Tuesday, December 3, 2019

Indoor Gardening



As an avid  gardener who is also a baby boomer, I think less and less about fighting bugs, critters, weeds, and Bermuda grass on my knees working the earth and more about alternatives that are easier to access, cleaner, and less likely to compete with creatures/bugs wanting to eat my goods. 
There are lots of possibilities for indoor gardening these days. I am using two of these PLANTERS  (below) for herbs in a south-facing window with GROW LIGHTS just in case they need more light-


Growing indoors can be done on many scales, from a countertop HERB grower to a grow wall like the one above. 


New advances in design have growing inside not a strange farming experiment, but a piece of furnishing or even art - 


I tend to worry most about humidity. I keep a water spray bottle nearby and spritz a few times a day, but usually if you have a wall of plants together, they keep the moist atmosphere going. Homes often are very dry especially with wintertime heating running. You can place plant pots in a bowl of water and that can also bring up the humidity or run a humidifier in that room. 

LINK  - for more info on lighting needs
LINK - for healthy edible plants to grow inside


My suggestions - 


Aloe Vera - this is not only a architecturally beautiful plant to grow, but it also cleans the air well. It needs almost no attention, occasional water, not a ton of sunlight. And when you peel it and scoop out the "goo" inside, it is very very good for you. I use the skins with the goo on them to rub on skin. It is great for all skin irritations, rashes, acne, sunburn, dermatitis, psoriasis, dryness, aging (does amazing things to aging skin!!!) You usually find these in garden shops where they have cacti and succulents. Aloe vera has tons of plant compounds so very healthy. It has antioxidant and antibacterial qualities. It reduces dental plaque. It reduces constipation. and lowers blood sugar levels. I even like to use it as a massage oil because you get skin benefits while having a good medium to rub with.

Green Onions - Cut the bulb off the end of the green onions you get in the store. Plant the bulb, leave the cut part sticking up out of soil. It will grow new onion lengths on it fast! Can cut and use as needed.

Herbs - I love having fresh herbs for recipes. I grow thyme, parsley, cilantro, rosemary, mint, and basil. 

Ginger - This exotic root is so super healthy and unbelievably tasty that I use it in everything from tea, candying, grated into bone broth, salads, dressings, Asian cooking, smoothies.... Ginger is a great anti-inflammatory. You can grow a ginger from a root bought in the store - 


Other good indoor grows include tomatoes, greens (lettuce, arugula, kale, etc). 

Want to get creative? Consider growing mushrooms indoors - it's ideal. Microgreens and are another favorite for super nutrient-dense yummies that grow very fast. 

Enjoy and explore. It's not as intimidating as one would think. A good bookcase and some potted plants or window boxes and installed fluorescent or grow lights, and you're ready to go. Another way to keep the plants moister and more humid is to have a roll down sheet of plastic to let down each night overnight and let it humidify inside and then roll back up to be attractive and accessible by day.



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