Winter is right around the corner, which means for many, it’s time to prepare for the cold and put the garden to bed. Even though the outdoor garden is dormant, there is still a world of opportunity to grow indoors. Flavors of summer are one step away when you grow herbs on your kitchen counter.
You don’t need a yard to cultivate a garden — you can have it all indoors.
To savor the flavor of summer, all you need to do is, find a space indoors, choose your growing medium – soil, coco coir, sand, gravel or water – and begin growing your favorite herbs.
Almost any plant can be grown indoors, as long as the growing environment is suited to the plant’s needs. Traditional soil can be traded for water and other soil-less mixes.
And you’re not limited to herbs that love cold weather. Common herbs such as dill, parsley and rosemary thrive under grow lights and can provide flavorful flair all year long. Other easy to grow herbs include basil, mint, oregano, chives, thyme, and cilantro.
Starting an indoor fall herb garden is simple. Maintaining a healthy growing environment is the key to success.
It’s easy to grow food year-round in an indoor hydroponic garden.
1. Turn on the lights. There are a lot of different options when it comes to the lights you can use in your indoor gardening system. The best light for your needs depends on the type of plants you want to grow. Large fruiting and flowering plants need more intense light compared to herbs. Choose a grow light approximately the same width as the shelving unit. When selecting your lights, consider the following light sources:
Fluorescent: Full-spectrum tubes such as T5, T8 and T12, use 75 percent less energy and last 10 times longer than traditional bulbs. Best for starting seeds and growing greens and herbs indoors.
Compact fluorescent lights (CFLs): Similar in size to traditional bulbs, CFLs are more efficient. CFLs do not emit much heat, so they can be placed closer to seedlings.
Light-emitting Diode (LED): Light, compact and efficient, LEDs emit only the colors plants absorb – red and blue – so they don’t waste energy.
2. Monitor the Medium. Growing plants in water? Make sure you provide plans with enough nutrients. Unlike traditional outdoor gardens, your plants depend on you and you alone – not nutrients found in the soil - to get enough food to eat. Indoor plants also grow more quickly and use less water compared to outdoor gardens. For the best results, regularly monitor and test water and soil pH levels.
3. Mimic the Outdoors. Heat, humidity and CO2 keep plants alive. Make sure your system is equipped with the proper air filtration systems that utilize the CO2 that plants use during photosynthesis. Systems vary depending on the indoor garden, but both beginners and advanced growers can benefit from products like the Ideal-Air™ Dehumidifiers for their portability and size options.
4. Feed and repeat. Feed your hungry indoor plants with an extra boost of fertilizer. Since most of the nutrients in an indoor growing system are quickly eaten by the roots, it’s important to monitor your plants to make sure they’re getting what they need. Choose organic fertilizers if you’re growing something you will eat.
5. Get to the root of it. Strong plants start from the bottom – with their roots! Help plants build a healthy root zone by combing the proper soil-less mix with the right with air pumps, stones and diffusers. Tailor your lights and feeding program to the plants you’re growing.
The key to growing a thriving garden indoors is to mimic the outdoors and monitor levels of Heat, humidity and CO2 to keep plants alive.
Now you’re ready to grow! Indoor gardening allows you to enjoy fresh food year-round. Bring the flavors of summer to your kitchen counter-top today. For more tips on how to start your own hydroponic garden, visit sunlightsupply.com.
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