Many of our readers regularly drink coffee, and without a doubt have leftover coffee grounds or occasionally some coffee left at the end of the pot. Don’t throw out either! As it turns out, you can use both coffee grounds, leftover coffee, and even the…
Comparing container gardening vs ground garden can help you decide what method is best for you to start your own home garden with. Each one has pro’s and con’s, and depending on the space that you have, what you need, etc. you may desire one…
Those just getting started gardening are often not sure where to begin. If you’re working in a small space, you’re probably considering setting up a container garden.
A container garden is exactly what it sounds like, a garden in pots (containers). People typically use container gardens when they lack the space for a traditional in ground garden.
However, there are some benefits to planting your garden in containers. You can more easily move your plants around and arrange them in different ways. Potted plants create a certain aesthetic and you can use different pots to compliment your house décor. Its also easy to bring potted plants inside when the weather is not ideal, whereas an in ground garden the plants are subject to all the seasons and weather elements.
Before you get started with potting all of your plants, here are 5 things to use for container gardening.
High Quality Potting Soil
Of all the things to use for container gardening, a high quality potting soil might be the most important.
A high quality soil is key for any type of garden, but it is perhaps more important that you select the right potting soil when planting a container garden. When you place your plants in containers rather than the ground, the plant is strictly limited to the nutrients in the pot that you plant it in.
In a traditional in ground garden, plants can use their roots to draw nutrients and water from the soil. Container garden plants do the same, but in a much more limited amount of soil.
Another factor at play with the soil is the drainage that your plant will have. Drainage refers to how much water accumulates around the roots of your plant and if it has the ability to runoff and prevent root rot. Plants that have standing water around their roots are susceptible to root rot and a number of other bugs/diseases. The proper soil can provide the right amount of drainage for your plant to help prevent against these issues.
As a result, its critical that you’re selecting a soil full of nutrients while also properly aerated and mixed with a medium that provides the right level of drainage. Our top pick for container garden soil is the Happy Frog Potting mix. However, if you want to read a full comparison of soils specifically for container gardening, check out this article.
The Right Containers for Your Plants
When selecting the containers for your container garden, there are several factors to consider.
Many think of traditional pots as the only option for container gardens, however that is not the case.
Grow bags are a lesser known method of growing, but they can provide several benefits to container garden plants. A grow bag is essentially a fabric bag (the material is heavy duty fabric to prevent tearing).
Grow bags provide many benefits, but some of the most important are they provide aeration and additional drainage for plants roots.
For a full comparison of different grow bags, check out this article.
Of course, the traditional planter route is also a very viable option. You get more options that are aesthetically pleasing with pots than with grow bags, so for those trying to compliment specific decor a plant pot might be the best option for you.
The size of pot that you’ll need will depend on what you’re trying to plant. The concept behind the size needed is you want to provide enough room for your plants roots to expand and grow throughout the season.
Any herb plant will need less room than a tomato plant. However each type of tomato plant will vary a little in what size they need.
As a general rule of thumb, its best to err on the side of larger rather than too small. A tomato plant should have at least a 5-10 gallon pot to ensure ample room, but you can always use a larger size without any harm to the plant.
When planting a container garden, you’ll need to consider how much natural light you have available in your space.
If you’re short on natural light, you can supplement with a grow light to help your plants grow adequately.
The type of plant your growing will also help dictate how much light is needed for your container garden. Tomato plants, for example, require full sunlight while other plants like rosemary can grow in a variety of light levels.
Watering cans can be useful for container gardens for a couple of reasons. Obviously your plants will need ample water (sometimes even more water than a traditional in ground garden needs).
Watering cans are a quick and efficient way to water your plants. It will allow you to quickly disperse a lot of water to your plants and the nozzel on a watering can helps distribute the water evenly across plants leaves and surrounding roots.
If you’re working with limited space, a plant stand can help display your plants and allow you to store a large number plants in one spot.
Have you tried container gardening? What items have you found most useful? Let us know in the comments below!
For those trying to garden in small spaces, it can be tricky to find the right vegetables to grow. Many plants don’t do as well in containers as they would in the ground, so it can be frustrating to try to grow a full vegetable…
Microgreens kits are one of the easiest ways to get started growing your own food at home. They require minimal space, are affordable to purchase, and easy to set up and grow. We love incorporating microgreens into a healthy diet for an added nutritional boost to your dishes. Microgreens are easy to grow and a great way to get started growing food at home.
If you’re just getting started, it can be helpful to have a microgreens growing kit rather than trying to create your own setup from scratch. Our favorite microgreens kit is from Hamama, and today we’re covering how to use it and the pro’s and con’s of the kit.
