Starting from scratch can be difficult for any beginner who wants to get into indoor growing.
Indoor gardening is a popular method by which one can grow several varieties of flowers, shrubs, herbs, fruits, and vegetables, right inside their home with the help of indoor grow lights.
This method usually requires grow lights that mimic the sun and give plants the light that they require.
With the right indoor gardening equipment and some dedication, you can have a full-fledged garden in no time.
In this article, you'll find information that will help you get started with indoor growing. Let's get started!
Basics of Indoor Growing
Before getting started, make sure you have answers to the following questions:
- What do you want to grow?
- How much space do you have?
- Can the plants get natural light indoors?
- Can you commit your time and energy to an indoor garden?
- Do you have pets or kids who may be allergic to certain plants?
These questions would help you have more clarity about your indoor garden and help you move in the right direction.
Familiarise yourself with the basics of indoor growing:
If you're someone who hasn't picked up a garden spade in your whole life, it's time to explore and learn about the basic equipment that you'll need to grow your plants. Visit a plant nursery near you or talk to a grower in your vicinity to learn about the local climate or microclimate.
Plants have a lot of requirements including water, light, the right soil, airflow, right temperature and humidity, fertilizers, and more! It can be daunting to fulfill all of these requirements indoors.
Different plants have different needs, so you need to grow plants that are compatible with each other or have similar needs, in case you plan to grow two or more plants together.
Understand The Lifecycle Of A Plant:
It is important to understand the lifecycle of a plant to provide it with the nutrients it requires. It is necessary that you try to replicate the natural environment that it grows in.
For instance, Orchids are epiphytes, which means that in their natural environment, they latch themselves onto trees but they make their food. They do not require soil to grow, instead, they can grow well in soilless mediums.
Typically, a plant begins from a seed. Then the seed sprouts and eventually turns into a seedling. The seedling grows up to become a plant. The plant may flower (if it's a flowering plant) and turn into a fruit or vegetable (if it's a fruit/vegetable plant).
It's Time For A Thorough Analysis:
Carry out an analysis and understand how much space you have for your indoor garden. Depending on how much space you have, you can decide whether you want to have a herb garden, flowering plants, or a row of succulents.
It's best to start with beginner-friendly plants that thrive with minimal care. Succulents can grow well and don't require a lot of light or water which is why they are excellent for beginners. Once you think you're ready, you can go to the next level and try growing something more complicated.
After you've determined the space that you have. You can take the measurements of its height and width and see if they are compatible with what you're trying to grow. Vines, for instance, require a set-up with impressive height.
Indoor growing comes with more than a handful of benefits. We'll discuss them in the next section.
Benefits of Indoor Growing
Better Air Quality:
It is a known fact that plants can improve air quality and their appearance can help you reduce stress and anxiety. Having plants indoors can be an amazing way to spruce up your living room and add some colors to it.
Compared to outdoor gardening, indoor gardening is on a smaller scale. This means that you don't need a lot of money, to begin with. A majority of the cost of indoor growing is the cost of indoor growing supplies such as grow lights, racks, grow tents, etc.
Note: Keeping in mind that store-bought fruits and vegetables may be laden with fertilizers and grown with harmful chemicals, it is best to grow your produce and save some money.
Even though nothing can compete with sunlight and the natural environment, a lot of people live in colder climates where it is hard to grow plants outdoors. In such cases, indoor growing can provide a controlled set-up where growers can make an artificial environment to grow plants.
This is immensely helpful for those who find it expensive to buy fruits, vegetables, or grains from the supermarket and want to grow some of their own. Growing plants indoors is easy and hassle-free, and with the right indoor growing systems, you can even start selling your home-grown fruits and vegetables to others.
Engaging And Rejuvenating Activity:
Indoor growing is a relaxing activity for kids and adults. It can be a fruitful experience to watch your indoor growing plants grow from seeds and eventually turn into full-sized plants. If you're someone who has a hectic schedule, indoor growing can be an amazing weekend activity that you can enjoy at home.
Sustainability focuses on meeting the needs of individuals while protecting the environment and not compromising on the needs of our children. By growing plants indoors, you minimize the use of transport and decrease the intake of items grown with harmful chemicals.
Consuming home-grown fruits and vegetables can have a significant impact on the mental and physical health of people.
Some plants naturally release humidity in the air. This means that you no longer have to complain about having dry skin. Of course, these plants cannot replace humidifiers, but they can do a pretty decent job nonetheless. According to research, Spider plants are extremely efficient in this process.
Food And Medicine:
The best part about growing plants indoors is that you can grow plants such as mint, basil, aloe vera, stevia, and several others. These plants work well as medicine and food too. You can chop them and add them to your food or use the plants for their medicinal benefits.
