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Bringing your garden indoors

Think you can’t have home-grown tomatoes, apartment people? Think again.

No garden or patio? No problem. You can still build a lush summer garden inside your city-living apartment, no matter how much living space you have. An indoor garden is the perfect way to enjoy the benefits of nature all year round. Indoor plants improve the ambience of a room, purify the air and can also provide you and your family with some delicious and nutritious herbs and vegetables.

Some tips to begin…

Space

An indoor garden can take up as much or as little space as you are willing to give it. But it needs to have access to natural light for a few hours a day, so setting up your garden in a windowsill or sunny room would be ideal. If you have limited space in your apartment, a windowsill is perfect – you can still create a little greenhouse in a window and grow plants of all kinds here.

Shelves provide lots of planting room while taking up little space. If using shelves, make sure that sufficient light reaches every plant. This may require a separate grow light for each shelf. You can also better utilise the plant area by making this space both horizontal and vertical. Hanging plants in pots can make a nice stylish feature and make good use of the walls and ceiling without sacrificing surfaces, while those in pots and planters can form the main core of your indoor garden.

Lighting

Plants need light to photosynthesize and need to photosynthesize to survive. If you have modern shutters or blinds on your windows, you can control the amount of light reaching your plants, taking advantage of morning sun and preventing overexposure from afternoon sun. However, if your room is fairly dark, you may need to invest in some artificial lighting.

Ventilation

Plants thrive on fresh air. They require ventilation to keep the air circulating across their leaves, so keeping a window open for at least five or 10 minutes a day will be beneficial to them. If it’s too cold, have a pedestal or ceiling fan turning slowly in the vicinity.

Temperature

Temperature is a vital element for indoor plants. Plants that are too hot will be small and weak. Plants grown at too-cold temperatures may have yellow leaves that fall off. Temperatures of approximately 18-24°C are best for most plants. On winter nights, indoor plants placed beside windows can be damaged by the cold. These should be moved away from the window or if you have adjustable blinds or shutters, close them fully.

Watering 

Plants grown in containers dry out quicker than their soil-grown plants and require frequent watering. Always use room-temperature water and add enough water that it runs through the drain holes of your pot.

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Tune in next week to see what are the best plants to grow in your apartment!

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