Contact your local county Extension office through our County Office List. Print this fact sheet. Growing vegetables in Colorado presents challenges, but growing vegetables in the mountains is harder still. This is due to the much shorter growing season, cool nights, wind, critters, and possible watering restrictions. The first factor to consider is the short growing season. For every feet gain in elevation, the temperature drops by an average of 3.
WATCH RELATED VIDEO: How to Grow an Indoor Survival GardenContent:
- Top 10 easy to grow vegetables, fruit & salad seeds and plants for beginners
- 35 Foods You Can Grow Indoors
- 7 Best Vegetables to Grow Indoors
- Cooperative Extension: Garden & Yard
- A local version of The Love The Garden website exists
- Growing Vegetables Indoors
- Yes, you can grow a garden of vegetables in Florida; here's how
- Cool vegetables
Top 10 easy to grow vegetables, fruit & salad seeds and plants for beginners
Much of the scenic beauty of nature has been replaced by densely populated areas that sprawl for miles from urban centers. This visual pollution affects us all and leaves us with a longing for a closer connection with nature. We spend about 90 percent of our time indoors. Interior plants are an ideal way to create attractive and restful settings while enhancing our sense of well being.
In addition, houseplants can be a satisfying hobby and can help purify the air in our homes. Indoor plants not only convert carbon dioxide to oxygen, but they also trap and absorb many pollutants. To be a successful indoor gardener, you need to understand how the interior environment affects plant growth and how cultivation differs from growing plants outdoors. Of all of the factors affecting plant growth in interiors, adequate light is by far the most important.
Light is needed for plants to produce food and survive — generally, the more light available, the more food produced for growth. Light is measured in units called foot candles. One footcandle ft-c is the amount of light cast by a candle on a white surface 1 foot away in a completely dark room. Outdoors, the light levels on a bright day range from 10, ft-c in an open sunny area to ft-c or less in the shade of a large tree. It is very helpful to have a general idea of how much light is present in a given location in your house.
You can get a fairly good estimate with a handheld light meter, or you can use a 35 mm camera and do the following:. With the help of this table, you can obtain the light intensity reading from anywhere in your home. Using the light readings, your home can be divided into four areas, which have the following light levels for 8 hours per day:.
In your home, the amount of light in a given location is variable — it is affected by the presence of trees outdoors may shade at certain times , roof overhangs may shade at certain times , wall color reflectance , window curtains, day length, time of day, and time of year.
When shopping for indoor plants, select plants for a given location based on the approximate light levels in the spot. Increasing the number of hours of light exposure can also help—for example, 16 hours of light and 8 hours of dark. This extends the number of hours during which plants receive light. Indoor plants are classified according to the amount of light needed for growth. A list of plants and their light requirements is provided in Table 3.
Windows with eastern exposure within the home generally provide the best light and temperature conditions for most indoor plant growth because plants receive direct morning light from sunrise until nearly midday. Footcandle readings at these windows can reach 5,, As the morning progresses, the direct sun recedes from the room.
An eastern room is cooler than southern or western rooms because the house absorbs less radiant heat. Light from the east is cooler than that from the south or the west, and thus it causes less water loss from the plants.
Windows with southern exposure give the largest variation of light and temperature conditions. The low winter sun shines across the room for most of the daylight hours. In the summer, when the sun is farther north than it is in the winter, the sun rises at a sharp angle in the morning and is high in the sky by noon.
Direct light comes into a south window only at midday. If there is a wide overhang covering the windows outside, the sun may not enter the room at all. The sun at noon on a summer day may measure 10, ft-c. Indoors, however, a southern window with wide eaves on the outside will receive about the same amount of light as a window with northern exposure.
Southern and western exposures are interchangeable for most plants. In the winter, most plants, except those with definite preference for northern exposure, can be placed in a room with southern exposure. Windows with northern exposure provide the least light and the lowest temperature. Because the United States is in the northern hemisphere, it receives most of its sunlight from the south.
Out of the four exposures, the northern exposure receives the least light and heat year round. Because of the low-light levels, maintaining healthy plants can be a challenge. A northern windowsill can measure light levels as low as ft-c on a clear winter day, which is optimal for some plants, such as the African violet. This exposure is best for plants with green foliage because the coloration on variegated foliage tends to disappear under low-light conditions. Although most plants grown indoors will not grow in a northern room, they may tolerate it for short periods of time.
Seasons change the amount of natural light entering through windows. For example, the summer sun reaches a higher zenith compared to the winter sun Figure 2.
