You can grow vegetables indoors
Just because you are stuck with an apartment with no patio or balcony, it doesn’t mean that you can’t grow vegetables. Here is our list of delicious vegetables that you can grow indoors in an apartment. These range from the easiest of all things to grow, green onions on up to the biggest challenge, tomatoes grown indoors.
Chives are incredibly handy and easy to grow onion variety. Once you get them going they are very hardy and grow in lower light conditions than many other plants. Use them in dips, on potatoes and other dishes for an extra bit of zip!
While it may seem like an odd thing to grow indoors, carrots can do very well indoors provided you pick the right variety and container to grow them in. Choose a shallow-rooted variety like Parisians then plant them in a long planter with nice fluffy soil.
Much like carrots, a long shallow container in a bright window is a great place to plant radishes. You don’t have to limit yourself to the standard red carrots. I prefer icicle varieties myself. The great part about radishes is that they grow quickly and you can do succession plantings and keep them growing all year long.
They may not seem like gardening, but growing microgreens is a high return for the effort endeavor. You need little to no growing media or lights. Plus because they are very perishable they are expensive in the stores. As a bonus, micro-greens are nutrient-dense and grow in as little as two weeks.
A perennial favorite for urban gardeners, your best bet if you are limited on space is to stick to the most commonly used varieties in your kitchen. Herbs prefer heat so make sure that they are not too close to a window during the winter months. Common herbs to grow indoors are basil, rosemary, cilantro, chives, thyme, oregano, and parsley. If you are going this route you may want to invest in a small hydroponic indoor growing kit.
You might be thinking to your self “garlic greens”? Yes, they are actually a thing. I’m sure you have had garlic that has sprouted and you’ve had to throw it away. I’m betting you didn’t know that you can plant those cloves of garlic and then harvest the greens that pop up. You can use them like you would green onion tops or chives.
All you really need to do is put them in some soil in a sunny location and keep them moist. Pretty soon you will see garlic shoots popping up!
No, they won’t grow into new heads of garlic in a small pot, that is a whole different level of gardening which we will look at next.
Yes, it is possible to grow whole heads of garlic indoors. I’m actually a bit hesitant to include it on this list, but it is possible to do it. The problem with growing garlic indoors is that it takes a long, long time for new heads of garlic to grow. Typically, garlic is planted in the fall and then harvested the following fall. But if you are willing to invest the space and time to grow them out, go for it. Personally I’ll leave them for gardening in outdoor spaces.
As indoor gardening projects go, tomatoes are the pro-level gardening choice in my book. I say this because Tomatoes want a lot of heat, a ton of light and a steady supply of water. These aren’t always easy to achieve indoors in an apartment.
When it comes to gardening indoors in an apartment, strawberries often get overlooked which is a complete shame! Strawberries that you grow yourself taste infinitely better than the boring grocery store ones and they take up very little space, particularly if you set up a vertical strawberry planter.
Strawberries grown indoors will need at least 6 hours of light, and some soil that you can keep moderately moist. While they are fruiting, occasional fertilizing with a balanced 10-10-10 or 20-20-20 fertilizer is recommended.
One thing to keep in mind is the variety that you choose. You will want either Alpine Strawberries or Everbearing varieties that will put out fruit all year long.
If I was going to pick a plant to try before you try and grow tomatoes indoors, it would be hot peppers. While many of the conditions are the same for hot peppers, they are a touch easier to grow. You will still need at least 10 hours of light a day and they do like lots of heat, but you can let them dry out between waterings.
Lettuce and Greens
One of the easier things to grow indoors, lettuce and other greens are a great choice. The general guidelines for growing lettuce in containers apply indoors. Long low planters work best, and especially for lettuces, succession plantings will ensure that you have a steady supply of lettuce.
Don’t be afraid to try other types of greens like chard that you can selectively harvest for a very long time, trimming off the oldest leaves a few at a time.
In case there is any confusion, scallions and green onions are the same thing. I suspect fancy recipes lean towards calling them scallions because it adds an air of sophistication, but the reality is that they are the same exact thing. Much like Garbanzo Beans and Chickpeas.
In any event, growing green onions indoors just requires lightly moist soil and some light. Scallions are so easy to grow that you can actually just use ones from the store and plant them. simply clip off the tops that you want to use, saving 2-3″ of the bulb and plant it about 1/2″ deep. Some people will even just put them in water.
If all you really want is the green tops for recipes, you can harvest green onions over and over again and the tops will regrow.
Another plant that most people would not consider for growing indoors, beets can be a great windowsill garden plant. They actually prefer cooler weather, and only require 6 or more hours of good light a day.
They are also a double win because not only can you eat the bottoms, the tops can be cooked up as well. Try sauteeing some beet greens sometime!
I highly suggest trying out some heirloom varieties of beets. There are many more types than just the standard, red, round beets your mother made you eat.
Beans and Peas
Peas and beans require a good bit of light but will grow year-round in an apartment if you can get them the light they need either from the sun or lights.
Unless you have a lot of vertical space to work with, you will want to choose dwarf or short snap pea varieties. Pick one out at your local garden store or find some online. Take a look at some of these cool pea varieties from Johnny’s Seeds.
Grow vegetables indoors
There you have our list of vegetables to grow indoors in your apartment when you don’t have a patio or balcony to work with. From a simple pot in a window with some chives on up to a big indoor grow operation with lights and a tent for tomatoes, if you want to grow vegetables indoors, year-round, it can be done.
I encourage you to try things out and experiment with what you can grow in your apartment!