Indoor gardens have become a trend these days. More people have started living in apartments and do not have an outdoor space to put up a garden. If you happen to live in an apartment, you must have seen beautiful green balconies and felt like having one! Do not worry this write-up will share vital gardening ideas with you.
You can grow almost any plant indoors if you know the basics. You should be aware of what crops can fit into your available space and lighting. Indoor gardening is an extraordinary experience. To help you set up one, we are here to cover all the basics of gardening for beginners! Let us get started with some easy gardening basics.
Understanding plant needs
Nurturing plants is similar to helping a newborn baby grow. You need to take enough care to make sure they bloom. Each plant is unique like a kid is and will need different things to grow up. Some plants might like hot weather conditions while others grow in moist or cold weather conditions.
But some of the fundamental ingredients required for gardening in the home are:
- Sunlight- Plants harness energy from sunlight through photosynthesis and convert the acquired energy into their tissues. Many of the plants need the Sun to grow, including most vegetables and fruits. If your balcony or the dedicated plant spot doesn’t get enough sunlight, look for plants that prefer shady conditions.
- Water- To keep standing in front of the Sun throughout the day, the plant relies on water. It is essential to keep them hydrated so that the plants remain healthy and happy.
- Nutrients and Soil- Just like you eat to keep healthy, plants need a lot of nutrients. You need to add this nutrition manually in case of indoor gardening. These days you can buy these nutrients online. So the nutrient problem is solved. But wait; is your soil fertile enough to set up a home garden? Luckily, we have enough DIY testing kits available in the market to check whether your soil is alkaline or acidic. The acidity requirement for most plants should lie between 6.1 to 7 pH. If the soil is highly acidic, the nutrients do not get absorbed by the plants. In alkaline soil, plants do not get vital minerals like manganese, phosphorus, and iron. So the essential gardening basics for beginners are: read the testing kit instructions carefully and follow them strictly to get accurate results.
The basics in gardening say that the climatic conditions in your area need to be perfect for a particular plant to grow. When you buy the seeds and plants online, the favorable climatic conditions for that plant suffix along. You can understand your climatic conditions by getting familiar with the plant’s hardiness zones. In fact, in the US, the government has designed a map showing zones and their climatic conditions relevant to the growth and survival. So, if you live outside of the US, you need to figure this out yourself. Either buy seeds and plants online or discuss these things with the shopkeeper from whom you are purchasing the seeds. Your experienced friend or neighbor might help too.
Another vital indoor gardening basics you should keep in mind is that you should be aware of the plant’s growing season length. It will help in planting annual plants like most fruits and vegetables. Supposedly you want to grow mangoes, make sure the planting time is correct so that the mangoes grow fully.
The spot you pick up for indoor gardening must be convenient for the plant. When the seeds are newly planted, it needs more heat than light. But once the seedlings break through the soil, the light becomes more important. After a point, both sunlight and artificial light play a vital role in plant growth.
Setting up correct watering strategies for plants is one of the essential gardening basics you should understand. The water requirement by a plant depends on a few factors like weather conditions. Hot weather and dry air pull moisture from plants quickly. In such areas, more watering is necessary. Another factor is the type of soil used for gardening.
Give your plants enough water once or twice per week rather than little-little each day. You can check if the plants have enough water by inserting a finger in the soil and check if it feels moist down till 2-3 inches.
You should always use a water sprinkler to water the plants. Spilling all the water at once might damage the plants!
If you are keen to learn gardening basics, you must already be aware that you need some vital tools to do gardening. The larger the scale of your gardening, the more types of equipment you require. The tip here is, start with minimum things and slowly grow big.
You will need a watering can, containers, potting soil, and a small trowel for container gardens.
For raised beds, you need: digging forks, a trowel, shovel, hoe, and a watering can.
Some questions that need answers before gardening at home
Now that you know all the home gardening basics, you must be overwhelmed to grow your first plant. There is a little questionnaire that needs an answer before you start preparing the soil. These questions are:
- What types of plants are you interested in growing?
- If you are food gardening at home, what do you most likely cook and eat? There is no point in growing stuff that you do not eat.
- How much light and space are available for gardening at your place?
- How much time do you have in hands to spend on gardening? It is not a one day job. Plants require enough and proper care regularly. You will have to devote time to watering, weeding, etc. the plant. It is a huge commitment in itself!
If you have positive answers to all these questions, you can start digging!
Laying the Roots
You can either buy the seeds or small starter plants that you can transplant in your indoor garden. Most fruits and vegetables grow simply from seeds and are the most affordable choice.
But sometimes you will have to buy starter plants because:
o A particular plant is difficult to grow from seeds.
o The growing season is short.
Rest, most of the information for planting comes along with it. And the internet is always there for help. You can plant the seed in geometric or row patterns. Just put the seeds and cover it with soil and water. If you are using starter plants, dig a big hole to put the plant so that the roots get a big room to grow.
Give hearty watering post-planting!
Protecting the Plants
Once your plants have started to flourish, they might invite some unwanted guests. Weeds are inevitable and okay to have unless they start choking the plants. Keep weeding every week to avoid getting them out of control.
A sufficient supply of water, sunlight, and nutrients will reduce other gardening problems. There are various organic routes available to avoid the use of pesticides. You can check them online.
Benefits of Gardening
Apart from providing nutritious fruits and vegetables, gardening has multiple benefits:
- Plants give you cleaner air to breathe. They absorb carbon dioxide and exchange it with fresh oxygen.
- It relieves stress. Caressing the plants and seeing them grow is known to relieve stress. After gazing at computer screens the whole day, plants provide relief to your eyes too.
- Gardening as a hobby reduces the load on the planet as well. When you plant your vegetables, you reduce your carbon footprint.
- In some way, it boosts self-esteem.
- Some people post retiring from their jobs, take gardening as a hobby to combat loneliness.
Hope you find these gardening basics for beginners helpful and make it easy for you to plant your vegetable garden! And if you are happy by just planting some house plants, these hacks and tips will work for you as well. Happy gardening!