An indoor garden can take up as much or as little space as you are willing to give it. Growing plants of all kinds, even tomato gardening can be done in a grow tent.
Plants need light to photosynthesize and need to photosynthesize to survive. Without adequate light a plant will grow tall and spindly. If there is enough energy to grow leaves, they still may not totally expand. And without enough light, don’t plan on seeing flowers or fruit.
Even plants grown near a window will probably not get enough light during the winter months to thrive. This is why we’ve included a premium grow light. Here’s why:
- Plants have photoreceptors that absorb specific wavelengths of light. Your light needs to have the same wavelengths as the sun, which is why a regular light bulb doesn’t work.
- The light should be as close to the plant as possible without burning the leaves.
- Most vegetables and other plants do best with 14-16 hours of sunlight or simulated light. There are a few ways you can tell if your plant is getting enough light or not. If it isn’t getting enough light, it usually will have small leaves, thin stems, and the color of the plant will be lighter than usual.
- A hormone called “florigen” controls budding and flowering. Long day plants require about 14 to 18 hours of light to produce just the right amount of florigen to flower and reproduce. Short day plants require about 10-13 hours of light. If short day plants are exposed to too much light, florigen can be destroyed, preventing blooming.
Selecting a Grow Light
There are a lot of different grow lights for sale out there and it can be confusing to figure out which type is best for your indoor garden. We’ve done the work for you and selected a premium 2nd generation LED or a best-in-class HPS grow light to insure your plants get all the light they need.
Temperatures of 65-75°F are best for most plants. A variance of 10°F either way will probably be OK. Plants that are too hot will be small and weak. Plants grown at too-cold temperatures may have yellow leaves that fall off.
Control cooling or heating within your growing environment with the Autopilot Cooling Thermostat (APCET). Choose different day and night temperatures automatically maintained by the built-in photocell. Current conditions and set-points are shown via the easy-to-read LED display.
A lack of humidity in the house can be a challenge for indoor gardeners. Winter tends to be drier than summer, and if you run the heat in your house the problem is further compounded.
You know you have a low-humidity problem if:
- The tips of your leaves are turning brown
- Plants look withered or puckered
- Plants lose their leaves
- You’ve researched how much humidity your particular plant needs and it isn’t getting it.
To increase humidity:
- Mist plants daily, or more often as needed. (Do not do this with hairy-leaved plants since the water hangs around longer and could cause disease.)
- Place a tray of water near your garden (don’t put plants in the tray, this can lead to other problems). Fill the tray with lava rocks to increase surface area for evaporation.
- Place plants close together to create a microenvironment with a higher relative humidity.
- Run a humidifier (this might benefit your skin as well!).
- Purchase an environmental controller, which can humidify or dehumidify depending on your needs.
Indoor gardens benefit from a good planting medium — soil found outside is not appropriate, since it’s often too heavy and may contain weed seeds and insect pests. Instead look for a mix that is specific to indoor plants. A good growing media should remain loose and drain well, yet contain enough organic matter to hold nutrients and moisture.
Again we’ve done the research for you, your kit includes a super soil that is 100% organic. Everything your new plants need to thrive.
Almost anything can be grown indoors — as long as it eventually doesn’t get too big. However, do consider growing plants with similar light, humidity and watering needs together. Some obvious choices for an indoor garden include: