Introduction: 36 Cool Indoor Garden Ideas to Grow Food

Picture of 36 Cool Indoor Garden Ideas to Grow Food

Not long ago, we all produced our own food. With Donald Trump leading the election, it might be a good idea to brush up on your apocalypse-living skills. Here are 36 things you need to know to quickly get started.

Step 1: Indoor Gardening Can Be Complex, But Need Not Be

Picture of Indoor Gardening Can Be Complex, But Need Not Be
  1. First off, indoor gardens can be incredibly complex, such as an indoor warehouse garden or repurposed shipping container garden. But it doesn't have to be - we'll stick to things that take little time or money and are easy to start today. Just remember...
  2. Don’t overthink this whole thing - plants want to grow. It doesn't have to be complicated; this guy’s drip setup is stunningly simple.

Step 2: If You Have a Bed, You Have Space to Garden Underneath

Picture of If You Have a Bed, You Have Space to Garden Underneath

3. Find space anywhere. If you have a lofted bed, you have space for a garden. Loft it four feet high and this grow tent fits perfectly sideways. You'll also create room for storage.

4. Ensure your spot has access to electricity if you plan to use lights. LED lights allow for more precise control of the color spectrum, consume less electricity and emit less heat. Cheap baking pans can serve as a hood for your lights.

Step 3: Vent Your Grow Tent Garden and Ensure Air Circulation

Picture of Vent Your Grow Tent Garden and Ensure Air Circulation

5. You may need to vent to outdoors if your lights product too much heat. This involves cutting through the drywall and exterior wall, avoiding any framing or wires. Lesson learned: ask my roommate first next time.

6. Cut a hole the width of the ducting you'll use. Adding a duct fan moves more air but creates noise and uses electricity.

7. If grow tent temperature is above 80° F, add a fan that exhausts air out. Heat rises so position near the top of the tent.

8. To further cool the grow tent, cut a hole near the bottom and position a fan to intake air. Cool air blows in the bottom and hot air is blown out of the tent at the top.

9. You can add a small fan at the other end of the tent. With the other two fans, this forms a triangle and improves airflow

Step 4: Baking Pans and PVC Make a Great Rack System for Gardening

Picture of Baking Pans and PVC Make a Great Rack System for Gardening

10. Cheap baking pans can be used to hold soil or hydroponic pellets.

11. PVC piping can be used to create a frame to hold light trays and plant trays and allow each to easily slide in and out.

Step 5: Baking Pans and PVC Rack to Grow Mealworms

Picture of Baking Pans and PVC Rack to Grow Mealworms

12. Window screen glued to a cut baking pan allows their poop to drop onto a catch tray below. Other pans hold larvae and beetles (adapted from this great Instructable).

13. For six weeks, seven trays of mealworms were under my bed. Weeks after arriving by mail, they began to metamorphose into beetles. By the time I had a large posse of beetles, I could hear them scurrying under my bed. That was too much, man. If you want to do this long-term, you'll need to keep enough beetles alive to lay eggs that grow into mealworms. Otherwise, harvest the mealworms, dehydrate and grind into a powder. Conceal the powder in a flavorful recipe. Snicker in delight.

Step 6: Sprout Seeds in Mason Jars

Picture of Sprout Seeds in Mason Jars

14. Sprouting seeds takes a jar, some water and a little light. Soak the seeds for an hour then pour out water and place jar near light. Every 12-24 hours, fill with water and then drain. In 3-4 days you'll have sprouts ready to eat. Or...

15. Plant the sprouted seeds on an inch of soil in a baking pan. A week later you’ll have microgreens. Trade these for a meal at a high-end restaurant.

Step 7: Anything Can Hold Soil.

Picture of Anything Can Hold Soil.

15. Grow fresh herbs, but be picky if you only have space for a couple. Cilantro grows slow and is cheap at the market. Mint is nice to have since used infrequently.

16. Rosemary is a hearty bush and you can use the branches as skewers for shiskebobs or roasting marshmallows.

17. Staple fabric or thick plastic to a pallet to fashion a vertical garden with hipster char

18. Have an area of your roof or patio that gets good light? Plants are happy unless they tell you otherwise.

Step 8: Plastic and PVC Can Grow Plenty of Green

Picture of Plastic and PVC Can Grow Plenty of Green

19. In California, we consider this personal use. This whole setup cost $100. Or so I heard.

Step 9: Final Things You Simply Must Know About Indoor Gardening

Picture of Final Things You Simply Must Know About Indoor Gardening

20. Is it just me or are terrariums a strange design feature? Please limit their use to your cubicle.

21. Stab an avocado with tootpicks and suspend it over a cup of water. Still as cool as the time you did it in fifth grade.

