planterWith all the new-found free time that comes with social distancing due to COVID-19, we are continuously trying to find new activities and looking for ways to stay entertained. While there is an endless variety of hobbies, to partake in a hobby such as indoor vegetable gardening, guarantees fresh non-GMO veggies, saves money on grocery shopping, and is an excellent agricultural lesson for children.

No backyard? No problem! Here are three easy vegetables you can grow indoors.

To grow these three vegetables indoors, you will need: a deep container with good drainage for each plant, seed starting soil mix, your seed packet of choice (I highly recommend the Burpee Seed packets), and a sunny window with direct sunlight or a grow light.

1. Beetroots - Beets are delicious vegetables packed with vitamins and minerals, they are low on calories, and they have amazing health benefits like helping to lower blood pressure. To grow beets indoors:

  • Add potting soil to the pot until it’s about an inch from the top.
  • Make holes approximately 3 inches apart and a quarter of an inch deep. The number of holes you have will depend on the size of the pot you have.
  • Add two to three seeds in each hole. 
  • Next, lightly cover the holes with soil and sprinkle a layer of potting soil over the entire pot.
  • Add water to settle the soil.
  • Once you’ve planted and watered your seeds, place the pot in a sunny window for 6 hours of direct sunlight or 12 hours under a grow light a day, and check daily for signs of sprouts. 
  • Once sprouts appear, thin the seedlings by trimming the weakest and leaving the strongest from each hole.
  • Beets will be ready for harvest in about two months or once they have reached the size of approximately 2 inches. 
  • When the beetroots have reached maturity and are ready for harvesting, with a spade or your hands, break up the soil around the roots gently and pull, and enjoy!

Learn more about growing beets in a container.

2. Carrots - Carrots are an excellent source of fiber and antioxidants. They are also low on calories like beetroots, can be used in many delicious dishes, and have been linked to improving eye health. To grow carrots indoors:

  • Add potting soil to the pot until it’s about an inch from the top.
  • Add water to dampen the soil.
  • Sprinkle carrot seeds over the surface of the soil.
  • Once you’ve planted and watered your carrot seeds, place your pot in a sunny window for 8 hours of direct sunlight a day or under a grow light for 12 hours a day, and check daily for sprouting. 
  • Keep the soil moist and water when it feels dry. To test if the soil is dry, stick your forefinger into the soil up to your first knuckle. If it feels dry in the first inch to inch-and-half - water.
  • When seedlings are two inches tall, thin them out by cutting the weaker ones and leaving only the strongest and tallest with one inch of space between them. 
  • When the carrot tops start to pop out of soil or have a vibrant color, these will be ready to harvest. With a spade or your hands, loosen the soil around the carrot to avoid separating the greens from the roots, then pull, and enjoy!

Learn more gardening tips on growing carrots.

3. Lettuce - Lettuce is an essential vegetable that helps fight inflammation. This common home-grown veggie is great for salads and growing it is easy:

  • Add potting soil to the pot and leave about an inch off the top.
  • Make holes about 2 inches apart and half an inch deep. 
  • Add two to three seeds in each hole. 
  • Cover the holes by slightly spreading the soil over them and then sprinkling a layer of potting soil over the entire pot.
  • Place your pot in a sunny window for 4 to 6 hours of direct sunlight a day or under a grow light for 12 hours a day, and check daily for sprouting. 
  • Always make sure soil is moist; spray it with water every time it looks dry.
  • Once sprouts appear, thin the seedlings by cutting out the weaker ones and leaving the seedlings about one inch apart. 
  • Once the lettuce is roughly four inches tall, it will be ready for harvest. Trim outer leaves first and then trim about an inch from the soil, and enjoy!

Learn more tips on growing lettuce indoors.

Happy indoor vegetable gardening and stay healthy! And, avoid COVID-19 cabin fever at your house with more family friendly activities.

Topics: Education

Maria Gonzalez

Written by Maria Gonzalez

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