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Indoor Gardening

If youíre living in the jungles of Brazil or South America, it's very unlikely that I would recommend that you start an indoor garden.  However, if you are like most of the rest of us living in the western world, you donít have tropical plants and vegetation creeping up to the edge of your door steps.  And we are the ones that might be interested in getting into "Indoor Gardening".


Why Indoor Gardening?

Why would someone be interested in indoor gardening?  (As opposed to growing one outdoors.)   We'll, here's a few reasons to consider:

  • You won't have to work on your hands and knees (if you have some extra table space).
  • You won't have to tromp in the mud and dirt.
  • You won't have to get out in the cold and hot weather to tend to your garden.
  • It can be a unique addition to your home interior.
  • It's good for you

You probably wonder how indoor gardening can be good for you.  Well it has nothing to do with the act of gardening, but with the plants instead.  If you think back to the good old days of high school, you might vaguely remember hearing something in science class about plants and photo-something-or-other.



To refresh your memory, itís a process called photosynthesis.  This is where plants remove carbon dioxide from the air and release oxygen as a by-product.  Or stated in another way, it is the synthesis of sugar, from light, carbon dioxide and water, with oxygen and water being by products.  It is arguably the most important bio-chemical process known to man and nearly all life depends on it.

The simplified equation for photosynthesis in plants is as follows:
Carbon Dioxide + Water + Light energy → Carbohydrates + Oxygen + Water

If youíre living in a jungle then you're surrounded by plenty of oxygen, but when living in a house in the city, as most of us do, having indoor plants is the next best thing to having more fresh air.


Selecting Interior Plants

When planning your miniature indoor garden there are a variety of stunning plants to choose from.  Some that might not be available to the outdoor gardener because of the particular climate that you live in.  Visit your local plant nursery to see what they have available.

Here are some selection guidelines:

  • Select only those plants that appear to be free of pests.
  • Check the undersides of the foliage for signs of insects or disease.
  • Select plants that look sturdy, clean, and well-potted.
  • Choose plants with healthy foliage.
  • Avoid plants with yellow or chlorotic leaves, brown leaf margins, wilted foliage, spots or blotches, or spindly growth.
  • Avoid plants with torn leaves and those that have been treated with "leaf shines," (which add an unnatural polish to the leaves).
  • Plants that have new flower and leaf buds along with young growth are usually of superior quality.
  • Optimal light requirements are usually included on the tag with the plant.
  • Make sure your interior can meet the requirements for natural sunlight. If not, artificial lighting may be required.

Youíll find that some plants can be temperamental and will just not grow anywhere inside.  For a simple and easy way to start an indoor garden, try your hand at herb gardening.  They are easy to grow and best of all, useful in the kitchen.


Transporting House Plants

The two seasons of the year that can cause damage to plants being transported are the hot summer and the cold winter months.

  • In the summer, avoid placing plants in a car with closed windows.  The temperature can rise quickly and destroy the plant in a short time. Shade the plant from direct sun while it is in the car.
  • During the winter wrap plants completely with newspaper or paper bags before taking them outside.  A short run from the store to the car in very cold weather can kill or severely damage plants.  Place them in the front seat and turn on the heater.

If youíre not an outdoorsy type of person and donít want a close encounter with the wormy kind, then gardening just doesnít get any better than indoor gardening.  The benefits of indoor gardening are many!

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