Grow Your Own Food Indoors Start A Successful Vegetable Garden Indoors

You can grow your own food indoors. It is entirely possible and also very rewarding. There are a lot of vegetables and herbs you can grow indoors. You can even grow hydroponic vegetables without any soil at all.

Grow Your Own Food Indoors - Butter Crunch Lettuce
Do you want to grow your own food indoors? If you live in an apartment, you might wonder if this is even possible.

You can grow your own food indoors. It is entirely possible and also very rewarding. There are a lot of vegetables and herbs you can grow indoors. You can even grow hydroponic vegetables without any soil at all.

So today we want to talk about how to grow your own food indoors. A lot of you might be wondering if this is even possible and I am here to tell you that it is.

And beginners take heart, I can help show you how to do that even if you dont have a green thumb.

I started Indoor Vegetable Grower with new growers in mind but also to help those more experienced growing vegetables.

Can You Grow Your Own Food Indoors?

A lot of you might be thinking that you want to grow all your own food and that’s just not possible.

I mean if you live indoors in an apartment or condo there is no way you’re going to grow wheat or corn or anything like that.

So, if the question is: Can I grow all my own food indoors? the answer is no.

But if the question is can I grow food indoors the answer is an absolute yes.

You can grow just about any vegetables and herbs inside your apartment and you can do it just as well as if you did it outdoors.

What food can be grown indoors?

So you might be wondering what you can grow indoors. Tomatoes and peppers can be grown indoors year-round.

Tomato starting to flower

I am growing bush cucumbers. People have grown carrots, potatoes, and many other root crops indoors.

Basil, thyme, cilantro, and many other herbs grow very well indoors.

Probably the easiest thing to grow is leaf lettuce and other greens. But head lettuce can also be grown indoors.

Greens don’t need as much light as stuff like tomatoes or peppers do but they do need some supplemental light.

Can You Grow Food Indoors Year-Round?

You can definitely grow your food indoors all year round provided you can give your vegetables enough light.

You’re just not going to be able to do this on a windowsill during the winter.

It just won’t work and you don’t get that much sun during the winter anyway. It’s cloudy a lot and days are short.

So there’s just no way they will ever get enough light. I won’t say your plants won’t grow but they’re not going to grow well and they’re not going to yield very well for you either.

The secret to growing food year-round in an apartment is to have enough light. You cannot grow vegetables in the dark.

In most cases, you won’t have enough light without adding supplemental LED grow lights to be able to grow vegetables in your apartment.

Now the exception would be if you have a balcony or terrace of some kind.

If you get six hours of direct sunlight every day you can grow vegetables on your patio during the summer months.

But if you want to grow food year-round you’re going to have to do it indoors and so you’re going to need to provide your vegetables with supplemental lighting 

Is Growing Your Own Food Worth It?

Yes, it does cost money to grow your own food and your primary expense is going to be lighting because it’s absolutely critical that you have good light to grow vegetables.

But if you are trying to feed a family I am pretty sure you spend more on produce in a year than a light will cost.

Don’t forget that vegetables typically are grown outdoors in full sun and that’s what they’re used to.

Now you’re not going to have full sun inside your apartment. Even if you have south-facing windows you’re not going to get the same amount of sunlight to your plants indoors. 

In the winter you will definitely be less likely to have much sunlight anyway. Unless you live in Florida and in that case you can grow outside year-round, and I would if I lived in a climate like that.

But most of us live in a more Northern climate that’s got 4 seasons to it and vegetables don’t grow in the winter outside.

But inside your apartment that’s a whole other story so with lighting, you can grow year-round.

You can buy a good full spectrum led grow light for $300 and light a 2×4 foot area.

Spider Farmer 2000

It will be your biggest expense but you will be able to grow vegetables under it for years.

Is having fresh vegetables on hand year-round worth it? It is to me but you need to decide that for yourself.

So you might be wondering if it’s worth it to grow food indoors. I would have to say yes but it depends on what you want.

If you want tomatoes that actually taste like tomatoes instead of red tennis balls you’re not going to buy your stuff in the supermarket.

If you don’t mind blah vegetables then probably growing your own won’t seem like it’s worth it to you.

But if you want high quality produce that’s fresh and hasn’t been sprayed with a lot of harmful chemicals then you’re going to want to grow your own vegetables, and yes it’s worth it.

Consider that right now we are seeing gas prices go through the roof.

You may think that doesn’t matter because I don’t drive or I can take an Uber or something like that.

But that food that you buy has to be grown in a field where the farmer has to put fuel into his tractor.

Once it’s processed it has to go on a truck and get shipped out to that supermarket you go to.

What that means is everything is going to be going up in price and that makes growing your own fruits and vegetables even more profitable and an even better idea.

So yes I think it’s worth it and if you also think it’s worth it then you should grow your own food indoors.

If you don’t think it’s worth it go to the supermarket and pay through the nose.

