Growing Vegetables Indoors For Beginners (Your Complete Guide)

Are you a beginner looking to grow your own indoor garden?

Starting your first indoor vegetable garden can seem like an overwhelming task. In this article, you’ll find everything a beginner needs to know about growing a healthy, year-round, organic garden indoors.

Growing indoor vegetables is a popular pastime for many people. The best part about indoor gardening is that you can grow your own organic produce year-round, no matter what the climate outside.

This guide will help beginners get started with indoor vegetable gardening basics and provide some helpful tips to ensure success!

And be sure to find out if a countertop ice maker or an indoor smokeless grill is worth it too in my DIY skills series of articles. Maybe you’re looking to buy a water filter, or just want some general maintenance guides, I’ve got you covered with my other articles.

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What Indoor Gardening Is

Indoor gardening is the process of growing vegetables, fruits, and herbs indoors using artificial light and climate control. It is a convenient, cost-effective way to enjoy gardening in the confines of your home. Many people choose to do indoor gardening as a way to get fresh produce year-round, regardless of the climate outside.

There are several things that are important to know before getting started with indoor gardening. The following sections will cover everything beginners need to know about indoor gardening!

What To Know To Start Indoor Gardening: 6 Things

Ready for an indoor garden but don’t know where to start? Check out these 6 things you need to know.

#1) Lighting

When it comes to lighting for indoor gardens, there are two main types of lights that can be used: natural sunlight or artificial light. If possible, it is always best to use natural sunlight. However, not everyone has access to a sunny window, so artificial light is the next best thing.

Lighting for indoor gardening:

Fluorescent grow lights: These are a great option for indoor gardeners as they can be hung from the ceiling or placed on shelves to provide coverage over your plants. They’re relatively inexpensive and easy to install, but do not produce much heat so proper ventilation is important when using these fixtures.

LED grow lights: These are a newer type of light that is becoming more popular for indoor gardening. They last longer than fluorescent lights and use less energy, but can be more expensive. However, they can produce some heat so proper ventilation is still important.

See the section below to learn more about LED grow lights.

#2) Garden Size

Another thing to consider when starting an indoor garden is the size of your garden. The size you choose will depend on how much space you have available and what types of plants you want to grow. If you’re just starting out, it’s best to start small with a few pots or containers instead of trying to create a full-blown garden indoors.

Also read my article: The Best Indoor Greenhouses for Your Home

#3) Plants Suitable For Indoor Gardening

There are many different types of plants that can be grown indoors, but not all of them are suited for beginners. Some plants that do well in indoor gardens include: tomatoes, peppers, herbs, lettuce, and spinach.

#4) Climate Control

One of the most important things to consider when growing vegetables indoors is climate control. Indoor gardens require a consistent temperature between 65-75 degrees Fahrenheit with moderate humidity levels. If your home does not have a consistent climate, you may need to use a heating or cooling unit to maintain the correct environment for your plants.

#5) Watering and Fertilizing

Just like outdoor gardens, indoor gardens need to be watered and fertilized regularly in order to produce healthy plants. How often you water and fertilize will depend on the type of plants you’re growing, the size of your garden, and the climate control in your home. As a general rule, indoor gardens need to be watered at least once a day and fertilized every two weeks.

#6) Soil

One other thing to consider when starting an indoor garden is the type of soil you will use. Soil for indoor gardens should be light and porous so it can drain well and hold moisture. You can buy pre-made soil or make your own by combining potting soil with perlite or vermiculite. Alternatively, try hydroponics, which is a soilless environment and only uses water.

What Can I Grow In An Indoor Garden?

There is a world of indoor plants that can be grown in your indoor garden – from tomatoes, peppers, cucumbers, herbs, lettuce, and spinach. If you want to try indoor gardening – start with easy plants like herbs and lettuce.

Lettuce and herbs are the easiest to grow and will be ready to harvest and eat in a little over a month’s time.

Tip: Make sure you choose indoor plant varieties that are safe around pets so they do not ingest any harmful chemicals.

Flowering vegetable plants can be a little more difficult as these require pollination. You will have to pollinate these plants by hand, but that is easily done by shaking the flowers to spread the pollen.

List of indoor plants to grow as a beginner:

  • Basil – Moderate light
  • Mint – Moderate light
  • Parsley – Moderate light
  • Dill – Moderate light
  • Cilantro – Moderate light
  • Oregano – Moderate light
  • Thyme – Moderate light
  • Strawberries – Lots of light
  • Tomatoes (small varieties) – Lots of light
  • Peppers – Lots of light
  • Lettuce – Moderate light
  • Kale – Moderate light
  • Mixed Greens – Moderate light

Tip: Consider growing an indoor herb garden for your kitchen! You can use fresh herbs when cooking and save money by not having to buy them at the store.

