There are plenty of reasons that you’d want to grow an indoor garden. You won’t have to fight weeds, for one, and growing your own tasty vegetables is the best way to feed yourself, in my humble opinion.
If you don’t have the space for a vertical garden, an indoor garden makes use of the available space that you do have. How would you go about setting your indoor garden up, though? What type of seeds would be the best for a beginner and what type of soil should you use? There’s plenty of things that can go wrong, even down to something as simple as proper ventilation.
Luckily for you, though, I’ve already made the mistakes for you and learned from them and this article will answer all these questions and more!
What You Will Need to Follow This Tutorial
Make sure to pick the soil that will best suit the plants you’re going to grow.
If you need a little help choosing seeds, you can find 5 of the best herbs for an indoor herb garden in this article.
A Grow Tent
This will allow you to create the perfect environment for your plants.
The kinds of fans that you would place on your desk at work are perfect for this.
This fan will cycle out the old air and bring in the fresh air with new CO2 that your plants need to thrive.
This is what’s used to carry the air from the extractor fans to the outside of the tent, as well as bringing fresh air in.
Step by Step Instructions
1. Assemble Your Tent
As long as you take a methodical approach, it’s not hard to set up a grow tent. You should start by making sure the area that your indoor garden is going to take up is clear of debris. The grow tent you’ve bought will come with a manual on how to assemble it.
You should assemble the tent skeleton first as all the other components of your indoor garden will fit inside it afterward. Make sure that the frame is sturdy and that all the bars are in place before you draw the place that actual tent around it.
When you’re ready to cloak the frame with the tent, spreading the tent out on the floor first will help you establish where the corners are and will point out the best place to start.
If you have a helper, you can have them hold it up first to make sure the entrance is exactly where you want it to be. Here is a very informative video to take you through this whole process.
2. Install The Grow Lights
All grow lights come with two hanging points. You may need to set up the tabs before hanging the grow light up, it just depends on the model you’re using. Adjust the height of the light with the thumb levers to raise or lower as needed.
If you’re lowering the cable, remember to hold the slack section of rope before releasing the tension with your thumb!
The next step is to screw the light bulb in. Hold the frame of the grow light while you do this to make sure there’s no unwanted motion.
3. Pack The Soil Into The Containers
It’s a good idea to pour your soilless mix into a large bucket and moisten it with warm water first. This means there’s at least some moisture for the seedlings to suck up, right from the get-go and it will also be easier for you to distribute into your containers! Fill your containers with soil, leaving up to half an inch from the top.
[Pro Tip]: Labelling your containers is a good way to ensure you never forget what’s planted where. This is really important in the early growing stages as you might need to treat the various plants and herbs differently.
4. Plant The Seeds Into The Containers
Packets of seeds come with some very useful information on them. Most seeds can just be pressed gently into the containers but reading the seed packets first will highlight anything that you need to pay special attention to. Something soft like an eraser can be used to push the seedlings down to prevent any accidental damage to them.
[Pro Tip]: The largest seeds will give you the best germination rate, and yield better results!
5. Setup The Extractor Fan And The Ducting
If you’re using a carbon filter, secure this to the ducting using duct clips first. There will be some hanging apparatus with the fan, so use this to hang the filter to one of the tent’s crossbars. Then you need to thread the ducting through the ventilation holes and connect this to the fan. Once you’ve connected the duct onto both sides of the extractor fan, you’re good to go.
It’s possible to complete this step without help but if you can secure a friend or family member to help, it makes the job a lot easier and faster. This instructional video will give you a great visual idea on how to setup your extractor fan.
6. Setup The Oscillating Fan(s)
You’ll want your oscillating fans to be able to reach all of your indoor gardens. They’re very mobile so don’t be afraid to move them around if need be. Avoid pointing the fans directly at the plants as this can and will damage them over time.
Your oscillating fans will help circulate the air which will then be sucked up by the extractor fan, which in turn brings in new, fresh air for your plants to breathe in.
For the most effective results, attach your fans to the grow tent poles and have them at varying heights so you create your own air circulation environment.
[Pro Tip]: The best way to make sure you have the perfect setup is to check around your indoor garden to see if you can feel stagnant air or lack of a breeze.
Being able to grow your own plants even when you don’t have a garden, means I can grow my own organic food even in a bustling city. I’m able to control all the environmental factors too, which means I don’t need to worry about the weather, disease or pests.
I hope you found this article entertaining and informative and I’d love to hear your thoughts in the comments below.