Interested in more uses for microgreens, or not sure how to incorporate them into your diet? We’ve got you covered! Check out our best microgreens seed mixes article for more ideas on recipes and food to pair with your microgreens.
We love Hamama's microgreens kits. If you're a total beginner, Hamama takes the guesswork out of growing microgreens at home. Heck, even if you're experienced in gardening this is an easy way to start growing microgreens without the guess work.
How it Works
Lets break down exactly what you get in your kit and how you use it.
Hamama's microgreens kits start at $35 if you sign up for an auto delivery of 3 seed blanket refills monthly. Each blanket takes about 7-10 days to grow, so with one growing tray 3 seed blankets is really all you could feasibly fit into one month anyways. If you choose to purchase the kit without an auto delivery option you'll get your grow kit for $49.
A refill for Hamama can be purchased in bulk, or you can also opt in for auto delivery, or purchase seeds in packets of 3 for $17, or $5.66 per quilt. They have a wide variety of mixes, and you can pick which ones you want according to your preferences. We love the broccoli mix and cabbage mix for milder flavors. However they have spicier options too if that's your thing!
How to Use
Each grow kit comes with a reusable grow tray, easy growing instructions, and 3 seed quilts. To begin growing your microgreens, you fill the growing tray to the fill line with water and then place your seed blanket on top. That's all there is to it!
Around day 5 your seeds will be sprouting and you'll remove the top layer to allow the sprouts to grow further. From there you wait a few more days (total of 7-10 days for most seeds) and then they're ready to harvest! Add to your salads, sandwiches, sushi, and more!
We love the hamama microgreens kits. Overall its a great way for someone new to gardening to begin growing their own food quickly and with minimal cost. For under $50 you can get the full setup and 3 seed quilts to begin growing. This is very comparable to competitors pricing and the ease of having seeds pre-quilted keeps the process simple and streamlined.
The only downside to Hamama is the refills are a slightly higher price point than buying seed packets without the quilt.
If you make your own setup you'll most likely be able to find a more cost effective bundle of seeds, however you'll have to purchase each piece (trays, seeds, quilts, etc.) individually. In the end you'll likely come out with the same or higher start up costs following a DIY method.
Is it worth it?
The ultimate question - is it worth it to purchase Hamama's microgreens kits? We recommend them if you're looking for a quick and easy way to start growing your own food.
This kit is affordable and easy to set up and grow. Once you receive you're kit you'll be able to have food ready to harvest within 7 to 10 days! That is much faster than other plants or herbs grown at home, so it provides near instant gratification which can be helpful for new gardeners.
Have you grown microgreens before? Let us know your thoughts in the comments!
Are you a classic millennial with a ton of plants in your home? It is important for flourishing and floundering plants that you water them as and when needed with the best watering can. A watering can provides a limited and steady stream of water…
Monstera plants are known for their beautiful leaves, and have been gaining popularity lately in the indoor plant industry. Propagating a monstera can be a fun way to increase the number of plants you have. Propagated monsteras area also great gifts for friends too! What…
Planting and growing vegetables by yourself is not only fun but fulfilling as well.
If you lack the space to grow your greens outdoors, cultivating them indoors is a viable option.
As we discuss growing vegetables indoors with lights, let’s get as much information as we can before we start.
That includes identifying the best vegetables to grow indoors under lights.
Some would say that having an indoor vegetable garden could be taxing, but the rewards you can get make it a worthwhile venture.
Can I Grow Vegetables Indoors With Grow Lights?
Cold and unforgiving weather is among the main reasons why people strive to grow their veggies indoors.
Fortunately, growing vegetables indoors with artificial lights is a viable option.
On a grander scale, indoor gardening is a vital component that scientists have been preparing.
If we get to the point of successfully sending people to Mars, growing vegetables indoors with lights will be a significant factor in their survival.
You don’t need to be an astronaut to experience growing vegetables indoors.
In fact, lots of gardeners are practicing indoor gardening, especially during the winter season.
While indoor gardening sounds exciting, growing crops under light requires constant attention, proper equipment, and adequate space.
Not all vegetables are fit to grow indoors, but there are lots of popular ones that can grow without sunlight.
What Vegetables Can You Grow Under Grow Lights?
Unless you are a horticulturist or a gardening savant, you may wonder what the best vegetables to grow indoors under lights are.
Below are ten kinds of vegetables you can try to grow in your indoor garden.
This vegetable can be harvested in under a month.