Where To Grow Your Own Food Indoors

One thing a lot of people want to know is where can I grow my vegetables.

Because if you’re in an apartment probably don’t have a tremendous amount of room. I mean if you got a spare bedroom you are golden.

But even if you don’t there are a couple of options that you can take advantage of even in a limited space.

Growing In A Small Space

For example, you can grow herbs and vegetables in an AeroGarden which is a small self-contained unit with a built-in light. 

It’s not terribly expensive and you can fit it on a shelf just about anywhere. It runs on autopilot so anyone can succeed with it.

You know it’s perfect to set in a kitchen where you’ll be able to harvest fresh herbs as you cook.

You can even grow some small patio tomatoes or peppers in it. That’s about as simple as it gets.

Growing Bigger Plants? No Problem

But if you want to grow larger plants like tomatoes and peppers it takes a little more work you’re going to have to set aside an area to grow them. Here are a few suggestions.

Right now I’ve got a pepper, a tomato, and a cucumber growing in my kitchen garden with DWC buckets, and yes it’s a little cramped but it works. I can show you how to do that.

young bell pepper in DWC

Growing Vegetables In A Closet

If you have a closet that you’re not using I can show you how to grow vegetables inside a closet.

This really works well, especially for larger plants and it keeps things out of the way.

Growing Vegetables In A Grow Tent

Another good option is to buy a grow tent and if you set them up right they work great.

That way you can put your vegetables in a tent. Your light will work much better in a grow tent because the walls are reflective.

It cost a bit more to set up but your garden stays out of sight so to speak. So you also don’t have a bright light glaring at you in your living room.

You can pretty much set a grow tent anywhere I mean they come as small as two by two feet.

I use a 2 x 4 and that works great and you could probably grow 3 big plants in there.

There are bigger ones and they make them in all sizes like 3′ by 3′ and  4′ by 4′ and they even come bigger than that.

They sell 4′ by 8′ and even larger so you can fit one in just about any space inside your apartment and they really do work very well.

You can control the environment there without having to control it in the whole rest of your apartment.

That way it’s easier to keep your vegetables at the right temperature and the right humidity.

Lots Of Options For Your Indoor Garden

Anyway, there are lots of options. Some people grow along the wall so they have a vertical grow where plants are stacked on a series of shelves.

So you can use a spare wall or part of a wall. There are a lot of ways that you can fit vegetables in.

I would look around my apartment and I would think about where I would put my vegetable garden.

Once you find that spot you can start to plan what you want to grow in there and how to grow it. 

How To Grow Your Own Food Indoors

So indoors you can definitely grow vegetables year-round as long as you have a grow light.

There are a lot of different ways to grow vegetables too. I prefer hydroponics because it eliminates the need for soil.

But you can grow in standard pots with a potting mix if you are feeling less adventurous.

You can grow large plants in 5-gallon buckets filled with coco coir or even in what’s called a hempy bucket.

One of my favorites is sub irrigated planters or SIPs made with GroBuckets.GroBucket Self Watering 5 Gallon Bucket System Review Easy Growing

 

Growing Hydroponic Vegetables

You can grow a lot of vegetables that way but an even better way in my opinion is to grow hydroponic vegetables.

They mature faster and outyield soil-grown plants.

But if you want to grow root crops you will need to use soil or coco coir so it’s not suitable for all crops.

Now with hydroponic vegetables, you don’t need any soil at all so you can keep your apartment a lot cleaner because you won’t have a bunch of dirt in there.

There are a number of ways to grow hydroponically. For large plants, I would recommend deep water culture as it’s called or DWC

DWC ROOTS

That’s perfect for tomatoes and peppers and other large plants that you might want to grow.

There is also a method of growing that is similar to DWC but a bit simpler and that’s called the Kratky method.

It is passive and uses no pumps or airstones and it’s perfect for growing lettuce and other greens and I will show you how to do that. 

Why You Should Grow Your Own Vegetables

So, if you decide to grow your own food yes you will spend a bit of money setting up.

But it will pay off for you for a long time to come and I think it’s worth the investment.

You just can’t get the same quality of food that you grow in the supermarket.

And like I said fresh produce is going to get a lot more expensive in the near future. 

Self Sufficiency Is A Good Thing

Also, it’s good to be self-sufficient. Now you can’t be 100% self-sufficient.

But the more stuff you can do for yourself the better life will be for you.

Because that way you won’t be at the whims of outside parties who can just raise a price any time they want.

In some cases, something is just not available. I mean you know farmers have crop failures too.

With water being in short supply in most of our major growing areas you’re going to see a lot more of that start to happen.

So it’s good to be self-sufficient as much as possible. Like I said before you’re obviously not going to grow your own wheat or anything like that.

But you can bake your own bread if you buy some flour and then you’re not depending on a bakery.

So learning to take care of yourself is always a good idea and growing your own vegetables indoors is a great way to start.