Plant NameLightGermination Time
BasilModerate7-10 Days
MintModerate 10-15 Days
ParsleyModerate ~28 Days
DillModerate10-14 Days
CilantroModerate7-14 Days
OreganoModerate7-14 Days
ThymeModerate14-28 Days
StrawberriesLots14-28 Days
TomatoesLots6-8 Days
PeppersLots7-21 Days
LettuceModerate7-10 Days
KaleModerate5-8 Days
Mixed GreensModerate6-12 Days

Recommended Indoor Herb Garden Starter Kit:

This is a nice complete herb kit that includes everything you need. You may want to add additional lighting if you cannot provide at least 12 hours of good sunlight a day. Consider a small full-spectrum LED grow light.

Growing Indoors Hydroponically

Hydroponic gardening is a type of indoor gardening where plants are grown in water instead of soil. This type of gardening is becoming more popular, as it is a great way to produce healthy plants with minimal effort. There are several different ways to grow plants hydroponically, but all involve providing the plants with a nutrient-rich water solution instead of soil.

One of the benefits of hydroponic gardening is that it is a great way to garden year-round, regardless of the climate outside. Additionally, hydroponic gardens use less water than traditional gardens, making them a more environmentally-friendly option.

If you’re interested in starting a hydroponic garden, there are several hydroponic indoor garden systems that you can buy. These contain everything you need to get up and running with a garden including the seeds. Check out my article on the top 5 best indoor garden systems.

Get The Best Supplies For Growing Vegetables Indoors

When starting an indoor garden, it’s important to use the best supplies possible to ensure your success. Some of the essential supplies you’ll need include:

  • Pots or Containers: You’ll need some type of pot or container to grow your plants in. It’s best to choose a pot that is large enough to allow the plant to grow, but not so large that it becomes difficult to manage. Choose one with drainage holes.
  • Soil: Soil for indoor gardens should be light and porous so it can drain well and hold moisture. You can buy pre-made soil or make your own by combining potting soil with perlite or vermiculite.
  • Fertilizer: Fertilizer is an important part of indoor gardening and should be used every two weeks.
  • Indoor Lighting: The type of indoor light you use to grow your plants will depend on the types of plants you want to grow. For flowers, succulents, or orchids, try using a fluorescent or LED bulb in an indoor lamp that produces at least 50 watts per hour. If growing things like lettuce and herbs, you can use a grow light that produces between 200-400 watts.
  • Watering Can: You’ll need some way to water your plants, whether it’s a watering can or a small cup. Plus, use a spray bottle for misting the plants with water occasionally.
  • Small Fan: A small to moderately size fan can be helpful to help pollinate the plants as well as discourage mold growth.

Recommended Indoor Gardening Planter:

This is a stackable vertical indoor planter: Amazing Creation Stackable Planter Vertical Garden for Growing Strawberries, Herbs, Flowers, Vegetables and Succulents, Indoor/Outdoor 5 Tier

When Should I Start Indoor Gardening?

Can I Grow Vegetables Indoors Year-Round?

Yes, absolutely. That’s one of the benefits of having an indoor garden.

You may want to start indoor gardening in the spring or early summer when the days are long and there is plenty of natural light. Seeds are easiest to find at this time of year as stores prominently display their garden products.

If you want to grow plants hydroponically, you can start year-round regardless of the climate outside. But in any case, you will need some type of grow light which is one requirement that enables an indoor garden to grow year-round. See below to learn about grow lights.

When starting an indoor garden, it’s important to choose plants that are suitable for indoor growing. Some plants, like potatoes and corn, for example, are not ideal to be grown indoors. Other plants, like herbs and lettuce, can be easily grown indoors with a little bit of light.

Recommended Indoor Gardening Beginner’s Book:

The book, Indoor Kitchen Gardening is a great resource, well written, and has great tips for every indoor gardener.

Sunlight Or Grow Lights For An Indoor Garden?

When it comes to indoor gardening, there are two main options for providing plants with light – sunlight or grow lights. Sunlight is the most natural option and is ideal for growing plants that need a lot of light, like tomatoes and peppers. However, not all homes have enough natural sunlight to support an indoor garden.

In this case, grow lights are a better option. Grow lights can be purchased at most hardware stores or online, and come in a variety of shapes and sizes. They typically use less energy than a standard light bulb and can be used to grow a variety of plants.

