Best Vegetables to Grow Indoors with Lights
Gardening is a relaxing hobby that not only gives people a sense of accomplishment, but also can supply you with wonderful healthy foods to eat.
However, many people who live in apartments, or homes with limited outdoor space feel gardening is something that is out of their reach.
The good news is that it is possible to grow some vegetables indoors using lights no matter how limited your living space is.
All you need to grow vegetables indoors is grow lights, the right size container, soil, and fertilizer, water and good airflow to keep down humidity. So here are some vegetables that are easy to grow indoors under lights for beginners.
10 Best Vegetables to Grow Indoors under Lights
If you enjoy spicy food, chilies are one of the easiest vegetables to grow indoors, making them perfect for beginner indoor gardeners. Best of all, if grown in a large batch, these vegetables are simple and easy to freeze.
#2. Green Onions
Green onions grow extremely well indoors and are easy to care for. They don’t require as much light as some other vegetables and can be grown from the bulb of green onions you have on hand and use. So you won’t have to purchase new seeds or plants to grow your next batch.
Carrots are a great vegetable to grow indoors. They are very versatile and can be used in everything, including salads, soups, casseroles, side dishes, casseroles and even desserts.
They do need deeper soil than many indoor plants and at least 12 hours of light each day. They also prefer cooler temperatures.
Radishes are a quick growing vegetable to grow indoors under lights. Although radishes do need a bit more room than many indoor veggies they don’t need much light and are ready to harvest 30 to 40 days from germination making them a vegetable that is easy to grow all year round.
Potatoes are a staple in most homes and they are easy to grow indoors under lights. You only need about 4 inches of soil to grow both regular and sweet potatoes.
Best of all you can use the sprouted peels of the potatoes to start your new plants so there is no need for the additional expense of purchasing seeds or already started plants.
Spinach is a healthy leafy vegetable that is loaded with vitamins and minerals. This vegetable can be included in your breakfast eggs, luncheon salads, or dinner casseroles as well as served as a side dish.
It is easy to grow indoors providing it has plenty of light and adequate water and drainage.
Arugula is another leafy vegetable that is easy to grow indoors. This vegetable has a slightly peppery taste that makes it ideal for use on sandwiches or in salads.
You simply sprinkle your seeds into your potting soil, water and place under a light.
Lettuce is another vegetable that can be grown from the unused portion of the plant. All you need to do is cut off the base of your romaine lettuce and soak it in water until it sprouts roots.
Lettuce can be grown in almost any indoor container and is very low maintenance making it a great vegetable for those just beginning to learn how to garden indoors.
Although Mushrooms are a fungus and not a vegetable they are often treated as a vegetable and used in appetizers, casseroles, soups, main dishes and more.
Mushrooms take a minimal effort to grow and although they are sensitive to temperatures and need to have the soil kept safe they can grow in as little as 2 or 3 days, making it possible to grow more and use them all year round.
Although technically a fruit, tomatoes are most often used as a vegetable. In order to grow this fruit/vegetable, you will need a sizable container and a cage as well as a decent amount of light.
The dwarf varieties are the best types of tomatoes to grow indoors.
As you become more familiar with growing vegetables inside your home using lights you can also learn to grow such vegetables as kale, asparagus, turnips, eggplant and even celeriac.
Types of Grow Lights Used for Growing Vegetables Indoors
There are 3 main types of lights used for growing vegetables. Here is a brief look at these types of lights.
Fluorescent lighting comes in two types tubular shaped and compact also known as CFLs. The compact lights fit into a regular light socket.
These lights come in a variety of intensities and do a good job as an alternative to sunlight.
One advantage of this type of light is that they are thin and will fit in pretty small places.
High Pressure Sodium Lights
High Pressure Sodium lights or HPS lights need to be set a fair distance from your plants and require quite an investment to set up the lighting system. For this reason, they are not the best choice for beginner growers.
LED lights are by far the most efficient type of light for growing vegetables indoors. These lights produce almost no heat, making it easy to regulate the temperature in your growing area.
What is the Best Light for Growing Vegetables Indoors?
Of the three types of lights for growing plants indoors, LED lights are the most energy efficient.
However, they do require a higher initial investment than CFL lights and are not as readily available to consumers. For beginners, CFL lights may simply be the better and less expensive choice and can be picked up in most hardware stores.
Final Thoughts on the Best Vegetables to Grow Indoors with Grow Lights
Growing plants indoors using lights can provide your family with a more healthy diet at a reasonable cost. Best of all the vegetables that you grow indoors will be free of pesticides and you will have the peace of mind in knowing exactly where they come from.
Furthermore, the number and type of vegetables you can grow in your home will depend a great deal on the amount of space and interest you have in keeping an indoor garden.