October 23, 2017

The life of an indoor gardener

Modern Indoor Gardening

A growing trend in recent years has been the advent of indoor gardening. Whether out of necessity due to lack of available outside space or through lack of mobility, indoor gardening offers a viable alternative that delivers much of the same benefits of the outdoor variety.

Living in London, lack of space is a common issue, and especially in the type of apartment a journalist like me can reasonably afford. However as a keen gardener, or Hortulanus, which may sound slightly rude but is in fact the Latin for gardener, I was not prepared to forgo the experience of growing my own food and flowers purely on the basis of having no outside space. So I set myself the task of finding out as much as I could about gardening indoors and how to come up with a viable plan of action. Below are some points gleaned from my research.

Space

An obvious one really, but with limited space, there are bound to be limitations. The fact is that if space is limited which it usually is, choose plants that have a small footprint. This will include small or bonsai versions of plants. In terms of where to place the plants, somewhere close to windows is always the best option, which brings us nicely to the next element that needs to be addressed.

Light

From my early school days in Biology, I knew that plants need light to grow. The process, for those of you who are unsure, is called photosynthesis and it is essential for plant growth. Lack of suitable quality light will lead to poor plant growth, simple as that. This means using space as close to windows and anywhere where natural light filters in. Now in saying all of this, if you have the money, space and time, it is feasible to use artificial light that operates at similar wavelengths to sunlight, which is the important element for plant life. These are often called “grow lights”.

led-grow-lights
led grow lights

When it comes to grow lights there are a number available but its not just a case of going out and buying the first one that you see. You need to take into account the space available, the area that needs to be covered which will provide you with specific details such as the mounting height etc.

Temperature and Humidity

Temperature can be an issue indoors, if like me you like your abode to be close to the Sahara desert temperature. However the reality is that most plants, if chosen correctly will thrive indoors, especially those that are not keen on the harsh frosts that can sometime occur in the UK. Humidity can be a problem. Central heating has a tendency to dry the air around us, which is not particularly conducive to plant growth, so to counter this regular watering and misting will help greatly.

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