How Long Will It Take To Grow My Own Vegetables?

Some things like lettuce, greens, or microgreens for example can be done pretty fast.

Growing Hydroponic Lettuce Indoors

Some of them can be harvested in a little bit over a month which isn’t that long.

Now if you want to grow tomatoes or peppers you’re going to have to wait longer because they take longer to grow.

They can take 60-90 days depending on the variety you grow.

Determinate tomatoes are much faster than indeterminate varieties for example.

But there’s no reason why you can’t do that and if you get the timing of your grow cycle right you’ll always be harvesting vegetables.

At that point, there won’t be a wait anymore and it will just be a question of when it’s time to start new plants to replace the old ones.

I really want to encourage you to start to grow your own food indoors.

It’s really a satisfying hobby if you want to call it a hobby and it’s great to share it with your kids so they learn a little bit about hands-on botany and biology.

It’s also really nice when you can give a bag of fresh grown tomatoes or peppers to a friend or neighbor.

So you’ll be popular but mainly what it does for you is it means you don’t have to spend as much money on food at the supermarket. And that’s a good thing.

It also means you don’t have to drive there just for a head of lettuce because you can grow it yourself.

So self-sufficiency is a good thing to strive for and even though in this complicated day and age we can’t really do that a hundred percent you certainly want to do it as much as you can

You will also enjoy it while you’re doing it and that’s a good thing.

You know a lot of us are not commuting to work anymore so we have some time to start a few new projects or hobbies at home.

And growing your own food is a good one. So now we’re here on my website indoor vegetable grower and I have a lot of articles on how to grow vegetables at home.

Why I Started Growing Indoors

If you don’t know about me I live and grow vegetables in an apartment now. I used to have a farm and I used to grow fresh market vegetables.

GroBucket peppers

But I don’t have the farm anymore and that’s another story for another day. Going from a farm to an apartment is a big transition.

You know I found myself living in an apartment, even though I have a small container garden outside where I can grow a couple of tomatoes and peppers it wasn’t enough.

I would run out of fresh vegetables from my summer garden and realized I had the time and space to grow vegetables in my apartment too.

Especially the past few years being locked down because of covid I really started to feel like I needed to do something.

I wanted tomatoes and you just can’t buy good tomatoes anymore because they’re not ripe.

They’re picked green and then they gas them with ethylene to make them look pretty

So they turn out nice and red but they don’t taste like anything, at least not like anything that I ever grew in my garden.

Now maybe you’re used to that kind of stuff, but you will get spoiled if you start growing your own vegetables. I guarantee you that. 

Growing Vegetables Indoors Isn’t Hard

So I have been growing vegetables in my apartment for quite a while and I can tell you if I can do it you can do it too.

I’m no genius. I’m no rocket scientist. I’m just an old farmer. You know the old expression you can take a farmer out of the field but you can’t take the field out of the farmer.

And that’s my story and I really enjoy sharing what I know about growing vegetables indoors with people.

No Green Thumb Required

Particularly those who have never thought of it or maybe they thought they didn’t have a green thumb and so they never tried it. 

I can tell you, you don’t need a green thumb to grow vegetables inside.

All you need is some seeds and if you can’t start seeds you can buy transplants at a local garden center.

That will give you a jump on your harvest because they’re further along than a seed.

But it’s really not that hard to grow your own food. I mean plants need a few things to do well.

But nature pretty much programs them to grow. They want to grow and reproduce.

If you give them enough light and you give them water and you give them the right amount of food they will flourish.

There’s really not anything special that you have to do. It’s really built into them once you understand how things work.

You know there is a bit of a learning curve when you start to grow and some things will do better than others.

But even if you fail you will learn one more way not to fail again. You know with repetition and doing it you will learn and know what to do.

There’s no way I can tell you everything there is about growing vegetables indoors. Some of it you’re going to have to find out for yourself. And it’s worth the journey that’s all I can say.

I Built Indoor Vegetable Grower For You

 So what I would like to do is invite you to go through my website and check out some of my blog posts.

I made it to help people learn to grow vegetables indoors so please take advantage of the information it provides.

You’ll find a wealth of information on growing with DWC, on the Kratky method, on growing in coco coir, on growing hydroponic lettuce, growing tomatoes, growing peppers and I’m even growing cucumbers.

So I share a lot of stuff and I try to show you how you can do it too. So check out some of the articles on my website.

You will probably want to read a lot of stuff to get an education and start to understand how to grow vegetables, particularly with hydroponics.

A lot of people don’t show you how to do that and what’s more, a lot of the articles that you read on the internet are written by people that are just writers that somebody hired. 

They don’t even have actual experience growing. So be careful whose advice you take.

But if you’re on a reputable garden site their advice is probably pretty good.

But I’ve seen a lot of bad advice given out. You know on the internet anybody can become an instant expert and you’ve got to be careful who you listen to.

So anyway, have a great day. Happy gardening to you.