More and more people are looking to grow their own food every day. There are lots of reasons to do so, and lots of different techniques you can employ.
Reasons to grow your own food indoors
There are lots of reasons to grow your own food indoors. These include:
Grow exotic & seasonal food all year round When you grow your own food indoors, you get complete control over your environment. This means you can grow exotic and seasonal food at home, all year round.
Sustainability There is no more sustainable way to source your food than to grow your own food. There are ‘zero food miles’ used when you grow your own herbs, vegetables & fruit.
Freshness You don’t have to worry about how long your fruit or veg has been sitting on the shelf of your local supermarket, or how long it has been in transport. You can use it immediately after harvest, when it is packed with the most nutrients.
Educate children Gardening has some known developmental benefits to children. It’s a great sensory activity, where children physically engage with their environment by handling soil, plants and produce. Gardening is a really hands-on activity that increases children’s confidence, helps keep them active and encourages healthy eating.
Healthy eating Not only are you more likely to incorporate a range of extra veg and fruit into your diet when you grow your own food; you know what the crops have been gown with and can be sure they haven’t been treated with hormones or pesticides – unless you’ve used them yourself.
Physical exercise Growing your own vegetables and fruit is a great way of keeping physically active in an engaging way. When you grow your own, you’re making physical activity part of your everyday life – and teaching children to do the same.
How do you grow your own food indoors?
Want to learn to grow your own food & herbs indoors? Remember, indoor gardening is a hobby, so you’ll learn a lot about what works for you through personal experience. However, whether you want to grow your own herbs or grow your own microgreens and lettuces, there are some common things you’ll need to get started.
Your best off buying a kit. The ones we sell come with the basic things you need to grow your own food indoors, including:
A grow light Needed for photosynthesis – how plants make sugars
A grow room or grow tent Plants need to grow in a specific environment (light level, temperature, etc). So you need to create an enclosed space – one that you can control. The easiest way to do this is to buy a grow tent.
An air exchange kit As plants grow, they use up CO2 while releasing moisture and oxygen. Your grow lights also increase the temperature.
So you need to remove hot, humid, stale, CO2 depleted air, and replace it with fresh, cooler, CO2 rich air. It doesn’t take much to do this; an extraction kit does the job.
Some of our kits include these – others don’t, allowing you to choose which ones you want to use separately.
Those are the absolute basics of what you need to grow your own herbs, vegetables & fruit indoors. Remember, growing is a hobby. The more you grow, the more you’ll learn and the more you’ll start experimenting.
It comes with everything you need. You don’t have to size anything up, or even work out how many pots you’ll need – it’s all been done for you.
If this kit isn’t for you, you can start off with another one of our kits – like a BAY6 XL Complete Kit – then add your soil separately.
Grow your own vegetables hydroponically
When growing hydroponically, bare roots are completely submerged in a nutrient and oxygen rich water. Without media, they are able to absorb nutrients and water faster. Roots also grow faster. Overall, you get bigger, faster growing plants that yield better.
When you grow your own vegetables hydroponically, you still need some growing media – normally clay pebbles – to anchor your plant.
There are lots of ways to grow your own vegetables hydroponically.
The main hydroponic growing methods are:
Plants sit inside a mesh pot. Plant roots grow out of this pot, straight into a second pot filled with an oxygen-rich nutrient solution. These systems are really good if you only have a couple of plants to manage, or if you need the flexibility to pick pots up and move them about.
Flood & Drain
Plants grow in pots filled with clay pebbles. Periodically, pots are flooded with a nutrient & oxygen rich solution, which is quickly drained away again.
The flood & drain system we sell is great if you have a lot of plants to manage (all pots are flooded from one tank). It’s also great if you need a flexible layout as you can position pots where you want.
The Ebb & Flood system that we sell works in the same way, but rather than using pots, 1 – 8 plants sit together in a top tray. Since these systems are low profile, they’re great if you haven’t got much headroom in your growing area.
NFT (Nutrient Film Technique)
Plant roots grow along a top tray, and a thin film of nutrient solution runs continuously over bar roots.
Like with an Ebb & Flood System, these ones are low profile, so they’re great in low-ceiling tents. NFT systems are known for being easy to manage – systems run 24/7 without a timer, so it’s ideal.
This is where you grow plants and rear fish at the same time! You create your own little ecosystem. Rather than feeding plants, you feed fish, which produce waste. Microorganisms then convert this waste into nutrients your plants can use. Results are incredible!
Grow your own organic vegetables
Growing vegetables organically means using organic nutrients, minerals and additives.
You can use soil or coco mixes when you grow your own organic vegetables. But you will struggle if growing hydroponically. This is because many organic ingredients don’t mix well with oxygen. They can ferment and foam and cause blockages in pumps and pipework.