Radishes have the reputation of being one of the fastest crops to grow. As such, make sure to take advantage of this fact.
You can get a good amount of potassium and other antioxidants with radish.
Radish helps in maintaining your circulatory system healthy as well as other benefits such as providing vitamin C.
It needs 12 to 14 hours of indoor light. You can use regular organic soil or any soil mix with high organic matter.
One of the most-used vegetables worldwide, including in your indoor vegetable garden, is an onion.
You can grow onions either from seeds, seedlings, or even from scraps.
Similar to radish, onion is known to contain a good amount of antioxidants.
The anti-inflammatory properties of this vegetable help protect you from blood clots and reduce high blood pressure.
Depending on the type of onion, it usually needs about 12 to 16 hours of light.
For the soil, it doesn’t need anything specific. Just make sure the soil is rich in nutrients.
Bell peppers are popular for not being picky with their growing environment.
You can use bags, pots, or even plastic bottles as their container.
These vegetables are not very fast growers. However, they become sweeter, and the vitamin C content is more potent the longer it stays on the plant.
As implied above, bell pepper provides high amounts of vitamin C. Other nutrients such as potassium, fiber, vitamin A, and others are also present.
Bell peppers need to be planted on high-nutrient soil. It is recommended to keep them with lights for about 14 to 16 hours per day.
Labeled by some as green onions, scallions are used in a plethora of food items.
The scallions are a common ingredient for soups, noodle dishes, dumplings, salads, and many other popular dishes.
Scallions give you adequate amounts of fiber and antioxidants. They also have zero cholesterol and low quantities of calories.
Regular garden soil is enough for scallions to grow. In regards to indoor light, it needs about 16 hours each day.
Unlike other greens, mushrooms thrive in an indoor environment. The easiest types to grow indoors are shiitake, oyster, and white buttons.
Mushrooms are easy to include in anyone’s diet. They are also a popular choice for a meat substitute.
Aside from their good taste, mushrooms have plenty of nutritional value.
They are packed with nutrients like potassium, antioxidants, and zinc, just to name a few.
Mushrooms can grow in any high-nutrient soil. Some recommend having the mushrooms exposed to led lights for only six to eight hours per day.
Despite not being as nutritious as other vegetables, the potato is easily one of the most famous vegetables in the world.
Various industries have made tons of profit from it, from fast food to paper manufacturing.
The potato contains amounts of potassium, vitamins B and C, and carbohydrates.
However, if we will be blunt, most of us consume potatoes not because of their nutritional content.
Potatoes need soil high in organic matter to grow. It is suggested to let them under grow lights for about eight to 12 hours every day.
Spinach is a vegetable used in a lot of recipes of soups, salads, and others. It can be consumed raw or cooked.
This vegetable is regarded by many as a superfood. It has lots of amazing health benefits that can convince anyone to include it in their diet, from hair to bones.
You should use potting mix in growing spinach indoors. When you plant the seeds or seedlings, have them under a grow light for about 14 to 15 hours every day.
It is possible to grow carrots indoors with artificial light. Rules for growing indoors and outdoors are essentially the same, and just the right amount of water and light.
Carrots have an abundance of vitamins, fiber, and antioxidants. To get the most nutrients out of carrots, you must eat carrots raw or steamed.
Well-drained mixed soil is suggested in growing carrots indoors. Every day, it needs about 10 to 12 of grow light.
Regarded by some as a superfood, beets offer a wide range of health benefits, but it also has a reputation of having an unpleasant taste.
Beets are packed with loads of nutrients that you could benefit from, including boosting your energy for workouts and protecting your eyes.
For beets to grow, a moisturized, nutrient-rich soil is required. They require 12 to 14 hours of indoor light, similar to radish.
Also known as leaf cabbage, kale is regarded as a superfood because of its high nutritional content.
It is a popular ingredient for healthy salads and smoothies.
Kale is at the apex when it comes to health benefits. With its insane amounts of vitamins, notable K and A, and other beneficial compounds, it is labeled by some as the most nutritious of all vegetables.
Potting mix made for growing greens is the best choice to develop your kale.
As for artificial light, it needs about 14 to 16 hours of exposure.
If you are not familiar with microgreens, it is defined as “immature” vegetable plants. As soon as the seedlings grow a bit, it is then harvested.
Lots of garden shops offer a “microgreen mix,” which is a combination of different microgreens.
This mix is popular because it combines the vegetables that complement the flavor of each other and various nutritional benefits.
Some researchers claimed that microgreens are generally more nutritious than fully grown vegetables.
Still, certain conditions should be fulfilled before this claim could be verified.
