Do you want an indoor vegetable garden apartment? Is it possible? You can grow your own vegetables in an apartment even if you have no outdoor space.
In this article, we will show you how to grow vegetables in your apartment.
To start an indoor vegetable garden you will need sunlight or an LED grow light, containers, potting mix, fertilizer, and water. You will also need seeds or transplants for your garden.
We will go over what you need to get started and what vegetables you can grow indoors.
Starting Your Indoor Vegetable Garden Apartment
You will need a few things before you can start growing vegetables indoors.
Before you start you need to find a spot where your indoor garden will live. Ideally, you have a sunny spot for it.
If you are lucky enough to have a balcony that gets 6 hours of sun a day growing your own vegetables will be really easy.
If you don’t have a sunny spot you will need a LED grow light for your garden. Even if you have sunlight a LED light will greatly increase production.
Here is a review of the LED grow light that I use for my vegetables. Spider Farmer SF2000 Unboxing And Review (indoorvegetablegrower.com)
You will probably start growing your vegetables in containers and as you gain more experience you may want to grow hydroponic vegetables.
There are several different containers you can use indoors. Ordinary plastic pots will work fine but grow bags are an even better option.
Grow bags will give the roots more oxygen and prevent plants from getting rootbound. For most plants 2, 3, or 5-gallon pots will work well.
Smaller plants like leaf lettuce can be grown in a 5 or 6-inch pot because they don’t have an extensive root system.
This can also work well for most herbs and these plants can work on a sunny window sill.
For large plants like tomatoes, 5-gallon buckets really work well. Just make sure to drill drainage holes in them.
Container gardens allow you to move your plants around if you need to.
You will need to put your pots in a saucer or tray to catch runoff after watering. Don’t let them sit in water. Empty the trays after watering.
You can feed the runoff to other plants or feed your lawn with them. Don’t pour them down the drain, they can pollute our groundwater.
Choosing Your Potting Mix
Many people use a peat-based potting mix for growing vegetables indoors. It is readily available and can work well.
Coco Coir The Better Choice
Coco coir is a superior grow medium compared to potting soil. It may cost a bit more or be harder to find but it’s worth the effort.
Coco coir has several important advantages over potting mix.
- Coco coir is half the weight of soil mixes. So it’s easier to move your plants around.
- Coco coir reduces the pot size needed by half over soil mixes. So you can fit more pots into your garden.
- Coco coir does not compact. It stays lighter and fluffier than soil.
- Coco holds water better. Coco has superior wicking abilities and holds more oxygen even when wet.
- Coco is a renewable resource. It is made from coconut shells but peat is strip-mined from our wetlands.
- Coco is reusable
I really recommend growing vegetables in coco coir vs potting soil.
Fertilizing Your Indoor Vegetables
Your plants will need to be fertilized regularly. If you decide to use coco there are nutrients made for growing specifically in coco.
Some potting mixes contain nutrients mixed into them but they will run out before the plants are done growing.
Coco coir is a great growing medium but it does not contain any nutrients so needs to be fed at the start.
Coco coir should always be watered until you get some runoff. It is important to remove this runoff from the tray.
The idea of watering until runoff is to help prevent salt buildup. So all runoff should be removed regardless of the soil type used.
For potting soil, you can use any well-balanced fertilizer to feed them.
Be careful with fertilizers. Follow directions because overfeeding can harm your plants.
Watering Your Containers
Potting mix is generally watered thoroughly and allowed to dry back before watering again. It is usually fed every other watering.
Coco coir is actually a hydroponic medium so you don’t want it to dry out. Keep it moist but not soaked.
Coco is fed at every watering so you will use less fertilizer than you would for potting mix.
Provide Air Circulation
Your vegetables need fresh air to grow their best. You can use a small fan to provide airflow.
You want a gentle breeze on your plants. Too much air can dry out leaves and harm your plants.
Seeds Or Transplants?
Once your pots are full it is time to plant. Vegetable seeds can vary a lot in size and some can be quite small.
You can direct sow seeds into moist soil and gently cover them. It’s ok to plant more than you need and thin the plants later.
If you decide to use transplants gently unpot them and plant them at the same depth.
Transplants are much faster than seeds and can give you a faster harvest. If you are just starting out using transplants instead of seeds can be easier.
Best Vegetables For An Indoor Vegetable Garden Apartment
Some vegetables are much easier to grow than others. Lettuce. greens and herbs are great first plants to grow.
They might get by on a sunny window sill because they need less light than some other vegetables.
Tomatoes and peppers are a bit harder to grow and need more light. You will probably need to use a grow light for them.
They are definitely worth the extra effort needed to grow them. They also can get large so make sure that you have the space.
How Long Does It Take To Grow Vegetables?
Naturally, once you start an apartment garden you will want to know how long it will take to get a harvest.
Days to maturity are an estimate. Depending on lighting and fertilizing and other factors some may take longer.
There are more vegetables you can grow indoors so these are some basic choices. Feel free to experiment and grow what you like to eat.
Fast Growing Vegetables
- Arugula 24-38 days
- Mustard Greens 25 days
- Radishes 25 days
- Leaf Lettuce 45 days
- Pak Choi 25-45 days
Slower Growing But Worth The Wait
- Basil 25-70 days
- Beets 50 days
- Bush Beans 55-60 days
- Carrots 70 days
- Chard 55 days
- Chinese Cabbage 57 days
- Green Onions 65 days
- Peppers 70-80 days
- Tomatoes 70 -75 days on average
Final Thoughts On Starting An Indoor Vegetable Garden Apartment
It’s time to start your indoor vegetable garden. Living in an apartment is no excuse for not growing your own vegetables.
You will learn a lot about growing plants and you will enjoy your new hobby. It is a great project to share with kids or your friends.
It does not cost a lot to get started either. You will be able to experience the satisfaction of growing your own food.
Don’t wait to get started today!