Six Vegetables You Can Grow Right in Your Kitchen
If you cannot plant vegetables in a traditional garden, then you may be able to use your kitchen. Various types of vegetables can be grown indoors with access to sunlight. In fact, some vegetables may even thrive in smaller, indoor environments. Whether you choose to use hanging baskets, self-watering pots or reusable containers to plant your vegetables, you can have fresh, organic vegetables in your home.
The following sections detail how you can plant, care for and harvest the six types of vegetables best-suited for your kitchen. You will also learn the benefits of growing each vegetable indoors and how to determine when a vegetable is ripe. However, some vegetables may grow better in some kitchens than in others, so you are advised to pay attention to the specific requirements each plant needs to survive.
Carrots are great vegetables to grow indoors because they can be purchased in a variety of shapes and colors you do not normally see in grocery stores. Additionally, carrots can be easier to plant in pots or smaller containers inside than in larger garden beds, which is beneficial if the type of place where you live does not have a yard. Therefore, carrots are ideal starter vegetables for beginners.
To begin planting carrots in your kitchen, you must first find an appropriately sized container. If you are growing baby carrots, any size will suffice, but regular carrots require deep pots to accommodate their roots. Typically, you will need a pot or makeshift container at least eight inches deep.
Once you have chosen a container, fill it with potting soil until about one inch is remaining. Then, you may follow these steps for growing your own carrots:
- Water the soil.
- Sprinkle the seeds on top of the soil.
- Separate the seedlings so that they are about half an inch apart.
- Place the container in a sunny window.
- Water the plants whenever the soil dries an inch deep as they start to grow.
You can harvest the carrots when they are sufficiently orange by pulling them straight up out of the soil to avoid disturbing the other carrots in the container.
Did you know? You are able to purchase seeds with food stamp benefits.
Celery is often considered a difficult vegetable to please as it requires a consistent, cool temperature, a constant water supply and rich fertilization. Although, celery can be a great vegetable to grow in your kitchen because it is ideal for indoor environments and can be regrown from kitchen scraps.
To regrow celery, you must plant the base of an organic celery stalk in a bowl of warm water for about a week or until the center of the stalk begins to turn a darker shade of green, making sure to change the water every few days. Once this occurs, you must transfer the celery stalk to a planter and completely cover the stalk except for the dark green area in the center. Next, thoroughly water the celery as it matures. One of the best features of growing celery in your kitchen is the opportunity to regrow new celery stalks after each harvest.
Green onions are harvested from unripened onion bulbs. As with celery, you can regrow green onions from the shoots. You can plant leftover onion bulbs and scallions in a glass of water and place it in a window with lots of light.
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Within a few days, the bulbs will continue to grow, and you can cut off sections of the green onions to use as you need them. While you may have to replace the water occasionally as it gets cloudy and evaporates, green onions are one of the simplest vegetables to grow in your kitchen since they only require a tall container, water and sunlight. Preferably, the container should be at least 18 inches deep to secure the growing, vertical crop.
The scallions you grow in your kitchen can provide added flavor to nearly any meal without adding many calories, which makes them great additions to any seasoned cook’s kitchen. Green onions are also associated with plenty of health benefits including weight loss properties.
Like other microgreens, lettuce can be grown indoors at any time during the year, and they grow quickly, allowing you to reap the rewards of your gardening efforts within 10 days of planting them. However, planting these microgreens requires numerous seeds and a sunny windowsill. Regardless of how much space you have, you can grow lettuce with the following materials:
- Potting soil
- Your preferred variety of lettuce plant
- A pot or container with draining holes
The types of lettuce that grow the best indoors are merlot, baby oakleaf, Garden Babies and Salad Bowl. You can obtain this lettuce from a local garden center or nursery.
To begin, fill the pot or container with starting soil mix or a homemade blend of peat moss, vermiculite and sand for optimal germination. Measure at least one inch of space between each lettuce seed and ensure the container allows the plants to reach a depth of about eight inches. You should bury the seeds about four inches below the surface of the soil.
Then, cover the seeds and sprinkle water on top of the soil. You should continue spraying the sprouts gently with water as they mature. Be sure to not oversaturate the soil.
Your lettuce should be exposed to grow lights or natural sunlight 12 to 16 hours each day. The lettuce should be ready to harvest 30 to 45 days after planting. Attempt to harvest lettuce in the morning hours.
Note: A saucer or bowl can be placed underneath the pot or container to catch water as it drains.
Spinach is a vegetable that can grow in shade and fares well in indoor conditions. When planting spinach seeds in a small pot or container, you have many options. The vegetable can be grown in window boxes, wooden boxes or crates and small pots, so be sure to choose a container that fits well in your kitchen. Your container should be six to eight inches deep, but the width does not affect plant growth.
You should place your spinach in the window. Basic plant care for spinach consists of regular watering and fertilizing only. Compost or manure can substitute liquid fertilizer.
After about 50 days, your spinach plant may be ready to harvest. Harvested leaves must be at least three inches long for the best results. Spinach makes a great side dish, and growing your own spinach can save you a lot of money since organic spinach can be expensive.
Although garlic grows differently indoors than it would in a garden, you can still cultivate garlic sprouts or greens that are used as seasoning or garnishes rather than cloves. Because they are harvested in pots or small containers, the garlic greens should grow within a week or ten days.
To plant garlic in your kitchen, find a suitable pot that allows ample draining and prepare a window ledge on which to place the plant. Fill the pot with organic potting soil and plant up to four garlic cloves in the soil. You may clip the garlic greens as they mature to replant them in another pot.
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