Indoor vegetable gardens are a great way to grow your own food year-round. But indoor gardening is more difficult than outdoor gardening because of the indoor environment.
There are many factors that you have to consider when growing indoor vegetables, including fertilizing. In this blog post, we will go over some tips for fertilizing indoor vegetable gardens and how they can affect the yield of your harvest!
The Importance Of Fertilizing Indoor Vegetable Gardens
It is important to fertilize indoor vegetable gardens so that the vegetables do not need as much water as the typical organic garden.
Some vegetables, like tomatoes and cucumbers, are heavy feeders. They will need to be planted several feet away from the lights for adequate space or should have a fan blowing on them while they are growing indoors. Some plants do not require any fertilizer at all when grown indoors.
What Can Be Used To Fertilize An Indoor Container?
There are many different things that can be used to fertilize container plants. The most common types of fertilizers for container gardens include peat moss, compost, and fish emulsion.
peat moss is a good container plant fertilizer because it is a slow-release organic form of nitrogen. It can help container plants grow strong and healthy.
Compost, on the other hand, is also an organic type of fertilizer that has multiple benefits for container plants including nutrients as well as moisture retention properties. A mixture of compost with peat moss or vermin compost can be used to fertilize container plants.
Fish emulsion is a fertilizer that has high nitrogen content which helps container plants grow healthy and strong as well. It also contains other nutrients such as potassium, phosphorus, magnesium, calcium, copper, iron manganese, and sodium which are beneficial for container plant growth.
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When using fish emulsion as container plant fertilizer, it is important to remember that the container needs to be well-drained and aerated.
Fish emulsion can be applied every one or two weeks during container plant growing season. For small container plants, a teaspoon of fish emulsion mixed with water should work fine. Larger container plants will require more fertilization.
When container gardening, it is also important to pay attention to the container plant care instructions on the fertilizer packaging.
Tips For Fertilizing Indoor Vegetables
Remember that most plants need nitrogen, phosphorus, and potassium. These elements are listed on the side of fertilizer bags as “NPK.” NPK stands for Nitrogen-Phosphorus-Potassium. Make sure you find a fertilizer with at least one or two of those three components in it!
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Make sure if you are using organic fertilizer that it does not contain blood meal. Blood meal can attract pests like raccoons and other animals to your home!
Remember that some plants need more nitrogen than others. Fertilizing with high phosphorus and potassium is especially important for fruiting vegetables like tomatoes, cucumbers, zucchini, etc.
Make sure you get a fertilizer that contains micronutrients as well! Micronutrients are needed by the plant to produce the enzymes and hormones needed to grow. You can get a fertilizer that has micronutrients in it or you might want to add compost tea (see post on composting!)
When fertilizing your plants use water with no chlorine! Chlorine will burn the plant roots because of its acidity level.
Do not over-fertilize! Organic fertilizers are slow-release and they will be released into the soil slowly. You do not want to burn your plants with too much fertilizer in one go!
Fertilizing is especially important when you transplant indoor vegetables from pots or seed trays to larger gardens. Transplanting shock reduces the amount of time the plant needs to produce fruit and flower buds, so make sure you give your transplants a boost!
If you are growing indoor vegetables in hydroponic systems be careful not to over-fertilize them because they do not have soil to absorb nutrients from. If you over-fertilize your plants the fertilizer will build up and become toxic to them.
For hydroponics and soils, fertilize every two weeks during the growing season. Remember to always check your plants for pests and diseases before you add fertilizer!
Instead of using water, some types of fertilizer can be used with milk to give your indoor vegetables a boost. Mix one part milk and two parts water, then add the fertilizer to it. Just be careful not to over-fertilize because milk can attract animals!
If you want a more natural way of fertilizing your indoor vegetables consider using compost tea or worm castings.Worm casting is nutrient-rich and they will slowly release into the soil so nutrients are never lacking for your plants. Compost tea is a liquid made from compost and water that has been aerated to give it oxygen, which helps the soil absorb nutrients more easily!
Using organic fertilizer can be a great way to fertilize your indoor vegetables without using harsh chemicals or synthetic products. Just make sure you choose one with all three components in it (NPK) and you’re good to go!
Do I Need To Water An Indoor Vegetable Garden?
Short answer: Yes, especially if you used a hydroponics system. Hydroponic systems use water to transport essential minerals and nutrients to the plants’ roots, and without any soil to retain the moisture, it is important for growers (indoor and outdoor) to ensure that their plants are getting enough water.
How frequently should I fertilize my potted plants?
For a steady supply of nutrients, fertilize your container plants every 2 weeks. Most potting soils have a slow-release fertilizer that will provide nutrients to your plants for up to two weeks.
However, hydroponic plants are often grown in containers that have drainage holes. If the growing medium does not contain enough water to allow the excess to drain out, mineral salts may accumulate and burn your plants’ roots.
This is called a “water lock”. It can also cause root rot problems.
These are two reasons why growers should always keep a close eye on their plants and check the growing medium often to ensure that it has enough water.
Water is essential for fertilizer uptake. Water is the primary means of transporting nutrients to your plants’ roots. Without sufficient water, fertilizer salts can build up in the growing medium and burn your plants’ leaves, stems, and roots. This is called a nutrient lockout.
You can fertilize your indoor garden with a homemade concoction of natural ingredients. We hope this article has provided you with some useful tips on how to fertilize an indoor vegetable garden and grow healthy vegetables indoors!