If you do not have a backyard that can allow you to grow your own outdoor garden, or live in part of the world where growing outdoors is not feasible, indoor gardening is a fantastic alternative. You can experience all the advantages of growing your own vegetables or flowers while doing away with the need for a large outdoor grow area, or in the case of hydroponic growing, doing away with soil entirely. Indoor gardening can even provide you with bigger yields, tastier vegetables, and healthier plants than what you might get in a more traditional garden. But growing indoors is in many ways an entirely different beast than outdoors, and it comes with its own set of challenges and obstacles.
Lighting – Growing indoors means that your plants will not be exposed to the natural sunlight that typically helps plants grow. This means that you will need to provide your own, artificial light. But not just any light bulb or lamp will do. The common houselight only provides white light, while sunlight contains the full spectrum of light colors. To better imitate sunlight, you need to purchase high-density discharge and metal halide grow lights. These offer lights on the blue and red end of the spectrum, which are designed to sufficiently stimulate photosynthesis during the vegetative and flowering stages of development, respectively.
Watering – In outdoor soil gardens, there is a lot for room for error in watering. Soil holds water very well, which means if you provide too little water, it can store water and deliver it to the roots over time. But soil also acts as its own drainage system, so any excess water is less likely to cause root rot. Indoor plants, which are either grown in hydroponic systems or small containers filled with soil, allow for a lot less margin for error. You need to make sure you are not either over watering and underwatering, and look out for the signs of each.
Nutrients – High quality soil has all the nutrients that a plant needs to thrive. If you are growing hydroponically indoors, you will need to provide the plant nutrients yourself. This means mixing a proper nutrient solution and paying close attention to the health of your plants so you can catch any deficiencies that may arise.
Environment – One of the primary advantages of indoor gardening is that it can be done anywhere, even if the environment in your part of the world does not accommodate growing plants very well. But this also means that you are responsible for creating the ideal environment for growth in your grow room. You may need to take regular measurements of the temperature and humidity, and make necessary adjustments.
Odors – This issue may not greatly affect the performance of your plants, but it can be unpleasant. In an outdoor garden, odors are quickly dissipated in the open air. But they tend to accumulate in a closed off grow room. Make sure to keep everything your grow room as clean and disinfected as possible and remove any unnecessary organic material that may promote the bacteria that can cause these odors.