Therefore, sunlight penetrates farther into a room during winter. Temperature is the second most important factor influencing plant growth in interior environments. People feel comfortable in the range of 72 degrees F degrees F, and interior plants can tolerate and grow well in the 58 degrees F degrees F range because most indoor plants originate from tropical and subtropical areas of the world.
Temperature and light are linked through the processes of photosynthesis and respiration. Photosynthesis builds sugars and starch, which are then broken down by respiration to provide energy for the development of new tissues growth and the maintenance of existing ones. High temperature speeds up respiration. If the plant is not producing sufficient sugars as under low light , then high temperatures may break down what little sugars are made, leaving little to none for growth.
Maintenance takes precedence over growth; therefore, under insufficient light, plants do not grow. If light is so low that sugars produced are insufficient for maintenance, the plant eventually dies. When sugar levels are low, the plant takes nutrients and sugars from older leaves to maintain new leaves. To help plants in an indoor environment, two options are available: 1 raise light levels to increase photosynthesis and sugar production or 2 reduce night temperature to lower respiration rates and allow more sugars for growth.
What temperatures are likely to occur in homes? During the summer, air conditioning that may have been turned off at night or weekend thermostat settings that may have been raised result in higher than desirable night temperatures. During the winter, heating that may have been turned off at night or weekend thermostat settings that may have been lowered may result in lower night temperatures. Be especially careful not to allow temperatures to drop below 50 degrees F, or chill damage will result on some sensitive foliage plants e.
Plants vary in their minimum and maximum temperature requirements. Examples of cool-loving plants suitable for locations where temperatures drop to the low 50s at night and 60s during the day are Cyclamen, Wonder Plant, Fatshedera, Japanese Aralia, and Fatsia.
A list of plants and their temperature requirements is provided in Table 3. Not all interior plants have the same temperature requirements for optimal growth. Such temperatures are rarely allowed indoors. The best temperature range for indoor plants is 70 degrees F — 80 degrees F day and 65 degrees F — 70 degrees F night. Relative humidity is the amount of moisture contained in the air. For interior plants, relative humidity below 20 percent is considered low, 40 percent — 50 percent is medium, and above 50 percent is high.
Relative humidity is a very important factor, but it is easily overlooked. In a greenhouse, relative humidity is 50 percent or higher. Rapid transpiration and water loss may result when newly purchased plants are placed in the 10 percent — 20 percent relative humidity typical of most homes Figure 3.
Most indoor plants come from the tropics where high relative humidity is common. Therefore, take the following steps to help your plants adjust to the low relative humidity in your home. Learning to water is one of the most important skills in plant care. Applying too much water can suffocate plant roots and too little water causes growth to become erratic and stunted. Watering frequency will depend on the conditions under which the plants are growing. When dealing with how much water to apply, consider the following:.
Improper watering causes many problems. Containers with saucers may cause an excessive build-up of soluble salts from the applied fertilizer.
High levels of soluble salts can cause damage to plant roots and a decline in growth. Discard any water that had drained in the saucer after irrigation, and apply large quantities of water to the soil to leach the accumulated soluble salts.
In deciding when you should water, feel the soil by pushing a finger an inch or so below the surface. If the soil is still moist, no further water is needed.
Water devices or water meters are also available to simplify watering. Alleviate this problem by letting the water stand for several days — so that some chlorine and fluorine will be released from it — before applying the water to the plants. Move susceptible plants away from the edge of the pool to prevent water splashes from reaching the foliage.
Do not use susceptible plants around enclosed pools. In general, plants with long linear leaves such as the Spider Plant are more susceptible to fluorine.
Many indoor gardeners have the same problem with fertilizer that they have with water — they want to give their plants too much. Danger from over-fertilization occurs because any fertilizer used, whether in liquid, powder, or tablet form, will dissolve in soil water and will form salts in the water.
A newly purchased, healthy plant rarely needs an immediate application of fertilizer. In most cases, the amount of fertilizer applied by the commercial producer will supply enough nutrients for two to three months in the home.
This rule is flexible — if deficiency symptoms are evident, fertilizer application is desirable. The secret to fertilizing plants indoors is to apply small amounts of fertilizer as the plant grows. Without new growth, the plant has a limited need for more fertilizer. During the summer when light levels increase and the plant is actively growing, its need for fertilizer increases. As a starting point, use about one-fourth the label rate for monthly applications.
If the overall plant color becomes lighter green, fertilize every two weeks. If the new growth is dark green but the leaves are small and internodes seem longer than on the older growth, decrease the fertilizer rate.
