Container gardening is not just a fad. It is definitely here to stay as man’s exposure to the dangers of climate change calls for the need to rebuild a greener environment. Although we have seen modernization pave the way for the development of buildings and infrastructures on long stretches of land, there is still hope to bring back a healthier world. One method is to find more innovative ways to bring back people’s interest in gardening and caring for nature.
Urban living has left majority of the world with no space and time to spend on traditional gardening, but thanks to science, it is still possible to grow different plants without having to deal with the requirements of traditional gardening.
Modern gardening has paved the way for gardening alternatives by allowing the use of commercial and even simple household items to replicate the conditions needed to build a sustainable garden space. It is now possible to cultivate plants, herbs, and vegetables indoors through various techniques like container gardening and hydroponics.
Basic Things to Know about Indoor Gardening
Container gardening indoors is an easy and cost-effective alternative to traditional home gardening. Unlike conventional gardening, container gardening does not require a huge amount of space or land. It can also be done indoors without much need for direct sunlight.
The key to successful gardening indoors is being able to mimic the necessary outdoor conditions using a specific set of materials. This is mostly done using containers, indoor plant lights, or through hydro grow and hydroponic systems.
Hydro grow kits or boxes make use of aquariums, fish, plant media, and a reliable light source to allow plants to grow effectively. This is a bit expensive due to the maintenance of fish. However, it is a practical solution to indoor gardening because it only requires a little space and is both useful and decorative at the same time.
For maximum results, most indoor gardeners create what is called a grow tent. This is an area that simulates the ideal environment for nurturing different kinds of plants and vegetables. It is usually made from fabric and it is a great option for those on a tight budget. Using a grow tent is kind of a futuristic approach to gardening that forgoes the current ways of planting.
Importance of Using a Grow Light
No matter what type of indoor gardening technique is to be applied, lighting plays an important role in the growth of plants. It serves as one of the key components that allow a plant to photosynthesize or create their food. Without access to direct sunlight, indoor plant lights are the next best solution.
Choosing the right grow light is important. Firstly, it must produce the same wavelengths as the sun. There are specific types of lighting best suited for indoor gardening and these are not just the regular light bulbs or lamps found in hardware stores.
Most plants and vegetables need to be exposed to light for a certain period and a lack of light will affect the growth of the plant. Given that the plants need a simulated light source for long hours in a day, an energy-efficient source like and indoor LED grow light might work best among other choices.
The light source’s power is especially crucial when starting or germinating seeds. This is a delicate period where seeds need at least 15 hours of sunlight. A whole indoor garden might go awash if there are no viable seeds to be used.
Types of Grow Lights
Aside from using an indoor LED grow light, there are many other types of grow light bulbs and lamps suitable for indoor gardening. These include incandescent and fluorescent lamps, high-intensity discharge bulbs, high-pressure sodium bulbs, and metal halide bulbs to name a few.
However, indoor LED grow lights are best for their practicality, energy consumption, and affordability. When looking for LED lights specifically made to cater to indoor gardening, it is important to look for bulbs with T5 and T8 technology. These bulbs have the capacity to produce full-spectrum and bright light that plants will truly love.
It is also must to consider the grow light’s size or wattage. This will also depend on the dimensions of the garden area because the proper light size ensures that the whole space will be well lit. There are typically three light sizes to choose from which are 400-watts, 600-watts, and 1000-watts.
A 400-watt grow light is perfect for 5×5 or 8×8 inch areas that have no outside light or just a little bit of sunlight. A 600 watt grow light is best for 7×7 or 10×10 inch spaces, while a 1000 watt grow light is most suited for 8×8 and 12×12 inch areas.
Setting Up the Grow Light
When setting up the indoor garden, whether it be a grow box, tent, or just a simple indoor container, the positioning of the light source is important to help produce strong and healthy plants with abundant leaves, vibrant color, and sturdy foliage.
To simulate the effects of sunlight, the light fixture must be positioned properly to make sure that the plants grow the to right height. The light source must be placed as close as possible to the plants without causing damage. The distance between the plant and light source can be determined based on the light’s size.
A 600-watt grow light must be positioned 1.5 to 5 feet away from the growing foliage while a 1000-watt bulb should be placed at least 2 to 6 feet away. One of the common mistakes when setting up the light source is its distance. It should not be too near as it may cause damage to your plants.
In addition, when it comes to light exposure, plants do not really need light 24/7. Most plants need light for a certain length of time depending on the specific type of plant being cultivated. Some plants need more than 15 hours of light while others need less. It is important to research the specific needs of plants so that they may be nourished properly.