If you are a fan of organic vegetables but find them too expensive in the supermarkets, no thanks to a dwindling budget brought by the recession, you need not totally forego this healthy food choice.
You can always engage in indoor gardening, which is very ideal for people living in places with no sufficient space for a garden or for people with less time to devote to it.
Well, of course, there are limitations to the kinds of plants you can grow indoors especially as many plants still require outdoor growing due to sunlight, soil and size requirements. Fortunately, hybridizers continue to make strides in making new dwarf and miniature varieties of vegetables suitable for indoor gardening.
You can start with leafy greens such as endives, spinach and lettuce. These vegetables do not as much sunlight as other greens and, are easier to grow for the amateur indoor gardener.
You should also consider moving up into other vegetables such that you have an indoor salad garden.
Think along the lines of herb selections coupled with cherry tomatoes, dwarf carrots, peppers, bush beans and maybe some squash and cucumbers, all of which are highly suitable to container gardening.
Indoor Garden Lights
Your investment in indoor garden lights depends on whether you have plenty of south-facing windows. If you have many of these windows, you can buy lesser quantities of indoor garden lights.
You can choose from either specialized plant light fixtures such as the Aerogarden or go for ordinary fluorescent lights.
The important things with either choice are to place them as close to the plants as possible especially as each inch away from the plants greatly decreases the beneficial effect and to keep them on for at least 16 hours daily to stimulate better growth.
Care for Your Indoor Organically Grown Plants
In many ways, caring for indoor plants is similar to caring for them when planted outdoors.
You should ensure that the soil is sufficiently moist to sustain plant life as well as to ensure good-tasting vegetables. Keep in mind that irregular irrigation and other water problems scan lead to bitter-tasting vegetables, not to mention pest problems and bud drop.
You can employ watering devices like water globes and capillary matting as well as organic mulch to evenly distribute water and to prevent the soil from drying out.
After all, water and soil are two of the most important elements of indoor gardening.
Since you are now an organic gardener, it makes sense to only use organic fertilizer on your vegetables.
You should start a compost bin although store-bought seas weed meal is also good.
Fortunately, pests are not as common with indoor gardening as it is with its outdoor counterpart.
Thus, caterpillars and aphids are less of a problem although you must look out for indoor pests like whiteflies (use yellow sticky traps and vacuum the insects out), mealy bugs (kills with rubbing alcohol-saturated cotton buds) and spider mites (use organic sprays).
Soon enough, organic, fresh and delicious vegetables will be on your dinner table. And you will enjoy a sense of accomplishment from growing your own food!
Whitney Segura is an expert greenhouse gardener and owner of a company that manufacturers and distributes gardening tools and accessories, such as garden containers, greenhouses, compost bins, hydroponics systems, and much more.