both outdoor and indoor.
This raised indoor vegetable garden helps you in so many ways. It saves you the stress of having to weed; you don’t need to strain your back and joints by bending to plant or weed. The raised indoor vegetable garden allows you grow your plants while in a standing position. You will easily water your plants. Also, it doesn’t take up a lot of space; you can save space for something else.
It has some very distinct features that make it very useful to both young and old:
- Its design makes it easy to reach and grow your plants while standing or sitting.
- There is a water gauge that tells you when the plants need water and it is very easy to read.
- It has a drainage system that you can control when watering. You can open it and close it when needed.
- This indoor vegetable garden is very easy to set up; the instructions are easy to understand.
- You can use it both indoors and outdoors.
I love this planter, especially the drainage system that can be opened and closed. The drain helped a lot when the rains were in excess. What I love most about it is that an elderly person can easily reach to get herbs when needed without having to bend.
Great for herbs and plants
Thanks to this planter, we can easily have herbs whenever we need to use them to cook at home. We placed our garden at the front of our house. The design is really attractive, and it is easy to use. I planted thymes, lettuce, chives and flat leaf parsley and they are doing so well.
Nice idea but…..
Nice concept but there’s a snag. The plastic is cheap and easily cracks. Aside from having to get replacements regularly, it’s a handy product to have.
At last! A little garden
I got it because I am too old to bend and grow my herbs on my patio. I love it; it’s easy to set up and I can easily reach my plants with no stress. I, however, advise that you position it where you need it to be before you fill it with plants because it will be hard to move it without breaking the legs.
Another wonderful product is Palram Nature Series Hybrid Hobby Greenhouse – 6′ x 8′ x 7′, Forest Green
This product is great news for people who take up indoor vegetable gardening as a hobby and also for full time gardeners. The greenhouse is sturdy and is kept balanced by two advanced polycarbonates, and its durable 6′ foot wide frame is big enough to accommodate your indoor vegetable gardening needs. You should make use of Palram’s unbreakable twin-wall polycarbonate coverings for your greenhouse. It can easily absorb heat. The twin-wall roof on the Hybrid shields the greenhouse from harmful solar UV radiation and allows only diffused light to filter in. This reduces the risk of your plants getting burnt and improves plant growth. The aluminum is rust resistant, and the steel base is highly galvanized. It also features a single roof vent to regulate temperature and flow of air, integrated rain gutters to control irrigation, and a magnetic door catch. This Hybrid series can last for years.
Palram Nature Series Hybrid Hobby Greenhouse
It has a five-year warranty. This greenhouse helps to produce more yields in smaller spaces.
Absolutely love my greenhouse
I love my greenhouse so much; it has been able to withstand the 50 mph winds and hail in Texas where I stay. I was really surprised and happy for its sturdiness. This greenhouse has served me well for six months now, and I enjoy spending time in it.
We are well pleased with this greenhouse
This greenhouse has been amazing so far for planting our vegetables and landscaping plants. Even though it was delivered with a missing panel, customer support at Palram was fast in addressing the issue after we put a call across. It has been satisfactory ever since.
This is the hardest thing to put together.
It is very hard to set up especially if you are doing it alone and if you have a low patience level. I and my very impatient husband finally set it up after two days. It has served us well this summer; I’m waiting for snow so that I’ll see if it will remain sturdy.
Advantages and Disadvantages of hydroponics indoor vegetables gardening
There are many benefits of employing hydroponics in your gardening. That is not to say that there are no setbacks but the benefits far outweigh the disadvantages. Some disadvantages of hydroponics are:
- It costs a lot of money to set up a hydroponic system.
- You need to monitor the system constantly.
- If there is a power outage in the gardens, the plants may dry out and die. When a power outage happens, you need to fall back on manual processes to water your plants.
- Water-based microorganism can be easily introduced
A few benefits of hydroponics are:
- Plants can be grown all year round and anywhere as long as the garden needs their growth requirements.
- The amount of water it uses is just 1/20th, far less than what is used in soil based gardening.
- Plant growth is rapid, and production rate is twice as much as the yield gotten in traditional gardening.
- It involves less work and is less stressful.
- The harvested plants are healthier and more nutritious. Proofs have shown that plants grown through hydroponics contain 50% more vitamins than those grown traditionally.
- Change in a season doesn’t affect the crops; they can be grown at any time.
Another product used in indoor gardening is the Marineland ML9049 Canister Filter 160
The Magniflow Canister Filter 160 can be used for saltwater and freshwater aquariums. Its filters follow a powerful filtration process that is of three stages. After passing through the filtration stages, your aquarium becomes very clean and is now healthy for aquatic growth and plant growth. The filter has canister lids which serve as a water tight seal; the polishing filter pads cleanses the water by getting rid of the debris. The bio-filter balls and ceramic rings create large spaces for bio spires to grow, the filter foam pads filters out the debris and dirt while the Black Diamond Carbon gets rid of impurities in the water, discoloration, and odor. The product is easy to use, and before you know it, your aquarium is sparkling clean and odor free.
Marineland ML9049 Canister Filter 160
The canister filter is really good. However, I advise that you get a tube of silicone grease to lube the O-ring that serves as a seal for the top of the pump attached to the canister. Just a little smear is enough to avoid having to pry the O-ring off when you’re cleaning or changing the filter media. I used the silicone grease because I was scared that the plastic would break without lube.
This works so good!
The filter is pretty great. I have to admit, my fish tank was really messy for years because I wasn’t cleaning it. It was very hard to even to see the fish in my tank which was a 55-gallon tank. So I bought this filter, hooked it up and before I knew it, my tank was sparkling clean. It was so beautiful, and I couldn’t be happier.
High flow, fantastic filter
This filter has been really wonderful. Once you clean it, you don’t need to clean again for months because it stays clean for months without regular maintenance. The Eheim we used before had to be maintained on a monthly basis to prevent it from clogging, but this filter can go months without maintenance. At first, I was skeptical about using the plastic bio balls, because I was already used to ceramic media, but it is working fine and is even better than the ceramic media. The only noise you hear from the canister is the strong flow of running water. I advise you to use silicone lubricant to grease the O-ring so that you don’t break the plastic when you are trying to pry the lid off.
I’m really happy with this canister
The canister was easy to set up and use. I replaced the bio balls with seachem matrix, and so far, I have not had any leakage problems, and my aquarium has been sparkly.