Once upon a time growing your own vegetables meant spending time in the allotment or garden tending to your greens in a kind of organic ‘Good Life’ type way. However, particularly over the last decade when consumers have become more conscious about what goes into the food they eat, the amount of grow your own city dwellers has increased. In fact, growing your own isn’t just something you might associate with families and those heading towards middle age, as many young professionals also want to get in on the healthy eating act. According to research in a Guardian article last year approximately 5% of fruit and vegetables consumed were grown at home.
Growing your own vegetables in an apartment setting may seem difficult at face value but some innovative solutions might give you everything you need to get started. There are some perfect locations and spaces to use in an apartment including on windowsills, using handrails, being creative on a balcony or using a fire escape (so long as you leave it clear).
If you want to get started with some straight forward vegetables here’s a few suggestions from us.
Tomatoes are a great plant to get started with for indoor growing. The key with tomatoes is the requirement for warm temperatures so ideally they’ll need plenty of sunlight close to a window. To ensure you get a full supply particularly throughout summer months during the warmer weather it’s worth planting a new batch once a fortnight.
Rich in protein and one of your five a day, our next recommendation is the mushroom. The thing about growing mushrooms indoors is that they prefer dark, cool and humid conditions. A suitable cupboard under a sink or elsewhere in the kitchen may provide optimum conditions. If you are considering growing your own mushrooms we’d always recommend purchasing a starter kit from a reputable retailer rather than picking your own.
If you are thinking of growing your own salad then from late spring through until autumn is the perfect time of year. Salads are great for growing indoors and can be contained easily. Once again, you’ll need to ensure that the plants are provided with sufficient sunlight and heat throughout the day, approximately 12 hours. If window space is at a premium you can also invest in artificial lighting which will provide you with the conditions you need.
The great thing about growing herbs indoors is that not only are they easy to grow but they require minimal attention and can provide lovely smells as well as wonderfully fresh food. Most herbs will require exposure to sunlight for at least four hours a day so balconies, wall mounted boxes and windowsills are perfect.
Here’s just a few of our suggestions but we’d love to hear from our followers. What types of vegetable do you grow indoors? What are you experiences of getting the most from home grown veg? Tweet us @Grazersfamily.