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14 of the Easiest Vegetables to Grow Indoors for Your Organic Diet

Take a moment to think about what you put into your body every day… Okay yes food, water, and probably a good amount of alcohol, but nutritionally, what is the content of the things we put in our bodies?

(silence)

Okay, don’t strain yourself. If you need a moment to think that one through, you aren’t alone. There are a lot of us who are not exactly aware of what is being put into our main source of energy, food.

America’s heavy reliance on genetic modification (GM) in agriculture, has been on the rise since the early 2000s. With the country’s favor in GM agricultural practices instead of organic, having access to naturally-produced foods has become increasingly difficult.

Fortunately, there is a way for us to monitor the process of our food creation from seed to table.  Yup, you guessed it, through home gardening. And, yes, this includes you apartment dwellers.

Allow me to present to you 14 of the easiest vegetables to grow indoors! Indoor gardening is a fantastic (and frankly, more affordable) way for us to easily take control of the food we eat and, to eat more consciously. Keep in mind there are a quite a few different ways to garden. But for this article, we’ll be focusing on one type of gardening that can be beneficial for everyone AND, just about anyone can do it; Container Gardening.

What the Heck is Container Gardening?

Now, container gardening can be a bit of a learning curve, especially for those who are new to gardening. But, once you have a general understanding of some gardening terminology, the rest is a walk in the park.

Container gardening is pretty much what it sounds like. It is the use of containers or garden pots to cultivate plants and crops. This style of gardening opens up a world of opportunity for all gardeners who are;

Limited on sunlight,

Limited on space or

Limited on the actual ground floor to plant in.

It also enables mobility in your plants; so should you need to move from home, your plant babies can easily go with you.

Another awesome thing about container gardening is you can completely skip the step of having to grow vegetables from seeds. You can easily go to local plant nurseries and purchase already sprouted plants. These crops are mature enough to handle a pot transfer so, if you happen to rip any roots during replanting, the plant should still hold up. Not only does this make it easier for you, but you will yield veggies much quicker!

Watch this quick video before moving on to learn how to transfer your plants! 🙂

About that gardening terminology…

There only about a million and one things you can learn about gardening, but there are only a few things that you actually need to know.

Sun/shade requirement of the plant→ When we talk about sun and shade for vegetables, quite a few terms are used interchangeably. But these are the generally accepted terms.

  • Full sun: 6 or more hours of direct sunlight
  • Partial sun/ Partial shade: 4-6 hours of direct or indirect sunlight
  • Full shade: less than 4 hours of direct sunlight

Water requirement → How often to water the plant

Pot depth → How deep the container needs to be for the plant to grow successfully

Plant-specific information → Information that is useful to know for the plant’s growth

Bloom season → Although this time-range reflects when you’d expect to see flowers on your plant, the season actually varies for everyone. Your geologic location and the climate of that area play a key role in that plant’s specific bloom season. Keep this in mind while you’re awaiting the fruits (or should I say vegetables?) of your labor. 😉

Farmers make most of this information readily available on plant tags when you purchase plants from the nursery. Here’s an example of one you might find.

easiest vegetables to grow indoors

Okay we got that terminology out of the way and, you know how to transfer your plants, so let’s talk about these awesome indoor vegetables!

1. Tomatoes

 easiest vegetables to grow indoors

Sun/Shade: Full Sun

Water: Only when needed

Pot depth: 18″ or more in diameter with sufficient drainage

Difficulty: Easy

Although tomatoes need lots of sunlight to grow, you can still manage to grow some indoors. Tomatoes love lots of sun so make sure you place them in front a warm, sunny window for at least 12 hours. Also, try to rotate the plant every few hours so that all sides of the plant are exposed to the sun. They can be harvested once they begin to turn red. Check the soil every day for its moisture level as the top layer of soil, can make the plant appear as though it needs to be watered.

easiest vegetables to grow indoors

Notice how the dirt beneath the surface has more moisture in comparison to the dirt at the top. Water evaporates at the surface much faster than what lies below. This principle is the same with the soil in your garden pots.

Place your finger 2″-3″ inside the soil daily feel the moisture content of the soil at that level. If it feels dry, add water until it runs from the bottom of the pot; if not, you can save the watering for the next day. This pretty much goes for all the vegetables in this list. Get a step-by-step guide on how to grow your own tomatoes here. 

