The obvious hurdle for urban gardeners to overcome is the lack of space. Unlike country or suburban homes, us city folk often have to make do with a tiny concrete square or over-crowded balcony. However, some are even worse off and have no outdoor space at all! Can you be a gardener without a garden? Yes. As long as you have some indoor space that is light and well ventilated, you’ll be able to grow something green – even edibles. Just make sure you’ve considered drainage and potential compost spills. Let’s talk about indoor gardening!
Here are three ideas for indoor gardening…
It really is possible to grow tomatoes indoors. You need a bright windowsill that gets 6-8 hours of sunlight, and a variety of seeds that grows small, bushy tomato plants – such as Red Robin or Toy Boy. Choose pots that are 15 – 20cms deep and have good drainage (make sure you put a plate underneath pots to catch water). Without bees and insects indoors the plants may struggle to pollinate, so you may need to lightly brush pollen from one flower to another to ensure fruits appear. Water regularly and add plant feed every few weeks, turning pots 90 degrees every few days to ensure even access to sunlight.
One of the easiest things to grow indoors in herbs. These kitchen windowsill favourites are usually content with adequate sunlight and water every few days. Basil, coriander, thyme, parsley and much more can be grown in shallow pots with multi-purpose compost. Sow seeds at around 1cm deep (check the exact depth for individual varieties), water lightly and place the pots under a propagator or clear bag until germination – usually 7 – 10 days. Once the plants are established, pick leaves as they appear and use in cooking or cocktails, encouraging more to grow.
If you’ve got a light spot in a conservatory or kitchen, sweet peppers are an easy yet impressive edible to grow without a garden. Start seeds in small pots, and keep warm and damp until seedlings appear. When they’re 5-6cm tall, transplant the strongest plants to larger pots and return to their sunny spot. You’ll need to do this once more when they become pot-bound, replanting the seedlings to their final pot of around 30cm. Use a high-nutrient multipurpose compost, and feed with a high potash liquid food when flowers appear. Don’t allow the compost to dry out and harvest peppers when they’ve reached full size and colour.
A lack of outdoor space should not hold you back from growing a good range of edibles. Even if you do have a small garden, you might be surprised to learn what you can grow indoors – often with faster results because of the warmer temperatures and tighter control on growing conditions. Follow these indoor gardening ideas and you will be successful!
I'm a young professional living in the city, growing things in a small urban garden and encouraging others to do the same. Enjoying green space and eating home-grown veg boosts health and wellbeing, providing a connection to nature and much needed respite from stressful corporate life. I provide busy people with easy and enjoyable ways to get their green fix!
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