A Complete Guide To Indoor Gardening

Love indoor gardening? Check out this guest post, A complete guide to indoor Gardening from GrowAce.

Do you want to have access to fresh and clean herbs, fruits and vegetables all year long for free? This can easily be achieved by starting your own indoor garden.

Not only will you have access to the produce of your choice whenever you need it, no matter whether it is the middle of the winter, but also you can make sure that the food you prepare and eat is healthy, organic and free of any chemicals by growing it by yourself.

Indoor Gardening
We have grown our own indoor fruit & veg a few times now!

It is a fact, that indoor gardening does have numerous benefits including:

  • It will ensure that you have the fruits, veggies and herbs you want all-year round
  • You will save a ton of money from buying overpriced salads, fruits and other crops which tend to hit even higher prices in the winter
  • You will be sure that the food you are eating is 100% organic, chemical free and safe
  • You will decrease your carbon footprint, by avoiding purchasing fruits and veggies which have been transported from far away

So, what are the steps to take in order to get your indoor garden started?

There are several important steps which you should take when planning your home garden.

First of all, you should think about the plants you want to grow, and then figure out how much space you will need for your indoor garden. Based on the space which you have available you can plan the number of plants you will grow, their types, as well as plan on a budget for your indoor garden.

The money you spend on your indoor garden largely depends on the type of garden you want. If you are planning on using your window sills or another location with a lot of direct sunlight, then you won’t need to spend too much on setting up your indoor garden.

Then again, if you want to grow plants in a grow tent, greenhouse, or in another area with artificial lighting, grow lamps, humidifiers, temperature controls, water pumps and so on, the money you will have to spend will be significantly more.

Here are the basic tips for planning and starting your indoor garden

If you will be relying on sunlight, then opt for greens like Asian greens, arugula, basil, cilantro, cress, celery, chives, dill, dandelion, fennel, frisee, kale, mint, lemon balm, lettuce, mustard greens, oregano, parsley sorrel, sage, radicchio, spinach, Swiss chard, thyme or watercress. These plants will grow pretty well even without too much sunlight and direct light.

On the other hand, if you want to grow your own tomatoes, squash, cucumbers or others, you may want to opt for a more elaborate indoor gardening system instead, because these plants grow to be pretty big, require more direct light and can cast shade over the smaller plants.

You should also ensure that your garden is set up in an area where the temperature and humidity is appropriate for plant growing. The most suitable temperature for growing green plants is 50 to 70 degrees Fahrenheit. Many other warm weather plants like peppers or tomatoes thrive well in higher temperatures of 60 to 80 degrees Fahrenheit.

Also, because of the heating used in the winter, the air tends to be very dry indoors. This means that you may need a humidifier for your indoor garden as well.

The lighting needed for the optimal results is at last 10 hours per day, so you may start thinking about investing in some good quality grow lamps as well.

Overall, you can choose between several main types of indoor gardening. The simplest is in containers with soil, and then there is hydroponics or aquaponics. The latter two are soil-less options which are far more elaborate and can be quite more expensive than using soil for your plants.

Growing in soil and containers

You can start up your indoor garden today by placing several pots on your windowsill and taking care of your plants. With container based indoor gardening you won’t need too much space, as well as any complicated systems if you can ensure that your plants get enough light, water, and are in a room where the temperature and humidity levels are appropriate.

All you need is to pick the proper containers, a good soil mix and some seeds or healthy and strong seedlings and you can get started right away.

You can use any room of your house, or your garage, basement or other free space to set up your potted plants.

Hydroponics for indoor gardening

This soil-less system uses water instead of soil to provide all necessary nutrients to the plants. Usually, the medium used for planting the crops is gravel, perlite, sand, vermiculite or rock wool. The hydroponic system cycles water and nutrients through the garden. You can set up a mini hydroponics set for a few herbs and small plants, or you can opt for a large system which will allow you to grow a large produce of fresh vegetable and fruits in the garage, basement or other available space.

Purchasing a hydroponic system can be a serious investment, but at the same time you will be making a long-term investment and will ensure that you have fresh produce all year long for free.

You can also build your own hydroponics system if you are a handy DIYer too.

Aquaponics for indoor gardening

This intriguing system for growing plants includes combining hydroponics and fish farming. The plants are fertilized with the waste from the fish in the tank, and the crops filter out the water by drawing in the nutrients and sending back clean water to the fish tank.

This is the perfect system for indoor gardening, which requires less maintenance, and which will ensure that you have not only fresh grown produce but fresh fish as well.

