The following is an excerpt from an article written by Rion Piccaro entitled The 7 Most Important Indoor Gardening Tips. I have added some comments in italics!
"If you enjoy gardening and would like to be growing all year round, but your climate doesn't permit you to grow outdoors in the winter months, you can always make an indoor garden. Whether you want to grow herbs, vegetables, fruits, or all of the above, you will find these indoor garden tips to be beneficial. There are plenty of grow guides and indoor garden tutorials online, so it is important that you do your research before you get started. Like with most project, it's wise to gather relevant information necessary for growing a successful indoor garden.
Top 7 indoor gardening tips:
Proper Light - Make sure you provide enough light to your plants. If they get too little light by intensity or time, they will become weaker and frail each day. Even if your home or office doesn't get enough sunlight, you can buy an indoor grow light. If adding a grow light is not an option, you can always choose a variety of plants that will grow well in low light environments.
Give Your Plants A Shower - No Kidding! You don't have to wash them every day, but it's a good thing to spray them down with fresh water regularly. The water will remove the dust and contaminants that may have landed on the leaves. Plants will absorb water through their leaves, so this is great for keeping your garden well hydrated. This is extremely important advice as so many insect problems start with dusty indoor plants and pots.
Soil Matters - Choose your soil wisely.... You can do no better than Coast of Maine's Bar Harbor Blend; an all natural and locally produced soil that is just terrific!
Drainage Is Important - Always add holes to the bottom of your plant container! Sure, you can buy planters with holes already in the bottom, but if you want to use a plastic container for starting seedlings, you may want to make your own from plastic cups. Without proper soil drainage, the water will stay in the pot, which will cause the roots rot. Good drainage along with good quality soil allows for deep waterings of your roots--very healthy!
Water Is Life - The most important indoor gardening tips regard proper watering. Water is an essential part of a plant's growth. Some plants need to be watered more frequently than others, but they all need water to survive. Room temperature water is most recommended for best absorption. However, you shouldn't never over water, or that will not be good either, but if you have good soil drainage, it will be hard to over water the plants. They will usually tell you when they need water by their leaves drooping down. When the soil feels dry to the touch about three inches down it's time to water thoroughly.
Fertilize For Success - Soil nutrients are also important factors for a healthy garden. Over time water will flush out some of the soil's nutrients, so you will have to add more nutrients periodically. Many people choose to use organic fertilizer in their garden which can come in a solid or liquid form. Always follow the instruction on the package of fertilizer that you are using for proper usage and how often to use it. You can purchase an electronic device that will check the nutrient level in your soil. I recommend all natural Dynamite--a capsulated fertilizer that needs to be applied every 3 months. Or liquid applications of Fish and Seaweed fertilizer (can result in a slight, temporary odor).
Capture It - Take lots of pictures because you may decide to start your own indoor garden blog and help others who are doing their research. Another great thing that a picture provides is the ability to post in a forum and get help with garden problems that other may have solved. Sometimes a picture is the best method for showing a certain problem to someone online or offline at your local garden center.
These are just my personal top 7 indoor gardening tips that you should consider to have your own success in growing plants indoors. Use these tips, but don't stop there. Continue to research and try new things to improve your garden so that your plants will have success and you will gain a sense of accomplishment."
December 7, 2010