If you are just starting with indoor gardening, it is highly suggested to start with growing microgreens because it will only take one to two weeks to harvest them.
What Vegetables Can You Grow Indoors Year Round?
Growing vegetables indoors with LED lights enables you to have your favorite greens at a given time.
However, some greens could be challenging to grow during winter or cold weather.
Most of the best vegetables to grow indoors under light listed above are ideal choices.
This time, let’s highlight a few examples of vegetables that you can grow indoors year-round.
For many who have green salad as part of their diet, lettuce is an invaluable ingredient.
Fortunately, lettuce varieties, such as tom thumb and oak leaf, grow indoors regardless of the season.
To get optimal results, a planting mix meant for starting seeds should be strongly considered.
For grow lights, allow your lettuce to be exposed for about 14 to 16 hours daily.
Similar to lettuce, arugula is used primarily for green salads.
It is a peppery-tasting vegetable that adds a flair of flavor to a number of dishes.
A potting mix that retains moisture is the recommended base for arugula.
Leave your grow light on for about 10 to 14 hours every day.
As a leafy green, the Swiss chard is known for its high nutritional value.
It is filled to the brim with vitamins K and A, making it one of the healthiest greens out there.
Use potting soil mixed with organic fertilizer to plant your chard indoors. It needs only about six hours of exposure under grow light.
Similar to radishes and beets, turnips are a root crop available all year round.
The leaves and roots are edible, which makes them a fixture in many recipes.
A well-drained sterilized soil works best with turnips. Set your grow light on for about 12 to 14 hours.
If you have some budget allowance, you can get cucumber seeds made for indoor gardening.
You could also opt for the usual garden variety, but the indoor cucumber seeds get you better results.
It is recommended to plant your cucumber seeds on a potting mix that contains a good amount of organic fertilizer.
Leave your grow light on daily for 12 to 16 hours.
What Grows Indoors With Artificial Light?
So far, we have focused on growing vegetables indoors with LED lights.
For this part, let’s take a look at non-vegetable plants that you could consider growing indoors.
Colloquially, we distinguish herbs from vegetables by their taste.
Herbs are used mainly for flavoring and seasoning, while veggies are consumed primarily for their nutritional content.
Here are a couple of herbs you should try growing in your indoor garden.
This herb is used as a seasoning for various recipes such as soups, salads, cheese dishes, stews, and many more.
Chives are classified under the onion family and can grow at any time of the year.
Conventional garden soil is enough for chives to grow.
Leave it under a grow light for about seven or eight hours daily.
As one of the most popular natural seasonings, parsley is a typical garnish for many dishes such as soups, salads, and various sauces.
This herb is packed with nutrients such as vitamins and iron.
Use a potting mix meant for vegetables when planting parsley.
Leave this herb under grow light for about 12 to 14 hours each day.
Primarily used as a food seasoning, rosemary is known for its fragrant scent.
Since ancient times, this plant is also utilized for medicinal purposes such as alleviating body pains.
Rosemary thrives in well-drained soil with a good amount of organic fertilizer.
Leave it under grow light daily for about 10 to 12 hours.
All of the plants we have covered so far are used as food or seasoning.
This time, let’s check out a few ornamental plants you can grow under grow lights.
These colorful flowers are being used worldwide as a decorative plant.
Numerous species of orchids are found everywhere except Antarctica.
For orchids, they grow well under a well-moistened potting mix with lots of organic fertilizer.
Some recommend having them bathe in LED lights for about eight to 12 hours daily.
With its aromatic scent and distinct-looking flowers, lavender is a familiar ornament found in many homes.
From the Middle Ages up to today, this plant’s soothing fragrance cannot be understated.
Use high-quality, well-drained potting soil to plant your lavender seeds.
12 to 18 hours under LED grow lights is recommended.
As one of the most famous holiday plants, the poinsettia is a red plant often associated with Christmas decors.
While it brings festive cheer to your homes, this shrub may not be safe to be around cats and dogs.
Poinsettias need well-drained, porous potting soil to grow.
Use artificial light with low intensity for about six to eight hours each day.
Best Vegetables To Grow Indoors Under Lights: In Conclusion
There are a lot of vegetables and other plants that you can grow indoors with the help of grow lights.
Just keep in mind that it is also essential to make sure that LED lights maintain a distance from your plants.
Like with natural light, we want to avoid over and underexposure because many of our greens are fragile to cultivate.
If you’re interested or just starting with indoor gardening, you may have some idea about grow lights. It is common for many to assume that the light color is just one, or multi-colored lights are just for style. The color of the grow light is critical…