Basil, for example, can be used to treat loss of appetite while aloe vera is amazing for your hair and skin.
Beginners often ask: 'Is an indoor growing tent a must?' We'll answer that in the next section.
Is Indoor Growing Tent A Must ?
A lot of beginners wonder if they need a high-end growing set-up with an indoor grow tent kit. In short, no, it is not a must to have a grow tent as a part of your indoor grow kit.
Maximizes The Potential Of Grow Lights
A growing tent can be beneficial and can help you maximize the potential of your grow lights. It is easy to install and since it is a pre-made, ready-to-install structure, you don't need anything else to get started.
An indoor growing tent is beginner-friendly, simple, and cost-effective. Grow tents typically come with vents that allow air circulation, which is why there are fewer chances that beginners will have to deal with any issues.
The walls of a grow tent are reflective - this means that they reflect the light that would have otherwise escaped. They help you to use the light to the fullest and get a better produce/yield. Ultimately, a grow tent can help you save money.
Kids or pets tend to pluck plants and it can be infuriating to see your hard work be destroyed like that. A grow tent allows you to keep your growing area away from kids or pets and helps you have more control over it.
If you ever plan to move the indoor grow equipment to a different location, or if you want to expand the indoor grow house, you can easily deconstruct the tent structure and reconstruct it whenever or wherever needed. Several grow tents are customizable and you can have different compartments for plants in different stages of growth.
Pest and Insect control
Since a tent is an enclosed space, it is hard to get insects or pests in there. It is also easy to get rid of pests/insects by using pesticides/insecticides.
In the next section, we'll look at an indoor grow room equipment checklist for beginners.
Indoor Grow Room Equipment Checklist
Every beginner wishes that they had a checklist for all the equipment that they would need. Fret not! We've compiled a list that would help you to keep a note of everything and not miss out on anything essential.
Good quality seeds:
Unless you're going to get an adult plant, you would be needing good quality seeds to start your growing process. But why exactly do you need 'good quality' ones? You need these because usually seeds come mixed with dust, tiny rocks, and other particles.
The right-sized containers are important. Make sure that you avoid plastic containers, but if you have no other choice, use food-grade containers.
LED Grow Lights:
High-quality grow lights can speed up the growing process and give your plants the energy they require to thrive. Medic Grow LED Grow Lights are cost-effective and easy to adjust. You can find them here.
As discussed in the previous section, grow tents can maximize the potential of your grow lights and give you a better quality yield.
It's vital to have a timer, especially because plants require a set amount of light per day and if they are given more light than required, it may burn them. Some timers automatically turn the lights on and off.
These fans allow constant air circulation inside the tent. This helps to maintain a set temperature inside the tent.
Pruners or scissors:
Pruners or scissors allow you to get trim branches and get rid of unwanted/damaged plants.
An indoor plant growing system is incomplete without a handy watering can. It helps you to generously water your plants.
Several plants do not require watering but they can thrive with misting. A spray bottle helps you to easily mist your plants.
Garden spades help you to lightly cultivate the soil around your plants and loosen it up. It can be used to break lumps that are usually formed in the soil.
Soil or Potting Mix:
Last but not least, you will need a potting mix or soil to plant your seeds. You can make your own potting mix with bark mix, perlite, peat moss, sand, or coconut coir. Make sure that you check the requirements of your plants before making the mix.
In the next section, you'll find out some amazing tips for new growers.
Tips For New Growers
- Invest in good quality seeds, materials, and equipment. These can make a major difference in your yield.
- If you already have an adult plant, you can take cuttings from it and propagate smaller plants.
- It is important to know the natural environment your plant grows in so that you can mimic the environment and try to replicate it in your own canopy.
- Use containers that are suitable for your plants. Some plants require a lot of drainage which is why pots that have holes at the bottom can be the right choice.
- Understand the kind of water that your plants need and how much and how often they need to be watered. Some plants can survive in drought while others require frequent misting.
- Choose between different potting mediums and soil. Epiphytes, for instance, grow well in soilless mediums.
- Find out how much sun your plants require in their natural environment and recreate the environment using grow lights. Adjust the height of the grow lights according to the phase of growth your plants are in.
- Know the temperature, humidity, and air circulation that your plants require and use the indoor growing equipment to try to maintain them.
- To allow your plant's soil to retain nutrients, add fertilizers occasionally. Later, you can run water through the soil so that unwanted salts or extra fertilizer are flushed out. Remember to not add extra fertilizer than needed because it can end up burning the roots of your plants.
- Always keep a close watch on your plants. If you notice unusual signs such as yellow, wilted, or brown leaves, make sure to carry out an inspection and see if the light is too much to bear for the plants.