In conclusion

It is clear that indoor gardening can be a pretty simple task, but it can also involve the purchase and set up of quite complicated gardening systems and equipment. The type of garden you opt for depends on your needs, your expectations, your budget, your space, as well as on your personal preferences.

Whichever type of indoor gardening you opt for, you will be able to benefit from it pretty soon if you take proper care of your plants.

Rustic By Marney – How creativity helps me manage my anxiety and depression

Rustic By Marney was set up by Melissa Marney who crafts the most beautiful pens! Like many of us Melissa suffers anxiety and depression but found crafting and letting her creativity flow very therapeutic. I’ll be sharing my thoughts and images of a gorgeous purple flower pen she made for me, on the blog tomorrow! Keep an eye out! Until then here is Melissa’s story in her own words.

Rustic By Marney – How creativity helps me manage my anxiety and depression

Looking back on my childhood I now realise that I’ve always suffered with anxiety and depression. At the time I didn’t know anything about mental health issues, and I just thought it was normal behaviour and everyone felt the same way, but I just struggled more with my emotions. I covered my emotions and symptoms well, and looking back had a number of coping strategies, which I wasn’t aware were helping me, to cope at the time.

Hobbies

My favourite hobby when I was younger was ballet. I used to attend two classes a week and looking back now it was a way to shut my mind off, detach myself from uncomfortable feelings and emotions and silence those scary, intrusive thoughts.

As the years went on and I grew older I stopped dancing and didn’t replace this with another hobby. Having nothing to focus my energy on, my negative thoughts became louder and more uncomfortable and my symptoms worsened. Dealing with day to day life – working, paying the bills, maintaining relationships etc. It all became so consuming, and I knew something wasn’t right at the time but tried my best to conceal it (and I did a fantastic job at it!). I didn’t want anyone to know how I was truly feeling or that I was struggling to cope. There were times where I just wanted to scream out for help, but always remained silent and carried on with life.

Shutting Down

It wasn’t until a year ago, Steve and I got married in Cyprus, (which was the best day of our lives, very cliché, I know!) things changed. I pretty much arranged the whole wedding myself and in the lead up to it was unaware of how much stress I was putting myself under. Having perfectionist tendencies I wanted everything to go well, and was deeply involved with the all or nothing thinking. I also wanted to ensure everyone was happy and was having a good time.

While I was busy thinking about everyone else and my ‘perfect’ day I neglected my own needs my health was suffering as a consequence. When Steve and I returned from our wedding I didn’t feel myself at all. I put it all down to the ‘come down’ from the high I had been on the past few weeks. Nevertheless, I powered on and tried to get back into the real world. Unfortunately my mind and body had other plans. Two weeks later I had a breakdown, I completely shut down physically and mentally, I became an empty shell, I was just existing and not living. I knew things weren’t right and something had to change.

Recovery

It took me a while to accept what was happening. It took approximately six months to dig myself out of that ‘hole’ and get myself back on the right track. I’m still in recovery now, but having the right support, and a change in my thinking and attitude has helped me to accept it’s now just a part of me, and adjust to living with anxiety and depression.

During my recovery I found a new love in crafting. Throughout the years I’ve always told myself I’m rubbish at arts and crafts, I can’t do it and I believed it! It wasn’t until I started crafting my own place cards, guest book pens and jars for my own wedding where I realised this was all total rubbish! Silencing that negative voice in my head was a great victory.

Crafting To Cope

I’ve always been ambitious and dreamt of owning my own little business, and finding a purpose in life. During my breakdown Steve had mentioned to me about crafting again, however at the time I didn’t have the energy. As I slowly started getting better I took his advice and I started making my flower pens again. Slowly in time my passion and creativity started coming back, I was starting to feel my bubbly, confident self again. Crafting has been my biggest inspiration and I truly believe it has helped me cope over the past few months. Crafting has refocused my attention and reignited my passion.

Now whenever I feel anxious or have a bad day, however hard it is I grab all my crafting gear, sit down and get stuck in. I’ve found crafting extremely therapeutic and a way to ‘shut off’ from the stressors in the world. Turning my hobby into a business has given me great comfort as I now believe in myself. Having a passion in crafting and weddings, and combining the two is the perfect combination and therapy for me! There’s also that extra bonus of helping other brides have the best day of their lives. When they do then my mission is accomplished!

I recently saw the quote below which sums up my whole experience and filled me with comfort:

 Rustic By Marney - How Creativity Helps Me Manage Anxiety & Depression

Rustic by Marney can be found over on Facebook & Twitter. Whilst she does focus on weddings her gorgeous pens will brighten up any desk. You can find out more about Rustic by Marney and see the gorgeous pen she sent me too!

Do you find crafting therapeutic too?

Burnished Chaos