Here are some of the best and most popular indoor gardening essentials to help grow thriving plants—no green thumb required!
- Space. A dedicated space to start seeds and grow seedlings is necessary. Remember: the area can get dirty or wet, so keep this in mind when determining your space. Consider if you’d like a shelf or table space based on your needs.
- Lights. Plants need light to survive. Window light and the general grayness of winter/early spring is typically insufficient for plants to flower or fruit; therefore, artificial lighting is necessary.
- Heat. Plants like warmth, and temperatures of 65-75 degrees Fahrenheit are best for most plants.
- Soil mix. Something that holds water, but still drains and allows for air. This is different than top soil. For seed starting, be sure to use non-fertilized potting soil (it will say fertilized on the package).
- Trays. If growing multiple plants, it’s important to select the best container, and since there are a lot of different options, consult your manufacturer's label for the best tray for your needs. Trays with humidity domes are ideal for holding in moisture/humidity while the seeds are germinating.
- Sprayer/Spray bottle. These are necessary to keep the top of the soil moist daily.
- Incidentals like a power strip, smart plug or timer, and more. A power strip (preferably with surge protection) will be needed for your lights, plus a smart plug or timer so you can set the lights. Paint markers are great for labeling plants/trays. And eventually, plants will need fertilizer.
- Your favorite seeds!
Whether you’re starting an indoor herb garden or turning an entire room into an indoor jungle, with the above items, you can enjoy your hobby inside the home—all year long!
Justin Husher, Natural Resource Conservationist at Cuyahoga Soil and Water Conservation District
Justin has been with the District since September 2016. He runs the Urban Agriculture program and boasts of having tried every kind of grow light possible from HPS to metal halide to the purple LEDs to shop lights to CFLs. Justin brings with him a BS in Botany from Miami University and an MBA from Cleveland State.