LED Grow Lights

If you are looking for indoor gardening supplies, indoor LED grow lights are the number one choice. There are many benefits to indoor LED grow lights. One of these benefits is that they use less energy than a standard light bulb. This also means that it is more environmentally friendly than most other indoor gardening methods.

Another benefit of indoor LED grow lights is that they come in different shapes and sizes. This means that you can get a perfect fit for your indoor garden space, whether it be small or large.

Finally, LED grow lights provide full-spectrum lighting which is ideal for indoor plants. LED full-spectrum lights provide blue, visible, red, and far-red lighting which all contribute to photosynthesis.

Growing plants under indoor LED grow lights has been proven to produce better plants than plants grown under fluorescent or HPS lamps. Although this may have something to do with the spacing requirements of the plants being grown, indoor LED grow lights offer healthier, greener plants that are more resistant to pests and diseases.

Recommended Full-Spectrum LED Lights:

If you do choose to buy an LED grow light, make sure to get a quality unit. AeroGarden is a leader in indoor garden products and their LED grow light is a great choice.

Also find it at The Home Depot ->

If you are looking for a way to increase the yield of your indoor garden, then indoor LED grow lights are the best option. Not only will you be able to get higher yields, but you will also see an improvement in the quality of your plants.

Choose A Location For An Indoor Garden

When choosing a location for an indoor garden, it’s important to consider the type of indoor light you’ll be using. Growing plants under indoor LED grow lights have been shown to produce better plants, and these can be placed anywhere in the home.

Find the best location that is convenient to you and then set up the garden and artificial light source around that space.

If you’re going to use LED grow lights for indoor gardening, it’s best to place them as close as possible to the plant – but not so close that they start burning it.

Easy Step-By-Step Beginner’s Guide

  1. Choose easy to grow plants such as lettuce and herbs and buy those seeds.
  2. Buy pre-made organic potting soil, fertilizer, and pots if needed.
  3. Use natural lighting or buy LED full-spectrum lights.
  4. Plant the seeds in the pots, add some water to moisten the soil. Do not add fertilizer yet.
  5. Place the pots in natural light or place the LED grow lights just above the pots.
  6. Check on the plants daily. Maintain moist soil but not too wet.
  7. After the plants have sprouted you can add a little fertilizer. Then apply monthly.
  8. Harvest the plants as needed when they are large enough to do so. Just harvest what you need and leave the rest of the plant alone to continue growing.

And that’s why indoor gardening is a great hobby for beginners.

Check out Gardener’s Supply Company for their Organic GrowEase Seed Starting Success Kit. This kit includes two 24-cell GrowEase Seed Starters, 6 quarts of Organic Seed Starting Mix, and 24 wooden seedling markers.

Gardener's Supply Seed Starting Success Kit

This kit includes two 24-cell GrowEase Seed Starters, 6 quarts of Organic Seed Starting Mix, and 24 wooden seedling markers.

See the section below on ways you can improve your garden if you encounter issues.

How Can I Improve My Indoor Garden?

There are a number of ways that you can improve your indoor garden.

#1) One way is to use indoor LED grow lights. LED grow lights have been shown to produce better plants than those grown under fluorescent or HPS lamps. This is because they come in different shapes and sizes, and can be fitted perfectly to your indoor garden space.

#2) Another way to improve your indoor garden is to make sure that you are using the right soil mix. There are a number of different soil mixes available, so it’s important to choose one that is suited for the type of plants you are growing.

#3) It’s also important to water your plants properly. Overwatering or underwatering can both be harmful to plants. A good way to determine how much water your plants need is to stick your finger into the soil. If it’s dry, then you should water them.

#4) Lastly, indoor gardening can be challenging at first because of pests and diseases that may affect your indoor garden space – especially if you live in a high-moisture area like Florida or Hawaii. However, there are many products available to help with these problems.

More indoor gardening tips for beginners: Make sure to always use a potting mix that is designed specifically for indoor garden plants, and don’t overcrowd your indoor garden space because this can lead to nutrient deficiencies in the soil.

It’s also important not to overwater or underwater your indoor garden plants, as both of these practices can lead to fungal growth.

Growing Vegetables Indoors For Beginners – Summary

Growing an indoor garden for beginners is a great way to get fresh, organic produce year-round. It’s also a fun and rewarding experience for beginners and experienced gardeners alike.

If you want to grow your own food but don’t have the time or space for an outdoor garden, then growing indoors is the perfect solution for you! By following these basic steps, you can create a successful indoor garden that will provide you with delicious, nutritious vegetables all year long.

I recommend the following to get you started on your indoor gardening adventure: