Yes, it is possible to start growing vegetables indoors. You are limited in what you can grow and you need to plan carefully what you are going to grow, but it can be done!
If you live in an apartment that has a sunny windowsill you can grow certain vegetables like lettuce, herbs, chillies and cherry tomatoes.
If you have a balcony that gets sun for at least half the day you can add to your indoor vegetable garden.
Hanging baskets can be great for growing strawberries. Pots can be used for growing carrots and a tepee of runner beans and peas.
You can also use “grow bags” for your veggies that climb like cucumber, peas, beans and tomatoes.
So how do you start growing vegetables indoors? Follow these easy steps â€“
Vegetables, like all plants, need a few basics:
(I have seen people growing vegetables indoors hydroponically, but this section is just for the good old soil and water gardeners!)
So before you start make sure you have sun in the spot you want to grow your vegetables indoors. You will need to have at least a full half day of good sun for it to be a success. My advice is to watch the sun over a week at the beginning of a season change to see how it moves through your windows or over your balcony.
Now you can buy your pots, hanging baskets and grow bags for growing vegetables indoors. Some plants have shallow root systems and others (like your root vegetables for e.g. carrots) have deep root systems. You will need to purchase tall up right pots for root vegetables and trough like containers for shallow rooted vegetables. Remember that you will also need “saucers” for under your pots to protect your tiled or carpeted areas.
Do not try to grow everything at once. Start with the vegetables that you eat most often. When I was a singleton I only grew herbs on my kitchen windowsill, later progressing to frilly lettuces. When my husband came along we included chillies as he eats these with virtually any meal!
Vegetables best suited for a potted vegetable garden are:
~Herbs (they don’t like “wet feet” though so do not over water)
~Climbing beans (will need 3 bamboo stakes to make a teepee)
~Cabbage (harvested as small head)
~Cucumber (needs a trellis)
~Egg plant (good grow bag candidate)
~Lettuce (works well in long trough)
~Peas (needs a trellis)
~Peppers and chillies
~Cherry tomatoes (will need to be staked)
Growing vegetables by seed take much longer, so if you can buy organic vegetable seedlings, start off like that rather for a faster yield.
Remember, just like in an ordinary vegetable patch, you need to rotate your vegetables and do not grow them over again and again in the same pot and soil. Also remember that peas and beans replace much needed nitrogen in the soil so it is always a good idea to plant them after you have harvested a heavy feeder type plant.
For more information on growing specific types of vegetables, please look at my how to grow vegetables index.