2. Bell Peppers

easiest vegetables to grow indoors

Sun/Shade: Full sun

Water: Only as needed

Pot depth: 10″-12″ with sufficient drainage

Difficulty: Easy

Bell peppers grow a lot like tomatoes. They need to be in a warm window and should be rotated at the same time periods as tomatoes. Remember to do the finger test into the soil daily to check for dryness. Bell peppers also like having room to grow so make sure you put some space between them and the other plants. You can harvest them when they are green, or leave them on the vine for longer to get varying colors like red, orange, and yellow.

3. Potatoes

easiest vegetables to grow indoors

Sun/Shade: Full sun

Water: Daily

Pot depth: 24″ with sufficient drainage

Difficulty: Medium

They too like lots of sun and will do best in a sunny area. Be consistent with the watering but, do be careful as a very wet soil could inhibit growth. Aim to use a well-draining soil as well to keep the soil evenly moist, not wet. Potatoes actually have two harvest times. “New” potatoes are the younger ones that have a thin skin. They are ready to harvest as soon as the potato plant begins to flower. “Mature” potatoes take a bit longer to ripen and are ready when the potato plant’s leaves die.

4. Spinach

easiest vegetables to grow indoors

Sun/Shade: Partial shade

Water: Only as needed

Pot depth: 6″-8″

Difficulty: Easy

Spinach is also among the super easy vegetables to maintain. They only need about 3-4 hours of sunlight in the morning and can then be placed in a cool, shaded area for the remainder of the day. Water only when the soil 2″ beneath the surface is dry. Spinach can be harvested when the leaves reach your desired size. Try not to wait too long to harvest though as they become more bitter with maturity.

5. Lettuce

easiest vegetables to grow indoors

Sun/Shade: Partial shade

Water: Daily

Pot depth: 6″

Difficulty: Easy

Lettuce really loves to flourish in the shade so stick it in a warm windowsill with indirect sunlight. Direct sunlight on lettuce leaves can bruise and dry out the leaves so be wary of that when deciding where to place your lettuce. Keep the soil moist and loose.

NOTE: You know you could also grow your lettuce from lettuce right? Romaine lettuce is your best bet to do this with. Take a head of romaine from your local grocery store and chop off the base. Place the base in a shallow container with some warm water and leave it to get 3-4 hours of sunlight a day for one week. Once the base begins to sprout, you can transfer it into a flower pot. The soil needs to cover the base completely but leave out any new growth. In no time, you’ll have a never-ending fountain of lettuce.

6. Mint

easiest vegetables to grow indoors

Sun/Shade: Partial shade

Water: Only as needed

Pot depth: 12″ with sufficient drainage

Difficulty: Easy

Okay I know I said the list would be all about vegetables but, herbs like mint are (for some) better suited for indoor growth. Mint is sometimes considered as the weeds of the gardening world. Once they get growing, it’s really tough to contain them to one area. When under optimal conditions, mint can grow quite wildly so this is something you want to keep in mind. Also, don’t allow the mint to begin flowering as the herb will focus its nutrients to the flowers instead of making more leaves. You want to be able to harvest as many leaves as possible, right?

7. Mushrooms

easiest vegetables to grow indoors

Sun/Shade: Full shade

Water: Only as needed

Difficulty: Easy

Mushrooms can be grown from two different stages, from spores or spawns. The easiest way to grow these lovely fungi is with mushroom starter kits. They cost anywhere from $10-$40 and usually come with just about everything you need. Once you’ve got your spawn planted, keep it in a cool, dark, and humid area. Use a spray bottle to mist the mushrooms daily to maintain that humidity level. Feel free to harvest these babies when they are fully grown.

8. Lemons

easiest vegetables to grow indoors

Sun/Shade: Full sun

Water: Every few days as needed

Pot depth: 24″ with sufficient drainage

Difficulty: Medium

Go for the dwarf varieties when at your local nursery. Meyer lemons tend to perform better indoors than other lemon trees so, give those a try if you’re just starting out. They prefer to have a full 12 hours of sunlight but will survive off of 8 hours as well. Keep the tree in a humid, sunny room along with the soil, evenly moist.

