Eating organic and pesticide-free food is one of the key ingredients to living a healthy life. It is a win-win situation as you get fresh food on your plate and cause lesser environmental damage. However, the soaring market prices and lack of availability of organic food has made this endeavor a far-fetched reality for many Indian families. But with your own kitchen garden right under your roof, you can ensure that your family is eating right and is able to save money. Read on for some useful tips to start your own indoor kitchen garden.
Pick the right spot
Pick a sunny spot which is partly covered for your indoor kitchen garden. The amount of sunlight your herbs feed on has a direct effect on their flavour and fragrance. High-intensity sunlight also aids their growth. Make sure your plants are exposed to sunlight for 6 to 8 hours to keep them healthy and fresh. It is also important to ensure that there is no water stagnation in the area. If you are planning to set up a garden in your balcony or rooftop, you can do so by opting for potted plants.
Leave equal space between crops
Spacing out your indoor kitchen garden is vital for a good harvest. Choose from rows, squares or even triangles as per your preference and the amount of space available. Ensure all the crops get adequate sunlight and soil space. Do not cram the plant bed with too many saplings as that may hamper their growth. Another important factor to focus on while placing your plants is air circulation. Make sure the roots and leaves get enough oxygen for a good yield.
Begin with vegetables and herbs that are easy to grow and maintain. Choose from common plants like tomatoes, spinach, mint and parsley, to name a few. Once you master these plants, you can try growing advanced crops that need more attention and care like onions, cauliflower, carrots and cabbage.
Use seedlings instead of seeds
Give your indoor kitchen garden a head start by planting seedlings instead of seeds. This will speed up the process and also help the plants overcome the initial setback of the seed adapting to the soil. Seedlings adapt faster to the plant bed and spare you the wait of watching them grow.
Maintain a compost pile
Whether you set up a compost bin or buy a composter, maintaining your own compost pile is a brilliant way to generate good soil for your indoor kitchen garden. It is also a great way to reuse scraps of food and other waste.
Check the compatibility of crops
Make sure you opt for compatible crops while setting up your indoor kitchen garden. Companion planting helps in increasing your yield and speeding up the process due to the same set of requirements needed by each crop. You can pair tomatoes with carrots and basil or even try growing cucumbers with peas and onions.
Do not forget the walls
If you do not have enough space for your indoor kitchen garden, think out of the box and use the walls instead. You can use hanging pots or wall units to grow crops vertically and enhance the aesthetics of your home. This will also help you locate the fruit or vegetable easily and keep fungal infections at bay. Choose from tomatoes, melons and peas that easily climb on walls with the support of fences.
Care for your crops
Gardening is a passionate hobby that demands a lot of care and attention. Once you set up your indoor kitchen garden, maintain your crops by watering them regularly. At the same time, make sure the soil is just wet and not clogged with water. You can also spray the leaves with water to keep them fresh and moist. If you are stepping out of town, pass the responsibility of watering your plants to a neighbor or relative to ensure they are healthy even after you return.
Opt for raised beds
If you do not have enriched soil near your home, it is best to opt for a raised bed to nurture your crops. Raised beds improve the quality of the produce and also help speed up the process of plantation since they are rich in nutrients. Additionally, they help keep weed and pests away.
Fancy it up with flowers
Who said an indoor kitchen garden needs to be all about herbs and vegetables? Decorate your nursery with gorgeous flowers in vibrant hues. You can also grow edible flowers like pink jasmine and rosemary to enjoy the twin benefit of a beautiful and healthy produce.
Invest in gardening tools
Even if you are a beginner, it is a good idea to invest in a basic set of gardening tools to set up and maintain your indoor kitchen garden. Tools help you strike the right depth and are also a great way to introduce your child to the beautiful world of gardening. They are a one-time investment that will help you grow a green thumb.
These tried-and-tested tips and tricks are guaranteed to help you set up your own indoor kitchen garden without the need for professional help. It is time you utilised that empty backyard of your villa or the well-lit balcony of your apartment to create a state-of-the-art garden and enjoy some organic produce for you and your family. Head out to Sterling Developers today and find your dream home in Whitefield, Hebbal and other growing corporate hubs of Bengaluru.