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Grow To Eat Grow your own food! It's a fun way to eat healthy, and save money, and it's good for the environment and good for your community. Find out more about edible landscaping and growing your own food, and discuss the ins and outs of growing to eat in this forum.

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Old 06-09-2008, 11:12 AM   #1
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Indoor Vs Outdoor Vegetable Gardening

Indoor Vs Outdoor Vegetable Gardening
By Dave Truman

Whether you prefer to grow your vegetables indoors or out, there are trade offs involved. Soil type and preparation, watering practice, light control, disease and pest control, and other tasks will differ between the two environments. Which is preferable can only be an individual choice, based on individual circumstances.

Preparing and maintaining the soil for outdoor vegetable gardening can be a major chore. Nutrients can be exhausted by yearly planting of the same crop. Fertilizers get leached away. Soil disease is more difficult to control. Breaking up clay or changing pH in a large area requires considerable effort. But you do save the effort of preparing multiple containers and changing them out.

Indoor soil preparation requires less fertilizer, but one has to be more careful to control the amount. Excess is more readily retained. The soil has to be prepared precisely in order to provide the right balance between drainage and moisture retention. Outdoor soil is much more self-regulating. More plants are killed by overwatering than underwatering.

But it is much more difficult to devise an automatic watering system for indoor gardens. Outdoors, a simple and inexpensive drip irrigation system is easy to install and use. Indoors, an automatic sprinkler system would be very costly and messy if it isn't done just right. But if you have only one or two containers and enjoy hand watering, it might well be a negligible effort.

In outdoor vegetable gardens there is rarely a problem with adequate sunshine, provided they're planned correctly. In most climates during the Summer it's not difficult to give plants the five or more hours they need daily. Inside the house that can be tricky. Few will want to move plant containers around all day, but finding a single window that receives adequate light without burning the plants can be hard.

But the type of light and shade is certainly much easier to control indoors. Drawing a window shade or closing louvres when the sun is too hot is simple. There are even automatic systems that will do it for you. And putting a plant near a glass window provides something of a natural greenhouse effect without the expense of a greenhouse.

Diseases and pests can be a problem in either environment. But fighting them outdoors is decidedly harder. It requires constant vigilance and generally more chemical assistance. Fungi are more likely from moisture on the leaves during the night. Insects have easier access to lay eggs that become larvae.

But the smell of controls, either in the form of artificial chemicals, organic substances or trap crops can be more unpleasant than many would want inside. Most insecticides don't have pleasant odors. Even plant-based oils can be overpowering, and they are much more expensive than other types of chemical control.

In the end, each grower will have to weigh the pros and cons for his or her particular situation. Either form of vegetable gardening requires effort, but both bring great rewards when done well. There's nothing quite like fresh vegetables for good taste and great health.



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Old 07-12-2008, 03:18 PM   #2
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Very interesting article. I know people sometimes grow herbs or even tomato plants indoors, but I don't know much else about indoor vegetable gardening.

Myself, I prefer to grow vegetables outdoors. We have a vegetable garden every year with a variety of things. Nothing like picking and eating!
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Old 07-12-2008, 07:19 PM   #3
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Has anyone had much success with growing indoors? I have never done as well gardening in pots as I have planting right into the ground outdoors. I supposed I should just keep experimenting with it.
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Old 08-18-2009, 05:18 AM   #4
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Interesting article by GardeningPros. As far as i know indoor gardening is not so easy task. It takes more effort and care. Main problem arises in choosing location, lighting for plants and watering. Otherwise indoor gardening is more sustainable.
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Old 09-03-2009, 08:57 AM   #5
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There are certain products that work for both indoors and outdoors that will allow you the flexible use of both methods. We have created a mobile watering station that comes equipped with wheels so you can wheel it both inside or outside and even in the garage if you would like. Check it out at Yuppie Gardener - Products
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Old 10-02-2009, 12:06 AM   #6
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still the best solution is to grow outdoor, it`s more closed to nature and the plants can get more vitamins that way
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Old 10-19-2009, 10:14 AM   #7
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Compared to outdoor gardening, you can plant anything and it is easier to do. The plants can grow more naturally especially when we consider the sunlight which is vital in the growth of plants. However doing indoor gardening is helpful enough if we are living in areas where there in cold season.
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