There’s something about sowing seeds and watching them grow into delicious vegetables. However, although many people want to experiment with gardening they don’t have enough space outside (or any!) – especially if you live in a duplex or a townhouse. Maybe your growing season is short and you don’t have a greenhouse? Or maybe you live in the desert and growing a healthy garden outside is not feasible because the outside temperatures and water economy?
If you are one of those people, you will be glad to hear that there’s a way for you to get that dream garden, without it having to be outside – you can simply start one in your garage. Although it might not be the easiest thing, especially, it is definitely worth trying, if it means that you’ll end up with a beautiful vegetable garden – not only in the spring, but in winter too! You’ll be able to grow flowers for transplanting outside, or even selling. There are a lot of seedling selling businesses that operate from garages, for the lack of other space. Keep on reading to find out some interesting tricks that you won’t hear about in your normal gardening magazines.
Prepare Your Garage
Make sure your garage is bright enough to plant seeds! That’s probably never going to happen unless you install some skylights – although there are some specialists at A1Garage that have been installing transparent garage doors, or at least transparent garage door sections installed for extra light. While that may give you enough space to work with, it won’t light the garage enough to grow.
There are grow lights and grow tents available that will get any garden off the ground, and produce healthy vegetables. They are most associated with growing certain plants from the Cannabis family, but they fit to grow vegetables as well. There are commercial farms that use these kinds of tents and closed-circuit hydroponic contraptions as well – they are especially amazing for indoor growing.
You have to make sure your garage is free of junk, especially around the ventilation area.
Use Seed Starting Trays
Seed starting trays make it easy to organize your indoor garden – it’s so easy to label them! We’ll give you a hint – a large seed starting tray has geometric planting places, and they’re very easy to transfer onto a Excel spreadsheet.
They also make it very easy to keep track of your seeds, and keep the small plants from impacting each other.
Starting trays are easy to transport from place to place, and once your seedlings are grown, it takes very little effort to transfer them to larger pots.
Prepare the Space
Indoor gardens make a mess – there’s water, soil (unless you’re into hydroponics – then there’s just water!), plant cuttings and possible bug invaders. Make sure your space is easy to clean. Most garages have concrete flooring, and that’s great! If you have any rugs or materials that will suck up moisture, make sure to remove it from around the indoor garden perimeter. You don’t want to develop a mold problem!
If you have any windows, you can do without a grow box. See if it’s possible to make the windows bigger, or design a custom shelving unit that will sit next to the window and get as much light as possible.
Create some storage space, where you can keep fertilizers, gloves, and other tools without losing them. A simple plastic container might just do the trick.
Choose Which Plants to Grow
People get very ambitious when it comes to buying seeds – most people buy a lot more than they can plant. However, you should keep in mind that not all plants are good for growing indoors, so it is best to stick with what does well in such conditions.
Best plants to grow indoors are:
– Potatoes – if you have a window, you can grow potatoes in large bags – there’s nothing better than harvesting your own!
– Lettuce – if you love fresh lettuce on your sandwiches or in your salads, it’s probably the perfect grow box and hydroponic plant!
– Spinach and other microgreens
– Peppers – hot peppers like serrano or cayenne are great for grow boxes as well
– Herbs like parsley and basil or chives go a long way to flavor your winter meals
– Tomatoes – if you want to get a large grow box, there are many kinds of lovely tomatoes you can grow
– Sprouts – if you have a sprouter, it’s ideal for getting fresh vitamins that will be ready to eat in days – put them on your sandwich or in your pasta – if you have a hard time getting started, get motivated with some sprouting action!
Water your Vegetables
We recommend that you invest in a small hydroponic apparatus, especially if you’re growing greens. It will take your mind off of watering and make for some optimal water usage.
If you don’t want to go that far, just make sure to set up a watering schedule on your calendar, so your plants won’t dry out.
Fertilize your Flowers and Vegetables
When you’re watering, it’s good to mix fertilizer with your water. You’re going to need different fertilizers depending on what you’re growing. But don’t worry – any home improvement or gardening store will have an array of different fertilizers and you’re bound to find exactly what you’re looking for.
- Flowers: Marigolds and Violets need high-nitrogen fertilizer for flowers – these are usually provided in packs that contain seeds and fertilizers together. Petunias need soil with high amounts of phosphorus and calcium. Tulips need high-nitrogen fertilizer for flowers as well as some phosphorus and potassium so that they can develop well. Zinnia need phosphorus for flowers, along with some nitrogen and calcium as well! Chrysanthemums need high amounts of nitrogen for flowers as well as potassium and sulfur to grow their best! Geraniums and Ageratum need fertilizers that are high in nitrogen and potassium along with calcium-based fertilizer in order to grow well! Carnations need fertilizers with high amounts of nitrogen and potassium along with some calcium and sulfur so that they can grow their best! Violas also require fertilizers with high amounts of nitrogen alongside sulfur and calcium! Calendula requires fertilizers with high amounts of nitrogen along with calcium or potassium so that they can grow well! Zinnias are also good for this purpose! Phloxes need fertilizers with high amounts of calcium and potassium; however they also need some phosphorus! Marigolds need some phosphorus-based fertilizer alongside potassium and nitrogen. Gardenias require soil with some potassium as well as nitrogen! There are many other flowering plants that need fertilizer for flowers in order to grow their best as well! You can find these in most nurseries or seed stores!
- Vegetables: Here are many vegetables that need fertilizer in order to grow their best: Beans need nitrogen-based fertilizer along with potassium every once in a while! Carrots need potassium so that they can grow their best – this can easily be found at any nursery or seed store! Peas need potassium fertilizer so that they can develop their best – this is definitely available at any nursery or seed store! Spinach needs some phosphorus for vegetables along with potassium – this can easily be found at any nursery or seed store! Cabbage needs phosphorus-based fertilizer along with nitrogen-based fertilizer in order to grow its best! Potatoes need some nitrogen-based fertilizer alongside phosphorus so they can develop their best! Turnips need high amounts of phosphorus along with calcium and magnesium! Radishes require some phosphorus as well – this can easily be found at any nursery or seed store! Tomatoes require nitrogen-based fertilizer alongside sulfur so that they can develop their best! Sweet potatoes also require sulfur-based fertilizer alongside nitrogen in order for them to develop their best – this can easily be found at any nursery or seed store! Carrots require food containing potassium along with nitrogen so that they can grow their best!
If your garden is coming along nicely, you might want to start a compost box. It’s a place to recycle all of your kitchen vegetable scraps and power up your plants at the same time. You can have a small homemade compost box in your garage or in your kitchen.
Yes, you can do it on a small scale – you don’t need a giant compost pile!
If you don’t have room in your yard for a garden, consider growing a small vegetable or herb garden inside your garage. It’s an unusual solution, but it works very well! If you have read this far, we encourage you to test small hydroponic kits in order to see if you can become a prolific gardener – these are people who can provide fresh vegetables for themselves for most of the year after installing well designed grow lights and a professional system in their garage. Or, for starters – stick with the parsley and see if farming life is for you.