Fall is the perfect time to start an indoor vegetable garden. It is easy to grow fresh vegetables indoors regardless of how much space you have, and you don’t need any complicated or expensive setup. With a little imagination, you can start a fall vegetable garden indoors.
Lots of indoor vegetable garden containers for free!
Whenever you think about growing in containers, you first need to think about how and where to get containers or pots, which can be expensive.
I love to use whatever I have around the house. You can get really creative, but I always use the plastic packaging that salad greens often come in for fast and easy small containers.
These are great for a few reasons;
- great size to fit onto a shelve, countertop, etc.
- comes with premade holes for drainage
- the lid can be removed and put under for a saucer
- and they are free with your purchase of greens.
The best part for me is that they are a record of what I like to eat. Most of my purchased salad mixes contain lots of spinach and never kale. So when I decide what I need to plant, I can see that spinach is a good choice. And for me, no matter how healthy kale is, I don’t like it.
You can use almost anything for an indoor vegetable garden pot. Just remember the basic rules about container gardening; the container must have good drainage.
Space for your vegetable garden
You don’t need a lot of space. The trick to a vegetable garden indoors is creative with the space you have. Keep in mind the size of the vegetable plant when fully grown, then look around your space to see where it would work best.
Greens for your indoor vegetable garden
Greens take up very little space, and you can grow all kinds of lettuce, kale, spinach, or other greens. Most greens take up not more than 10″ or so in height and not much width is smaller than many house plants.
Try putting a few small containers of greens around your home. There is nothing better than picking some fresh lettuce for your recipe from your living room plant.
And don’t forget microgreens! They take up almost no room but are packed with lots of vitamins and flavor.
The more typical vegetable that is used for microgreens are
However, any vegetable can be a microgreen.
Beets for your fall vegetable garden
Do you like beets? Honestly, I didn’t until I started growing my own. Beets, like many vegetables, have a better flavor when they are fresh-picked. So give them a try.
Beets can be grown in small pots and containers. They like the sun but will do ok with a shade too.
A nice bonus is that beets have beautiful colored leaves, and they add a lot of depth and variety to any indoor garden.
Most are also quickly growing. You can harvest most varieties in 7 weeks.
Even if you have been a lifelong beet avoider, you might change your mind if you grow them in your indoor garden.
Carrot for your fall vegetable garden
I love fresh carrots. They are easy to grow indoors, and the leaves have a pretty feathered look that is different from many other plants. And there are many varieties of carrots that can grow well in an indoor garden. Carrots can be harvested in about 2 months after planting.
The important thing to remember is that carrots need depth. So choose a very deep container. Some varieties are shorter or mini, and these carrots are the easiest to grow. But make sure that your container is at least 2x as deep as the carrots will grow. For example: if your carrots are a variety that grows 6″, then have a 12″ deep container.
Because carrots grow down, not up and out, you can get creative and plant them in small or narrow spaces.
Try planting a few in a tall vase or a small trash can! You can add some fun home decor and be a great gardener too! Just don’t forget to give the soil a place for drainage.
Indoor pepper garden
There are many varieties of pepper, and they all do very well growing indoors.
Peppers do not take up much space, and they need little care or watering. They do love the heat, so place your pepper container in the warmest spot in the house.
Tomato plants are actually vines. With that in mind, they are easy to grow indoors, and you can train the vine to grow up a wall, around a window or sliding door.
They grow in a large container, and I always use a 5-gallon bucket. The plant itself does not need a lot of width in your living space, just a lot of height.
Vegetable garden soil
Vegetable garden soil is a science, and for some gardeners, it’s an obsession.
To start your fall indoor garden, you can start with any of the many commercial brands of potting soil. General-purpose garden soil is fine, and I like to get a raised bed mixture when it’s available.
You really can’t go wrong with any of those mixtures. However, don’t use soil straight from outside. A potting mixture has to be lighter than typical “dirt.” Dirt in a pot will get very dense and will not allow the plant roots to grow well.
Make sure that you pollinate your indoor vegetable garden. It is easy!
Lighting for your indoor garden
Lighting can be an overwhelming topic. However, it doesn’t need to be.
If you are starting your first fall vegetable garden indoors and you want to keep it simple, pick things to grow that will work on a windowsill or in any sunny spot you have.
When you do decide to add lighting or want to grow in a darker space, remember this basic principle:
The brightness of the light is NOT what is important to your plants, and the important thing is that the light is in the full spectrum of light for growing. Always use a grow light or full-spectrum light for plants.