If you have visited the Gardening section before you may have seen this quote from the USDA- “For every $1 dollar spent on seeds and fertilizer, home gardeners can grow an average of $25 worth of produce.” Local hardware stores are often great places to get low cost vegetable or herb packages for as little as $1 a package. Most packages contain about 750 milligrams of seed, which can make you a lot of fresh food!
Step 1: Find a sunny spot indoors!
- Your indoor garden will need at least 5 hours of sunlight a day. Plants require natural sunlight to grow, so you may need to look for a small shelf or box to place your plants on so they can be right in front of a window in your home.
- Make sure you have a lot of space for as many plants as you want to grow. Vegetables take several weeks to grow, so you may want to plant some now and more later.
Step 2: Decide on a container for your plants!
- You don’t need a fancy clay pot to grow healthy plants.
Reuse large or small containers, like plastic bins or cleaned yogurt or sour cream packages. They can save you money. Just make sure that you make a few small holes at the bottom of whatever container you use for water to drain.
You may also want to put a water proof plate underneath your containers so the water doesn’t drain onto your floor.
Step 3: Add soil to your pots.
- You can buy a large bag of all-purpose soil from your local hardware store for usually less than $5.
For some plants, you will not need to use as much soil as for others. You can find planting depth tips on seed packages for vegetables. For example, for lettuce seeds, 1.5 - 2 inches of soil is all you need.
When planting your seeds, do not bury your seeds deep beneath your potting soil. Instead, lay a pinch, or about 25 seeds, just under the top of your soil.
Step 4: Water your seeds
- After covering your seeds lightly with soil, lightly water your seeds.
Cover the top of the pot with clear plastic wrap or anything else you can use to keep your water from drying in the sunlight.
Check in from time to time to make sure the top of your soil has not dried out.
Step 5: Continue watering your seeds and wait for them to grow.
- It should only take about 5-10 days for your seeds to begin to grow.
Most seed packages tell you how long it will take for them to grow.
You can remove the plastic covering over your containers once you have reached this step.
Step 6: Cut and enjoy yur vegetables!
- Keep watering your plants, and in 3-4 weeks you should have your first fully ready lettuce cutting.
Do not pull your plant out by the roots if you do not have to! Cut your plant at about a half inch from above your soil so it can keep growing. Vegetables like lettuce and most herbs can grow again around once every two weeks.