Take advantage of time at home to introduce your kids to the world of gardening
Fall is the perfect time to start a fall vegetable garden. It is easy to grow fresh vegetables indoors regardless of how much space you have. You don’t need any complicated or expensive lighting or containers. With a little imagination you can start a fall vegetable garden indoors.
I always buy vegetables and fruits in plastic containers. I recycle these containers. They make perfect pots for your indoor vegetable. The plastic containers are food grade, have drain holes and the lids make great saucers.
The bonus is that you can save lots of money because you get free containers.
Space for your vegetable garden
You don’t need a lot of space. The trick to a vegetable garden indoors is being creative with the space you have.
Greens take up very little space. Most greens do very well with limited lighting, so a place that gets some sun is all you need. You can grow all kinds of lettuce, kale, spinach, or other greens. Keep track of what you most often buy at the market then try planting that variety.
Don’t forget microgreens
Microgreens are super quick-growing vegetables that can work with very limited space. These greens are a simple to seedlings of virtually any of your favorite vegetables. They are harvested when the cotyledon leaves (the two baby leaves) have developed but before any true leaves form.
Microgreens are said to be extremely high in vitamins and nutrients. The more typical vegetable that are used for microgreens are
However, any kind of vegetable can be a microgreen.
Microgreens take up very little space, are quick to harvest, and don’t need any special lighting.
Beets for your fall vegetable garden
Do you like beets? Honestly, I didn’t until I started growing my own. Beets, like many vegetables, have a better flavor when they are fresh-picked. So give them a try.
Beets can be grown in small pots and containers. They like the sun but will do ok with shade too.
A nice bonus is that beets have beautiful colored leaves. They add a lot of depth and variety to any indoor garden.
Most are also quickly growing. You can harvest most varieties in 7 weeks.
Even if you have been a life long beet avoider, you might change your mind if you grow them in your indoor garden.
Carrot for your fall vegetable garden
I love fresh carrots. They are easy to grow indoors. The leaves have a pretty feathered look that is different from many other plants. And there are many varieties that can grow well in an indoor garden. Carrots can be harvested in about 2 months.
The important thing to remember is that carrots need depth. So choose a container that is very deep. There are varieties that are shorter or mini. These carrots are the easiest to grow. But make sure that your container is at least 2x as deep as the carrots will grow.
Because carrots grow down not up and out you can get creative and plant them in small or narrow spaces.
Try planting a few in a tall vase, or a small trash can! You can add some fun home decor and be a great gardener too! Just don’t forget to give the soil a place for drainage.
Indoor pepper garden
There are many varieties of pepper and they all do very well growing indoors.
Peppers do not take up much space. They need little care or watering. They do love the heat, so place your pepper container in the warmest spot in the house.
I know some might find tomatoes in an indoor garden weird. To me, tomatoes make lots of sense in my indoor vegetable garden. After all what garden is complete without tomatoes.
Tomato plants are actually vines. With that in mind, they are easy to grow indoors. You can train the vine to grow up a wall, around a window or sliding door.
They grow in a large container. I always use a 5-gallon bucket. The plant itself does not need a lot of width in your living space just a lot of height.
Check out growing tomatoes indoors for more details.
Lighting for your indoor garden
Lighting can be an overwhelming topic. However, it doesn’t need to be.
If you are just starting your first fall vegetable garden indoors and you want to keep it simple pick things to grow that will work on a windowsill or in any sunny spot you have.
When you do decide to add lighting or want to grow in a darker space just remember this basic principle:
The brightness of the light is NOT what is important to your plants. The important thing is that the light is in the full spectrum of light for growing. Always use a grow light or full-spectrum light for plants.
For more about the basics of how to pick the best light for your plants read The best light for indoor gardens
Vegetable garden soil
Vegetable garden soil is a science and for some gardener, it’s an obsession.
For the purpose of starting your fall indoor garden, you can start with any of the many commercial brands of potting soil. General-purpose garden soil is fine. I like to get a raised bed mixture when it’s available.
You really can’t go wrong with any of those mixtures. However, don’t use soil straight from outside. A potting mixture has to be lighter than typical “dirt”. Dirt in a pot will get very dense and will not allow the plant roots the ability to grow well.
Make sure that you pollinate your indoor vegetable garden. It is easy!
Please read my other blogs to get more specific information on each vegetable and topic.
And please start your own fall vegetable garden indoors
Wouldn’t it be great to start your fall vegetable garden indoors now and harvest your own fresh vegetables in the winter?