Start it as a hobby, or let it bloom into a full-grown home-based business

Growing an edible indoor garden may sound intimidating, but it’s really all about dedication, patience and getting hold of the right supplies. To help you get started, here is everything you need to grow your very own edible indoor garden.

Soil
Unless you are opting for hydroponic gardening (which we don’t recommend for beginners), you are going to need soil to grow your edible plants. Don’t get hold of just any soil, however. Certain types of soil are appropriate for outdoor gardening on large areas, while potting soil tends to absorb the correct amount of water for a smaller indoor garden. There are also brands that sell soil specifically made for food growth. This tends to be extra rich in nutrients but also carries a heftier price tag. If you are just starting out, normal soil is perfectly fine.

squarerooms-indoor-garden-planters-plants-pots-soil-small-flatlay

Fertiliser
When browsing fertiliser, the key word to look out for is ‘organic.’ It sounds like a fad, but there are real benefits to organic fertiliser. As opposed to synthetic fertiliser, the organic kind is absorbed into the soil over time, allowing for less frequent fertilisation and a happier plant. Synthetic fertiliser moves straight to the plant, feeding it quickly without enriching the soil. This can cause damage to your indoor garden over time. If you produce a lot of organic waste at home, you can skip fertiliser altogether and feed your plant with food waste from your kitchen.

Pots and planters
Of course, your edible indoor garden is going to need a home. Pots and planters should have small holes at the bottom for water drainage, and should be appropriately sized for your plants’ requirements. If you get overwhelmed by the various materials out there, just remember that pots made of wood or recycled materials are more prone to water damage and rot and metal pots can develop rust.Pots made of glass, terracotta or natural stone are ideal and fairly common among gardeners. To avoid their steep price tag, we recommend starting out with sturdy plastic pots instead. To catch any water drained from the soil, a dripping tray needs to be placed underneath your plant pot. Something as simple as a bowl from your kitchen will suffice for this.

squarerooms-plant-pot-indoor-gardening-hands-aesthetic-vintage-hispter
Image courtesy of Valeria Ushakova
 

Watering can and spray bottle
Watering your edible indoor garden should be quick and easy. All you really need is clean tap water and something to distribute it with. A must-have for every gardener is, of course, the watering can. For an indoor garden with small pots, opt for a small can with a thin neck, as it will make it easier to get water under the delicate leaves. If you choose to grow a variety of herbs and fruits, some of them might prefer misting over full-on watering, so a spray bottle will come in handy in the long run.

Plants and seeds
This is where the real fun begins! Choosing which herbs and fruits to grow can be tricky as the choice of seeds often seems endless. If you’re unsure which beginner-friendly foods you can grow in Singapore’s hot and humid weather, we will take a closer look at different herbs and fruits in part two of this post. For now, basil, curry leaves, papaya and lemons are just a few of the fuss-free foods you can grow indoors.

Fancy optionals
You have all the essentials but want to take your edible indoor garden further? One handy item to get hold of early on is neem oil, a natural, plant-based alternative to pesticides that is safe to use even on edible plants. Other bells and whistles that can enhance your indoor garden are a soil thermometer, an automated drip system for easier watering and grow lights to help make up for lack of sunlight.

Many of these indoor gardening supplies can be bought from local online shops like Green Spade, O’Green Living and FarEastFlora Garden Centre.


A version of this article first appeared on SquareRooms.