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Easy Vegetables to Grow Indoors

The Spruce / Kara Riley

Good news: The onset of winter does not need to mean the end of growing and harvesting all your favorite vegetables. With the right tools and methods, you can harvest some of your favorite varietals indoors for months before the weather turns favorable again. While growing vegetables indoors in containers does have its challenges—they’ll take more care and may not yield as much—it is possible to find great success. Start off on the right foot by choosing one of these easy-to-grow indoor varieties and you’ll be harvesting vegetables in no time.

Turn Carrot Scraps Into A Beautiful Houseplant In Three Steps!

The Pros and Cons of Indoor Gardening

When gardening indoors, you ultimately control all aspects of the plant’s growth and environment. You maintain its water, soil quality, and even manually fertilize the plants. A big plus is that your plants are not at the mercy of the weather or outside critters, and you’ll hopefully have vegetables year-round.

However, growing edibles indoors does have its challenges, including a lack of light levels, pollinating insects, and wind. Proper air circulation is vital for flooding the plant with carbon dioxide as well as pollinating any flowers. Also, no matter if you are inside or out, some bugs and plant diseases can follow your plants if you bring them inside for the winter.

There are a few tips to keep in mind if you’re considering growing vegetables indoors.

  • First, be sure to choose containers that have ample holes to allow for adequate drainage and are sized correctly for the particular plant you’re growing—shallow and rooted greens may only need about a 2-inch depth, but deep-rooted tomatoes will need at least 12 inches of soil.
  • Additionally, make sure to use a good quality potting mix, not garden soil—mixes dedicated to potting usually have vermiculite or perlite, which allows for better drainage.
  • Finally, you may want to consider some type of supplemental lighting if your home doesn’t offer enough natural light.

Here are the 7 best vegetables for indoor gardening.

Carrots (Daucus carota)

Carrots are accommodating vegetables. Growing them in containers is not just a great option for indoor growing—it also solves the problem of trying to grow them in heavy, rocky soil, should your outdoor conditions be unfavorable.

Smaller carrot varieties are the easiest to grow inside—they need less space and mature more quickly. A long container, such as a window box, is ideal. Lightly cover the seeds with damp peat moss so the seeds don’t dry out. Keep the soil moist, and your seeds should germinate within two weeks, though the number of days to maturity will depend on the variety you are growing.

Garlic Greens (Allium sativum)

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The Spruce / Michele Lee

If you’ve ever left a garlic bulb alone for a few weeks (or you’ve put garlic in the fridge), you may have noticed the clove sprouting a little green foot from one of its ends. Instead of tossing it out, you can plant that sprouting garlic clove about an inch deep in a small container and water it. Within weeks, you’ll have garlic greens.

Start harvesting when they grow to 8 to 10 inches long by cutting off just what you need and leaving the rest (you generally only get one flush of growth from each clove). They may sprout again, but the quality declines each time, so start new cloves when you begin harvesting the current crop.

Don’t anticipate yielding a bulb of garlic—you would need a particular temperature to start forming bulbs, and that won’t happen indoors. However, garlic greens are an excellent substitute—they boast a milder taste, similar to a cross between garlic and scallions.

Hot Peppers (Capsicum annuum)

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The Spruce / Marie Iannotti

Pepper plants are tropical perennials. They shrivel at just the hint of frost, but when indoors, they can thrive. Plant some sweet or hot peppers from seed or pot some plants from your garden in late summer and bring them inside. You might not get a huge harvest, but they will fruit.

Use a container that is at least 8 inches tall and ensure your peppers get at least 10 hours of light each day. Additionally, you should allow the container to dry out between waterings so you don’t risk drowning the plant. Peppers are self-pollinating, but you may need to help them along—you can do so by either jostling the plants to shake the pollen from one flower to another or use a cotton swab to dust each flower with pollen.

Lettuce (Lactuca sativa)

Lettuce (and other salad greens) is quick growing and shallow-rooted, so it will not need a deep container. Choose a planter that is two to four inches deep and fill it with moist, well-draining soil. Sow your seeds by gently pressing them into the surface of the soil, then mist to keep them moist—you should see germination within about one week. Allow the plants to grow at least four to 6 inches before you start harvesting. Cut or pull the outer leaves and allow the center of the plant to continue growing.

Microgreens

Microgreens are tiny fresh sprouts that are among the most effortless edibles to grow indoors, especially considering they don’t take up much space or time. Typically, they’re a mix of seeds from various greens and herbs, such as beets, radishes, kale, Swiss chard, and basil.

Since these greens will be harvested as seedlings, you don’t need much soil—a shallow tray about two inches deep typically works well. Fill it with moist soil and scatter your seeds, barely covering them with a top layer of soil (just press gently so that the seeds make good contact with the damp soil and won’t dry out). Spray to keep the soil moist, and you should see germination within a few days. Start harvesting when seedlings have developed two sets of true leaves. Use scissors to snip them off at the soil level, and you may get another spurt of growth.

Scallions (Allium fistulosum)

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The Spruce / Sandhya Moraes

While you can’t grow traditional bulb onions indoors, scallions do just fine. And you actually don’t even need seeds to get them started! You can root the whole scallion in a glass of water and plop the bunch of them in one glass with only about one inch of water in the bottom; some gardeners have even had success replanting the root end of scallions after using the tops. When the roots have reached a couple of inches in length, move them to a shallow container of potting mix and allow them to continue growing. Harvest the green tops leaving about one inch of the stem to regrow.

Tomatoes

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The Spruce / Marie Iannotti

Tomatoes are tropical perennials that die off at the end of their season, returning again the following year. If you have a large tomato plant already established in your garden, your best bet is to leave it there. However, if you want to grow tomatoes year-round indoors, you can start a new plant from seed at the end of summer.

