Put your green thumb to work—and save yourself a trip to the farmer’s market—by growing your own veggies, fruits, herbs, and other foods indoors year-round.
To get started, you'll need a pot with drainage holes and specially designed . While some options can grow in small planters, larger veggies will require big and deep containers so their roots have space to flourish. And to ensure your soil drains properly (no soggy pots allowed!), it may be helpful to DIY your very own mixture by adding some into high-quality potting soil.
Once you’ve got your supplies, find yourself a sunny window (veggies will need at least 4-6 hours of sunshine while fruits will need at least 8-10 hours daily), and get to potting.
When it comes to watering, each plant will be a bit different, but it’s always best to remember the old adage: less is more. And here’s a sage idea: Set up a near your indoor garden to help simulate their typical outdoor conditions and to prevent them from drying out.
To give your plants an extra boost—especially when those dreary winter days roll around—invest in powerful , which start at just $33. You can also achieve faster growth (and do less work!) when it comes to herbs with an , which you can pick up for just $60.
Without grow lights, you can still expect to see sprouting rather quickly, but it will likely be several weeks to months before you can cut and enjoy your goodies. Follow these tips, choose from one of our favorite options below, and you'll be harvesting your own indoor crops in no time.
"Radishes are known to do quite well indoors," Miracle-Gro research specialist Ashleigh Lemon tells Ikaroo.info. This root veggie won't need a ton of light, but it will need a deep enough container large to house the growing bulbs.
Not only are microgreens incredibly easy to grow, they're super healthy, too. In fact, microgreens are packed with up to 40 times more vitamins and nutrients than fully grown veggies and plants. (We recommend using them to top sandwiches and salads!) Start with a tasty mix of baby kale, beets, and arugula, and you'll have your first harvest just 2-3 weeks later.
Herbs grow really well inside, just be sure they're not too close to a window during the winter months (the cold air may cause wilting). Take your pick from these foolproof options: basil, rosemary, cilantro, chives, thyme, oregano, and parsley.
These versatile crops can be grown in fuss-free , though they'll need a lot of light once they're established. You'll also need to carve out quite a bit of space for 'em since they can grow pretty big.
"Leafy greens and lettuce will do well indoors year-round," Ashleigh says. "But good drainage is key." Spinach doesn’t like to be surrounded by moisture, so make sure you grow your greens in a well-draining soil in a pot with drainage holes. You'll want to use an , which ensures both proper drainage and air exposure for the roots.
It can be tricky to get tomatoes and other fruits to perform well indoors, which is why it's best to start them indoors and then move them outside once it's warm enough. Or, you can grow them with some help from growing lights or a ( offers both and is great for novice gardeners). Your tomatoes will need 8-10 hours of sunlight each day. You'll also want to choose a compact variety to ensure they don't take up too much space in your kitchen.
You can grow these sweet treats in pots or hanging planters year-round, though you'll have to make sure they have access to plenty of sunlight. "Similar to tomatoes, enough light and good drainage is a must," Ashleigh says. You may also want to consider for these berries, too.