Starting an indoor garden in order to grow your own food can be an extremely fun and rewarding process. That said, growing your own food in a grow room or grow tent is not without its share of challenges.
If you’re considering an indoor garden and need a few pointers to get you going, we’ve got some great tips to growing the best, healthiest, and tastiest food for yourself.
Table of Contents
- Consider Using a Grow Tent
- How Much Light Do Your Plants Really Need?
- Use Pots That Let Roots Breathe
- Understand Your Grow Medium
- Use the Appropriate Nutrients for the Best Results
- Always Be Prepared for Pests
- Look Up Guides for Growing Your Favorite Plants
- Looking for Huge Harvests? Consider Hydroponics!
- Keep These Tips in Mind When Growing Your Own Food
Garden-fresh fruits and vegetables are notoriously delicious — nothing beats a ripe tomato straight from the garden. Growing your own food is also often healthier than the alternatives you’d get at the grocery store. You also get better quality food for a lower cost, especially when you consider the price of organic fruits and vegetables.
If you’re ready to put together a grow room, this article will present a number of tips and tricks so that you can have the most success when growing your own food.
When it comes to indoor gardening, grow tents are one of the pest options because they allow you to have complete control over the environment your plants will grow in. You’ll be able to control the temperature, lighting, and even humidity to make sure that your plants are in the best possible environment in order to thrive.
If you set your garden up in a grow tent, you won’t have to worry as much about the weather or harmful pests that could be detrimental to your plants like you would with an outdoor garden. You also won’t have to put as much work into the setup as you would if you were to put together a grow room inside of your home, which is an involved process and takes up a good amount of space in your house.
- If you just want to get started with a couple fruit, veggie, or herb plants, we recommend a smaller tent like the Yield Lab 48” x 24” x 60” Reflective Grow Tent (Price: $129.95).
- If you want to grow more plants (up to 12), a larger tent like the Yield Lab 78” x 78” x 78” Reflective Grow Tent (Price: $219.95) is a great option.
Of course, if you don’t want to build your grow space piece by piece, you can also go with a complete grow kit. These include your grow tent, grow lights, climate control, grow medium, and everything else you’ll need to grow your own plants.
- For a small-scale grow of 4 to 6 plants, we’re fans of the 4x4ft HID Soil Complete Indoor Grow Tent System (Price: $999.95).
- If you want to go big and get great yields from 12 to 14 plants, the 8x4ft LED Soil Complete Indoor Grow Tent System (Price: $2,599.95) is one of the best grow systems for the job.
Like we said before, one of the best parts of growing your own food (especially if you’re using a grow tent) is that you have complete control over the environment your plants grow in. This means you should really take the time to learn exactly what conditions each of your plants will thrive in, including the lighting.
Different fruits, vegetables, and herbs require varying degrees of light intensity and even different light recipes. Do some research on the specific plants you want to grow and then get some grow lights that will work well for them.
In addition, you’ll want to make sure you get the right lights for the amount of plants you’ll be growing. Getting a grow light with a high wattage if you just have 1 or 2 oregano plants, for example, will probably be overkill, and you’ll likely end up burning them. As such, ensure to get the right lights that will suit your grow room and canopy size.
- If you’re growing just a couple plants and need a gentle light intensity, a Yield Lab 400W HPS+MH Air Cool Hood Reflector Grow Light Kit (Price: $189.95) or S270 Advance Spectrum MAX LED Grow Light Kit (Price: $399.95) will give your plants what they need.
- For grow rooms with up to 6 plants, a Yield Lab 600W HPS+MH Cool Tube Hood Reflector Grow Light Kit (Price: $219.95) or S450 Advance Spectrum MAX LED Grow Light Panel (Price: $595.95) will give you great coverage and light intensity.
- If you plan on growing a large number of plants, you’ll need the wide coverage and strong intensity that only a Yield Lab Pro Series 120/220V 1000W Double Ended Complete Grow Light Kit (Price: $279.96) or S900 Advance Spectrum MAX LED Grow Light Panel (Price: $999.95) could provide.
Compared to growing directly in the ground or putting multiple plants, grow pots offer a wide variety of advantages. Even better, using containers like grow bags, plastic pots, or fabric pots let your roots breathe, ensuring your plants are staying healthy.
- Air pruning and healthier roots- Growing with pots that allow your roots to growth, breathe, and can even air prune plants. That means your plant's rootzone thriving, giving you large plants and quality harvests.
- You can give plants individual attention- Each plant in your grow room is unique and requires its own methods for the best health for the greatest yield.
There are plenty of different pots and containers to choose from if you’re doing some container gardening, from plastic to fabric to trays for clones and even bags. Once you find the right material, method, and size for your plants, you’ll be well on your way to a lush garden with the healthiest plants and the best-tasting food.
Air pruning is one of the most effective ways to ensure your plants produce a lot of healthy roots. It’s definitely a method to look into if you want strong plants that produce rich yields.
- If you’re growing herbs, peppers, or other small plants, we recommend the Yield Lab Fabric 3 Gallon Growing Pots - 5 Pack (Price: $16.49).
- For fruit and veggie growers who love cucumbers, tomatoes, and lemons, slightly larger pots like the Yield Lab Fabric 7 Gallon Growing Pots - 5 Pack (Price: $23.99) are a great place to start.
- If you need larger pots for bigger fruit and vegetable plants, you can’t go wrong with the Yield Lab Fabric 10 Gallon Growing Pots - 5 Pack (Price: $25.99).
There are all sorts of grow mediums to choose from, and each has its own benefits. The best grow medium for your garden will depend on what sorts of plants you’re growing, as well as some of your own personal preference.