Once the seedlings are 4 inches tall, move them to a permanent pot and make sure they have at least 10 hours of light per day. The lighting quota may sound excessive, but if you want fruits, that is what this plant needs all year. You can also boost your luck by feeding your tomato plant with a water-soluble organic fertilizer after repotting. Once the plants start setting flowers, shake them periodically to allow the pollen to fall from flower to flower. You need to perform this manual pollination; without it, no fruits will form. You can expect the plants to become top-heavy, so staking or using a tomato cage is a must.

For your first try at indoor vegetable gardening, lettuces, microgreens and herbs will most likely offer the best chance of success. Due to the high light and humidity requirements of vegetables like tomatoes and peppers, growing these plants to harvest indoors can be time consuming and will probably involve the cost of special equipment like extra lighting and, in the case of tomatoes, large pots. There are a number of ornamental peppers on the market today grown as houseplants and may of these peppers are also edible.

Extend your growing season all year long with these picks for the best vegetables to grow in indoor containers.

Top 5 Cannabis Strains for Indoor Growing

Indoors or outdoors, that is the question. Wondering which set-up to choose and which strains work best in which environment? Fear no more and read all about the benefits of growing cannabis indoors and get to know our top 5 strains for indoor growing.

There are quite a few factors to consider when choosing which strains to grow, especially if your set-up is indoors. You’ll have to compare flowering times, yields, effects and flavours, amongst other things. Growers will often land on their favourite strain after extended trial and error, and it can be an expensive process. We at Royal Queen Seeds, fortunately, have some information that can make the decision a bit easier.

We carry a wide variety of seeds, and each of them has something special to offer. Whether they’re indoor or outdoor strains or whether they’re indica, sativa or a pleasant hybrid, there’s quality across the board. However some varieties perform better than others in an indoor grow. That’s why we’ve decided to put together an updated list of the 5 best cannabis strains for growing indoors. Don’t take this as a full list of the best choices, though. In fact, we strongly encourage you to check out our website, where you can find even more gems.

WHY GROW INDOORS?

You may be wondering what the benefits of growing indoors are. Does it have an impact on how the plants grow? Is it better than outdoor growing? The answer to both those questions depends on the strain you select. Some will thrive in the indoor environment, others won’t reach their full potential. Indoor growing in general has quite a few advantages over growing outdoors.

For starters, you can control the climate of your environment. When you have this power in your hands, you can optimize the temperature to match the needs of whatever strain you’re growing, which is a major advantage. Plus, you can keep on cultivating throughout the year since change of seasons will not affect your grow. Keeping with the theme of control, being in charge of the cleanliness of your growing area is a plus, since keeping your product free of germs, parasites, and other harmful intruders is an easier task indoors. Also, an indoor set-up means much more discretion. In short, if you’re living in a rough climate or prioritize cleanliness and privacy, indoor growing is for you.

ARE ALL STRAINS SUITABLE FOR INDOOR GROWS?

The short answer to the first question is “Yes.” The slightly longer answer is, “Yes, as long as you can maintain the proper climate, lighting, etc.”

The viability of all strains outdoors is a different story, though. The main reasoning for this is down to plant sensitivity. If you live in a colder climate, many plants you’d normally be able to grow outdoors wouldn’t be able to stand the chill. Beyond climate, there’s the issue of pests. If some bugs happen to find your plants defenceless outside, they’re as good as gone. If you try to get rid of the pests with pesticides, though, the quality of your plants drops harshly.

CRITICAL

We like to think of our Critical as the perfect all-rounder and recommend it to outdoor growers, novices, and anyone aiming for extremely high yields in a short flowering period. Indoor growers can profit from a huge production that exceeds indoor yields of 600g/m² in some cases, a strong narcotic stone due to average THC levels of 18%, and a highly stable genetic background consisting of Afghani and Skunk genetics. What makes this strain one of the best choices for an indoor grow? Well, no other variety from the Royal Queen Seeds product range is capable of yielding higher in a short flowering period of 7-8 weeks. If you’re looking for a vigorous and resilient strain that won’t cause any trouble other than confronting you with large amounts of high-quality cannabis – Critical is your choice.

Critical
Afghani x Skunk
550 – 600 g/m 2
80 – 140 cm
7 – 8 weeks
THC: 18% (aprox.) / CBD: Low
40% Sativa, 60% Indica
600 – 650 g/per plant (dried)
180 – 220 cm
Late September
Stoned, physically and mentally
Critical
Afghani x Skunk
500 – 550 g/m 2
80 – 140 cm
7 – 8 weeks
THC: 18% (aprox.) / CBD: Low
40% Sativa, 60% Indica
500 – 550 g/per plant (dried)
180 – 220 cm
Late September
Stoned, physically and mentally

ROYAL GORILLA

It was once only available to smokers in the United States. Royal Gorilla has since crossed the pond, allowing for its amazing traits to be enjoyed by the growers and smokers in Europe. A clean split between indica & sativa, Royal Gorilla provides a wave of cerebral relaxation with an impressive 24–27% THC. This is a more complicated blend, combining Sour Dubb, Chem Sis and Chocolate Diesel. Her taste finds roots in the forest, showcasing pungent hits of earthiness and pine and it will grow beautifully away from the great outdoors. Royal Gorilla will take about 9–10 weeks to flower. But once that happens, you’ll see hefty buds with bright green leaves, with so much resin they shine in the light. The plants reach 90–160 cm and bear respectable yields of 500–550g/m². This strain produces superb quality and will definitely not disappoint.

Unsure which strains thrive indoors? Here's a list of some of the best cannabis strains for indoor growing. Click to find out more!