Growing Vegetables Indoors Vs Outdoors

Growing Vegetables Indoors Vs OutdoorsWhat’s the difference between growing vegetables indoors vs outdoors?

Growing Vegetables Indoors Vs OutdoorsWhat’s the difference between growing vegetables indoors vs outdoors?

I grow vegetables both indoors and outdoors and there are definite differences.

The biggest difference between growing indoors and outdoor vegetables is climate.

Growing indoors provides a more stable growing environment. 

Growing Vegetables Indoors Vs Outdoors

This year I planted tomatoes indoors. I also set tomato plants outside.

This has been a cold wet spring and I had to wait until June to set plants outdoors.

Meanwhile, my tomato plants were started from seed all at the same time, but my indoor tomato plants are 3 times larger and already have tomatoes on them.

Controlling Climate – It’s Always Summer Indoors

I live in Western Washington State. We have a cool maritime climate with a modified Mediterranean climate during summer. 

We like to joke that summer even sometimes falls on a weekend if we are lucky. What other areas experience as summer doesn’t happen here.

We usually don’t have “warm” weather until July or August. Add to this, cool nights and little rain, and growing vegetables outdoors can be a challenge.

While this climate works great for lettuce, cabbage, and other cool-weather crops heat-loving vegetables are hard to grow.

Some like sweet potatoes or melons are almost impossible to grow at all unless in a grow tunnel.

Indoor Vegetable Gardening

Growing Vegetables Indoors Vs Outdoors Tomatoes

Here are some indoor tomatoes. The spots are actually grains of coco coir. My outdoor plants are just starting to flower.

Indoors I am growing sweet potatoes. I have not tried melons yet but I can grow them.

One of the great things about growing vegetables indoors is you can do it even if you have an unfavorable outdoor climate.

Not only can I grow vegetables out of season but it allows me to grow plants that have a longer growing season than I have outdoors.

You Will Need Supplemental Lighting Indoors

Growing Vegetables Indoors With LED Grow LightsMany people fail at growing vegetables indoors simply because they don’t have enough light.

I don’t have a sunny balcony so I use LED grow lights for my vegetables.

Here is a review of the Spider Farmer Sf 2000 which I use and recommend.

Spider Farmer SF2000 Unboxing And Review (indoorvegetablegrower.com)

This means I am not limited to growing on a balcony or by a window.

With stable temperatures, watering when needed and enough light my vegetables thrive indoors while many struggle outside.

Windowsills Are Not Enough

While you can grow some low-light vegetables like herbs or lettuce on a windowsill they will still do much better under a LED light.

If you have a balcony with 6 hours of sunlight daily you can grow vegetables there.

Plants like tomatoes and peppers need a lot of light. They also get too large to fit on a windowsill.

Most vegetables evolved growing outdoors in full sun so light is the most limiting factor indoors.

No Outdoor Garden Space? No Problem!

If you want to grow vegetables indoors you can. Just because you live in an apartment does not mean you can’t raise your own vegetables.

Anything that can be grown outdoors can be grown indoors and often it will do better indoors.

Just make sure you have adequate supplemental lighting for your veggies. Then you can grow a nice container garden.

My indoor garden is in my kitchen and it started out as a 2 by 4-foot space. But I was able to expand it to about 3 by 6 feet.

I put lower light plants around the edges and higher light plants directly under my LED grow light.

Growing Vegetables Year-Round Indoors

This is probably the best reason for growing vegetables indoors vs outdoors.

There is no growing season indoors. You can grow tomatoes in June or in December.

Even if you do have an outdoor garden it is seasonal. By winter you will be out of fresh vegetables.

This is often the time fresh produce prices are the highest. Your indoor vegetable garden can provide fresher better tasting produce for you.

There Are Fewer Pests Indoors

When you grow vegetables outdoors the soil can be a home for pests and diseases that can damage your crops.

But indoors we will use potting mix or coco coir to grow our vegetables. They will not contain bugs or diseases.

That is not to say you can’t get bugs on your plants but it is much less likely and easier to control.

Growing Vegetables Indoors Vs Outdoors Final Thoughts

I prefer growing vegetables indoors for several reasons.

One main reason is that I can control the climate indoors. Inside hail and wind storms don’t exist.

It never gets too hot or too cold indoors and there is no such thing as a drought.

Also, I can have fresh produce all year instead of seasonally. Sure you can or freeze an outdoor garden crop.

But it is not as healthy as fresh vegetables.

I don’t need to worry about if it will rain or spend time watering my garden. Watering indoors is easier and requires less water and fertilizer.

My plants are under LED grow lights so I can adjust how much light they get. There are no cloudy days under LEDs.

The final verdict on growing vegetables indoors vs outdoors? Gardening indoors wins hands down for my situation.

Maybe it will work for you too. So give it a try because I think you will like the results.