In this article, I wanted to share some tips with you that I’ve picked up over the years that help to summarize some of the things.
- Indoor plants always tend to grow toward a light source It could be the window near the garden or the artificial grow lights. Either way, keep this in mind when setting up the garden and try to keep all plants equidistant from light sources when possible to promote vertical growth. If you notice your plants started to bend to one side or the other, consider rotating them to compensate.
- Always make sure indoor plants receive enough light. Whether from a window, an artificial grow light or both, plants need a minimum of five hours of sunlight each day and some varieties require double that to bear fruit.
- More plants die from improper watering than any other problem. Follow the chapter about watering to make sure your plants are getting exactly the right amount of water. Of course, in hydroponic and aquaponic systems, watering is automatic but this is not the case in container gardens.
- Don’t be afraid to clean your plants from time to time. Wiping down leaves keeps dust and debris from accumulating and results in healthier, more robust plants.
- Remember that your plants need adequate airflow to flourish. Stale, stagnant air will adversely affect plant growth. If natural airflow isn’t present, use a small fan to move air over and through the garden.
- Be mindful of temperature. Ideally, the temperature in your home should be around 70°F during the day and approximately 10° colder at night. This mimics the conditions of plants in outdoor gardens.
- Keep records of what you have planted, when you planted it and what type of fertilizer was used. You can also monitor which plants do best near other plants. As you develop this system, you will notice trends which can be used to maximize production in future years.
- Make sure your plants are getting enough food. Especially in container gardens, every time you water some nutrients are flushed from the soil. Either add small amounts of liquid fertilizer or add more compost to maintain the nutrient level required for optimum growth.
- Choose the right soil. Using soil directly from outside usually results in weeds and bacteria being introduced to the indoor growing medium. Use purpose-built potting soil or organic compost for best results.
- Ensure your containers have proper drainage to avoid root rot and other problems usually associated with poor drainage.