Whether you don’t have a garden but want to enjoy the beauty of plants inside your home or whether you’re growing plants in a greenhouse or polytunnel such as those supplied by First Tunnels you could probably benefit from some top tips about how best to garden indoors.

According to The Telegraph indoor gardening is on the rise as increasing numbers of people are living in smaller, rented accommodation without access to an outdoor space of their own. With 52% of householders also having houseplants in order to counter air pollution, it’s easy to see why indoor plant sales are on the rise.

Even people who have access to their own garden often prefer to cultivate plants in an indoor environment such as a greenhouse or polytunnel since these spaces can extend your growing season and open up opportunities to grow a wider range of flowers, fruits and vegetables. As gardening indoors is a little different to cultivating plants in an outdoor environment, here is your ultimate guide to indoor gardening so that you can take advantage of this current trend.

Finding a Space

When creating an indoor garden, you can use as little or as much space as you want. Even if you only have a windowsill you can grow an exciting selection of plants, and if you have a bigger space you can extend your range even more. Polytunnels are available in a range of sizes and are a great solution to indoor gardening if you have an outdoor space of your own. You can install shelves which will only take up a little space but which allow you to grow more plants, although make sure each shelf is exposed to enough light.

Adequate Light 

All plants require light to photosynthesise, and without enough light they will never fruit or flower. If your plants are in an especially dark area you may need to buy a grow light to ensure that they can thrive. Plants which lack adequate light will have thin stems and small leaves as well as a lighter colour. You will need to ensure your plants get around 14 to 16 hours of light each day to grow properly.

If you decide to buy a grow light you should consider choosing a compact fluorescent system which is efficient and bright while producing less heat allowing them to be placed close to your plants. You need to ensure that your plants are kept at a temperature of around 65 to 75 degrees Fahrenheit as if they get too hot they will end up weak and small, whereas if they are grown in a cold environment they will suffer from yellowing, falling leaves.

Choosing A Growing Medium

You will need a good quality growing medium for indoor gardening and soil that is found outdoors is not suitable since it is generally heavy and cold contain pests and weed seeds. Planet Natural suggests that you need to choose something like an organic mix which drains well and which is loose but which holds moisture and nutrients.
 
Choosing The Right Plants 

It’s possible to grow virtually any type of plant indoors but some are better suited to an indoor environment than others. Vegetables such as carrots, peppers, onions and cherry tomatoes work well, as do herbs such as basil, parsley, coriander and rosemary. There are many kinds of flowers that thrive indoors including roses, pansies, zinnia and petunias, and it’s even possible to grow fruit inside with strawberries and blueberries working especially well.

If you have an outdoor space available, the Royal Horticultural Society suggests that you could grow your plants from seed indoors in the early Spring ready to plant out during the early summer once there is no more risk of frost. When moving plants outdoors you’ll need to do it gradually, moving them for a few hours a day into a shady spot to ensure they harden off enough to withstand a harsher climate.
 
Maintaining Your Indoor Garden 
 
Plants grown in an indoor environment will dry out more quickly so you will need to ensure that they are watered frequently. Use water that is at room temperature and always add sufficient so that it runs freely through the pot’s drainage holes, but never allow water to collect under the plant since this can cause it to rot.

If your plant is starting to wilt, discolour or stop growing you are probably over-watering it, however, if it has dry soil, dropping flowers and brown edges to its leaves you are probably under-watering it.
First Tunnels is a leading supplier of high quality polytunnels for both commercial and amateur gardeners. Contact us today and find out more about how our innovative products can help to create a perfect growing environment for you.

References:
Royal Horticultural Society – https://www.rhs.org.uk/advice/profile?pid=501 The Telegraph – http://www.telegraph.co.uk/gardening/how-to-grow/garden-trends-2017/ Planet Natural – https://www.planetnatural.com/growing-indoors/

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