Soil, for instance, is great because it’s already packed with nutrients and will require less watering than other mediums.
- If you’re looking for soil that’s packed with nutrients and beneficial organic material like worm castings, bat guano, and crab meal, you’ll want to consider Foxfarm Ocean Forest Potting Soil (Price: $18.95).
- Coco coir, on the other hand, is looser and not as messy as soil, allowing water and nutrients to reach the roots of your plants more easily.
- You could also choose hydroponic or aeroponic methods, in which case you’d want to buy some clay pebbles and perlite so your plants can soak up all the nutrients they need.
- If you’re looking to do some plant cloning, rooting trays or rockwool cubes are the way to go while you get your clippings growing before you transplant them.
Note: You’ll definitely want to enrich whatever medium you choose with the right nutrients by using composted soil, manure, leaves, wood chips, and a variety of other organic materials. Speaking of which, let’s get into the importance of nutrients in your grow room with our next tip!
Using the right nutrients is a key part to growing healthy plants that will give you incredible yields. Did you know, though, that some nutrients will also give you better-tasting (and smelling) food in your indoor garden?
Once you have all the nutrients your plants need to stay healthy and grow well, you can enhance your grow medium even more with a variety of other nutrients.
- For a more lush yield, add some phosphorus and calcium with Bloom Natural - Humboldt Nutrients (Price: $17.08).
- When it comes to flavor, sweeteners like Humboldt Honey Hydro (Price: $35.49) will give you results you’ll be able to smell before you even taste your fruits and vegetables.
- To grow healthier, stronger plants that have a great tolerance for all sorts of conditions, nutrients like Pro-Tekt from Dyna-Grow (Price: $18.82) are the way to go.
When you pack your garden with the right nutrients, you’ll have the tastiest, healthiest plants.
Even in an indoor garden with the added protection of a grow tent, pests could potentially find a way to reach your plants. If you’re growing a lush, tasty indoor garden, you’ll want to protect it from unwanted guests.
Pest control in the grow room is important because it could mean the difference between a successful harvest and spoiled fruits and veggies. You’ll want to take the proper precautions to ensure your plants don’t suffer with the right pesticides.
If you find spider mites and other pests getting to your precious tomato plants and cucumber plants, don’t panic. It isn’t uncommon and there are ways to treat it. That said, the best way to avoid this issue and protect your garden from serious harm is some simple preparation and prevention against pests.
Neem oil will keep the bugs away and unable to feed. If some pests do find their way into your garden, spider mite control and plant pesticide concentrate will kill them on the spot.
- To keep bugs and other pests away from your tasty fruits, veggies, and herbs, we recommend spraying your plants’ leaves with Dyna-Gro Pure Neem Oil (Price: $114.50).
- Sticky traps make for a great second line of defense. These will catch flying and crawling pests and keep them there until they die.
- Fungicide helps eliminate fungus that can be caused by the holes bugs create on your plants’ stems, branches, and leaves.
Every plant is different and requires a unique system of care in order to provide the best possible yields.
If you’re new to the indoor gardening game and are just getting started growing your own food, the best way to ensure you’re treating your plants right and getting the best-tasting results from your garden is to do some research! Thanks to the Internet, you have a wealth of information right at your fingertips!
- Know What You’re Growing: Figure out what plants you want to grow based on what you’ll want to eat. Take some time to figure out what environmental conditions and grow mediums these plants will thrive in. After a little bit of research, you’ll be on your way to growing a healthy garden with lucious, delicious yields in no time.
- Figure Out What Your Plants Need: All plants are unique, so it’s best to figure out how much light intensity they’ll need and what kinds of environments they’ll thrive in. Do you need cooler temperatures for your favorite fruits? You’ll have to look into proper grow room climate control.
- Join an Online Indoor Growing Community: Aside from all the articles and guides you’ll find online, there are countless online communities that are glad to help newer growers. Find a community of indoor growers online and talk to other folks. See what they’re growing, and if you have any questions, don’t be afraid to ask for assistance!
If your goal is to produce the biggest possible yields from your plants, you might want to consider using a hydroponic system for your indoor garden.
Hydro grow systems are notorious for providing huge yields, so if you want the largest amount of fruits and veggies your garden will give you, it’s worth looking into. Keep in mind, though, while hydroponic growing has a lot of benefits, these systems aren’t very beginner-friendly, so it may be best to tread lightly and be patient if you’re just getting into indoor gardening.
If you’re up to the task, look into different types of hydroponic systems. Ebb and flow systems, for example, involve periodically flooding and draining your plants’ roots with nutrients. Alternatively, deep water culture systems, keep the roots of your plants suspended in oxygenated water that’s full of nutrients.
- To test the waters of hydroponic growing, a smaller system like the Greentree Hydroponics Multi Flow 6 Site Ebb and Flow Hydroponic System (Price: $529.95) is as compact and beginner-friendly as you’ll get with hydro.
- If you want to go big with a deep water culture grow, we recommend the Root Spa 5 Gal 8 DWC Bucket System (Price: $199.95).
- To learn more about hydroponic growing, read our guide and review of Ebb and Flow vs. DWC Hydroponic Systems.
Growing your own food is one of the most rewarding hobbies you can pick up. It can definitely seem like an overwhelming task at first, but the results are definitely worth it.
If you follow the tips we’ve listed above, you’re sure to start growing some great plants in your own indoor garden with some great results.
Before you know it, you’ll be well on your way to eating delicious, garden-fresh fruits, vegetables, and herbs you grew yourself. What could taste better than that?