9. Microgreens

easiest vegetables to grow indoors

Sun/Shade: Partial sun

Water: Every few days

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create your own home garden

Pot depth: 3″

Difficulty: Easy

Microgreens are a wonderfully easy way for you to add nutritious vegetables to any meal. They are very easy to grow from the seeds of plants we already know and love (radishes, dill, basil, etc.).

Take your 3″ deep tray (a rectangular tray is preferred to a pot for microgreens) and fill it to the top with a high-quality soil. Spray the soil with water until it’s damp and sprinkle your seeds on top. Spread a thin layer of soil over the seeds. enough that the seeds are covered but not packed down.

Spray the top layer of soil again with water and warm area without direct sunlight to allow for germination (about 5-7 days). Once you see sprouting, move the greens into a sunny window for at least 5 hours of direct sunlight making sure to keep the soil moist. They can be harvested once they reach about 2″-3″ in length. Great addition to a salad or sandwich!

TIP: When watering your greens, use a spray bottle and only water the soil itself. Microgreens are quite tender and can welt if the leaves become too wet. Get a step-by-step guide here.

10. Scallions

easiest vegetables to grow indoors

Sun/shade: Full sun

Water: Only as needed

Pot depth: 6″ with sufficient drainage.

Difficulty: Easy

Scallions are another one of the many vegetables that can be grown in a ton of different ways. While you can grow these from seeds, it’s not recommended because you can yield much more onions (and much faster!) by starting from scraps. Just like lettuce, scallions can also be grown from other scallions. Leave about 3 inches of the white portion of the onion intact and plant it 1/2 inch deep in clean soil. You can expect to see new stems in about 2-3 weeks.

11. Ginger

easiest vegetables to grow indoors

Sun/shade: Partial sun

Water: Daily

Pot depth: 12″ deep,  12″ wide with good drainage

Difficulty: Easy

Ginger is an awesome root vegetable that has great benefits for the body including reducing inflammation and easing digestive issues. Since ginger itself is a root, we just need to do a couple of things to it before it’s ready for planting. Place your ginger root in warm water overnight. That will speed up germination and eye buds will begin to form. Plant the soaked root with the eye buds facing upwards and cover it with 1″-2″ of more soil or until the root is totally covered. Place in a warm, sunny area with indirect light.

Ginger is a slow grower but you can expect to harvest more ginger root when the plant reaches 5″-8″ above the soil (about three months).

12. Chives

easiest vegetables to grow indoors

Sun/shade: Full sun

Water: Daily

Pot depth: 6″- 8″ with good drainage

Difficulty: Easy

If you want to grow chives from seeds, follow the exact same planting process for the microgreens with chive seeds. Once you begin to see adult leaves growing from the seedling, transfer the plant into a deeper and wider pot. Chives can get to be big growers if tended to properly. They favor a warmer, more humid environment and water regularly as soon as the top layer of soil is dry to the touch. Chives are among the best vegetables to grow indoors not only for its success in limited light areas, but its blossoms also add a beautiful accent to any room.

13. Mandarins

easiest vegetables to grow indoors

Sun/shade: Full sun

Water: Only as needed

Pot depth: 24″ with sufficient drainage

Difficulty: Medium

Most citrus trees behave in the same way when it comes to gardening. You’ll tend to the mandarin tree in the same way you would the lemon tree. Warm, sunny area, water only when the soil 2″ beneath the surface is dry, and rotate the tree to ensure even lighting. Come on, you know this is a piece of cake for you! 😀

 14. Garlic Greens/Scapes

easiest vegetables to grow indoors

Sun/shade: Full sun

Water: Only as needed

Pot depth: 8″ with good drainage

Difficulty: Easy

Garlic greens (or scapes) are those long, green shoots that sprout from garlic that has been left out on the counter for too long. Although most of us believed that this was a sign to throw out the garlic, those sprouts are absolutely delicious and can be used in the same way you’d use chives. Grab a couple of garlic cloves and plant them about 4-6 inches deep in soil. Keep in warm, sunny windowsill and water when the soil becomes dry.

There you go lovely people, 14 of the easiest vegetables to grow indoors which you can start planting today. For most of these vegetables, you most likely already have the ingredients in your fridge to get some germination started so go, go, go! The time has finally come for us to take back control over the food that we eat.

indoor vegetables
indoor vegetables
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indoor vegetables
indoor vegetables

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