How to Start an Indoor Garden and Save Money
By Wanda Lopez, My Sweet Zepol
During this year, we’ve all been at home more than ever before. We’ve played all the board games, learned new computer platforms to make work and school “from home” go as smoothly as possible, Zoomed through all the work meetings, and Facetimed family members as often as possible to feel more connected. Something else some of us have done is garden. But many of you may not have the space outside to start a garden. Don’t let this stop you from enjoying the benefits of growing an herb garden. Let me show you how to start an indoor garden and save money along the way.
Tips on Starting an Indoor Garden
Choosing the Best Herbs for Growing Indoors
Here’s a quick list of a few types that do well inside:
- Basil (annual)
- Cilantro (annual)
- Parsley (biannual)
Where to Grow Herbs Inside
Indoor herbs prefer the same temperatures that most people do – around 65 to 70 degrees Fahrenheit – so if you’re comfortable, they probably are, too. Consider looking at spaces with good natural lighting, if you have it. If not, don’t worry, we have a tip for lighting below. Containers should have ample holes on the bottom to allow for adequate drainage and they should be sized correctly for the particular plant, leaving room to grow, of course. Pro tip: Use a good-quality potting mix, not garden soil.
The biggest mistake people make when growing an indoor herb garden is overwatering. Plants will not tolerate soggy soil for very long. Consistently wet soil will just end up rotting your indoor herb garden (it’s especially easy to overwater when they’re sitting next to the kitchen sink!). Try to keep the soil consistently moist, but not overly wet – especially during the winter months. It’s ok to let the soil dry a bit between watering, but never let it dry out completely. Keep an eye out, or create a schedule on your calendar.
Light is the most crucial element for the success of an indoor garden. Choose the sunniest spot in your home to grow indoor your garden. Most herbs prefer a lot of sunlight. That means you’ll want to give your indoor herb garden at least six hours of sun per day, to thrive. To maximize their sun exposure, place plants as close as possible to your brightest window. Bright light from a south-facing window is best.
If you do not have window options that could work for your indoor garden, consider a special lamp known as a ‘grow light’. Fluorescent bulbs supplement natural light in a windowsill. If possible, place your grow lights directly above your herbs. Doing so can mimic natural sunlight coming in from overhead (many grow light systems come with kits for hanging the light at a desired height). You want your herbs to grow up and evenly.
It’s imperative to make sure you’re pruning your herbs correctly to promote new and continuous growth. Always cut your herbs with sharp, clean scissors or clippers. This prevents plant damage and promotes the growth of the plant. If you are pinching with your fingers, clean your hands before starting. Start snipping leaves from annual plants like basil, cilantro, stevia and dill as soon as the plant is thriving.
Now let’s talk about how you can save money when gardening indoors. Here are more resources on ways your garden could be saving you money.
Tips on Saving Money with an Indoor Garden
Save Money on Groceries
You can save money on produce and herbs when grocery shopping. Every time I go grocery shopping, I grab herbs. Whether it’s cilantro or parsley; especially during the holidays. When you grow herbs indoors or decide to grow vegetables in containers, you can be saving a significant amount of money on a monthly basis. Plus, there’s a great sense of pride knowing that you’re feeding your family with something you grew and nurtured.
Save Money When Purchasing Herb Kits
When purchasing supplies to start your indoor herb garden, consider looking into indoor garden kits already selected with everything you need to get them started. This saves money and saves time. No need to search where to buy garden supplies with a good indoor herb kit.
Save Money on Seeds
You’re probably already compiling a list of all the herbs you want to get started with. Consider those herbs you use and enjoy the most. In order to save some money, I always look for places where I can get all the herbs I like in one stop. You will find that some herbs and kits are delivered together, saving you some shipping costs. Don’t forget to add containers, gardening books and storage to keep your herbs fresh longer. That’s a win-win.
We hope you enjoy using these tips we’ve shared with you for starting an indoor garden of your own. While an indoor garden can save you money, the main thing is to find joy in the process of gardening itself. From choosing the herbs and plants you want to grow indoors, to harvesting what you grow, and perhaps cooking with those herbs, indoor gardening can be a very fulfilling experience.