35 Foods You Can Grow Indoors
You have your seed packets, you have your seed starting essentials, and you have a garden plan — sounds like you are ready to plant and grow a garden! But are you sure you know which seeds can go directly into your garden soil, and which will do better if you start them indoors? When preparing to plant your veggie seeds, there are some general guidelines to follow — since some do better being sown directly into your garden while others need the more protected conditions that sowing indoors provides. We link to vendors to help you find relevant products. If you buy from one of our links, we may earn a commission.
Just like planning an outdoor garden, the best beginning is to try for an easy win the first time around. Leafy greens like spinach, kale.
7 Best Vegetables to Grow Indoors
So grab that shovel! Not to mention you can still enjoy freshly harvested vegetables! Here in Phoenix, the cooler months are my best OUTDOOR gardening time and I often grow more delicate vegetables indoors during the summer months where we can get temps in the degrees F. For those of you that live in truly frigid areas you can grow vegetables indoors and increase your gardening season or garden all year round! This spicy salad green does particularly well indoors. The great thing is you can cut arugula and it will come back again over and over. Just about any pot will do as long as the drainage is good.
Cooperative Extension: Garden & Yard
Encourage kids to grow their own fruit and vegetables — we've picked out the easiest crops that beginner gardeners can try in pots or a veg patch. Growing fruit and vegetables at home is a great way to encourage children to learn about where their food comes from. Your children will love sowing seeds, watering young plants and eating the food they have helped to grow. You might want to learn how to make a herb garden first, then, if that sparks their interest, give them a corner of the garden to call their own. Only grow the crops that suit your growing space — if you only have a few pots, grow salad and other crops suitable for containers.
Indoor vegetable gardening is another alternative to outdoor gardening especially if you live in an apartment or condo unit where there is little space to grow vegetables. For some home.
A local version of The Love The Garden website exists
Buying young plants that can be grown on to flowering and cropping is an easy and convenient way of producing colourful garden displays and productive vegetable gardens. These young plants need potting on or potting up immediately after they are purchased. You can either pot them individually into small pots or cell trays or transplant them into seed trays. Small pots and cell trays will give better results, as each plant can then produce its own rootball without competition from other plants. Planting out is then more successful, as the plants settle and establish immediately, without any check to growth.
Growing Vegetables Indoors
There are plenty of delicious vegetables you can grow inside to continue eating fresh and healthy food. Learn more about the best vegetables to grow indoors so you can keep growing throughout the year. Not sure how to get started with gardening inside? Then please be sure to check out our helpful guide on indoor gardening for beginners. It has everything you need to know to get started! Growing vegetables indoors offers a variety of amazing benefits. It helps you lower your food costs, eat healthier, and learn a new skill.
If possible, start off vulnerable plants, such as salad leaves and courgettes, indoors, and plant them out when they're big enough to.
Yes, you can grow a garden of vegetables in Florida; here's how
Much of the scenic beauty of nature has been replaced by densely populated areas that sprawl for miles from urban centers. This visual pollution affects us all and leaves us with a longing for a closer connection with nature. We spend about 90 percent of our time indoors.
Cool vegetablesRELATED VIDEO: My Top 3 Plants To Grow When Indoor Gardening
If you don't have the time or space to grow your vegetables from seeds, buying a ready-to-plant veg plug plant is the best way to help you start producing your own homegrown vegetables. We're proud to provide a huge range of top quality vegetable plants you can grow into delicious tasting food. Growing your own vegetables from scratch can be rewarding, but sometimes you just don't have the time. Get a head start with your home vegetable garden by shopping for vegetable plug plants online with us. We have been supplying our plants by post for 30 years and have built up an extensive range of tasty vegetable plants for you to choose from - all ready to plant when they arrive at your door. Choose from asparagus plants, cabbages, peas, pepper plants and much more.
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These are vegetables you can plant in late spring whether you have a garden, a balcony, or just a window. During stressful times, nature can be a peaceful refuge. If you have access to a garden, a variety of veggies — beets, carrots, radishes, peas, spinach, kale, and collards — can all be planted now. As they get bigger, I like to throw them in soups, or glaze them with butter, chicken stock, and a drop of honey. If you live in Philadelphia or South Jersey, Moynihan says you could also get a start on lettuce and radicchio. Those in cooler parts of the region can test their luck against frosts or wait a week or two.
Thriving Yard is an affiliate for companies including Amazon Associates and earns a commission on qualifying purchases. Indoor gardening is gaining popularity as more and more people flock to the cities. So, how do you grow vegetables inside, and which ones should you be planting?