22. Use an old wooden drawer to hold plants. Open some of the drawers and add dirt. Stagger to ensure they each receive proper lighting.

23. Clone celery: Cut off stalks and place heart (bottom of celery) in water with good light. Change water every few days.

24. Grow herbs in teacups to appear fancy. Place teacup on saucer.

25. Lean a ladder against the wall and place staggered pots on the rungs.

26. Grow herbs in recycled tea tins to appear hip. Arrange on windowsill of overpriced Mission District condo.

27. Beans are easy to grow indoors and produce a beanstalk that can be strung around objects.

28. Dill needs a lot of sun and is tough to grow indoors. Try herbs like rosemary, thyme, and oregano, cilantro, winter savoury, and chives.

29. Aquaponics is using fish waste to fertilize plants in a virtuous cycle. Raising edible fish, however, is no easy feat and energy inefficient at all but the biggest scale. This may change in the future.

30. Hydroponically farmed produce, including marijuana, is less desirable. We’ve barely scratched the surface of soil but we know it makes stuff taste good. Use dirt, water and light.

31. Once people realize how easy kombucha is to brew, maybe bottles won’t cost $4. It’s just tea and sugar and a symbiotic culture of bacteria and yeast that lives like a Tamagotchi in your closet or grow tent.

32. Make your tea/sugar blend strong and allow your animal to eat for many weeks. This strong vinegar can be added to carbonated water. Add some juice or sugar to make it taste store-bought.

33. When your pet SCOBY is fed, he/she creates a clone of itself. You can give this to a friend with a bit of the vinegary liquid. Just add tea/sugar and it will start right up.

34. Put a SCOBY in a mason jar with some of the liquid, include some tea bags and a cute pouch of sugar. Attach a card and feel justifiably smug about your Pinterest-perfect present.

35. Other easy fermented foods include sauerkraut, kimchi and pickles. Most cultures have fermented foods because probiotics are good for us.

36. Remember to relax and let it come naturally - farming is somewhere in everyone’s DNA.

Comments

ga_light (author)2016-01-22

I think your reference to Mr Trump was totally uncalled for!!

Agreed, "ga_light". This should be a bipartisan site, because this is info needed by everyone, regardless of who is elected to which offices...... unless we get a dictator who doesn't allow us to do the things or relay our ideas on sites like this.

I think you mean "nonpartisan." Bi-partisan means two-party, which is exactly what is being displayed here.

Besides, if an inoffensive, joking, single-line political comment prevents you from using the information provided, that's your fault, not the poster's.

static (author)connie.mcclintock2016-01-29

Ya mean like all the wanna be dictators he rat instructables, who seek to prohibit political commentary? ;) The one who delete comments or call for their deletion when someone dare to points out anther is that pot calling the kettle black.

DarnellMoonda (author)ga_light2016-01-27

I agree that the reference was uncalled for! Who needs any political remarks when clicking on a pots that reads 36 Cool Indoor Garden Ideals to Grow Food... that is what the newspapers and political post are for. Enjoyed the ideas otherwise.

GenaM1 (author)ga_light2016-01-26

I thought the comment was amusing. The sad thing is it may well be more true than many want to admit to. At least everyone I know is very scared that this man may actually win. We all thought it was a joke at first but it is so scary to see how many people he has....uh....uh..........sheesh..no words that can be posted without maybe getting into trouble.

FuzzyBearGeek (author)ga_light2016-01-25

I don't!

AmberP49 (author)2016-10-14

These indoor garden ideas are really amazing. Indoor gardening is becoming quite popular among urban dwellers. And it’s no wonder as education about the many benefits of gardening and plant life has been prolific as of late.

kays4760 (author)2016-01-21

:( everything has to be about politics....

static (author)kays47602016-01-29

When youget down to it is all about politics. That's how policy that affect all of us gets put into place.

Omni DIY (author)2016-01-22

Pretty cool instructable. Personally, I'm holding out on my gardening plans until Bernie Sanders shows us how to plant his money trees. My garden will be designed around that process once it's revealed.

static (author)Omni DIY2016-01-29

That's going to be a long wait. Not even Bernie is pointing out the
reality that going to bite Americans who believe in the "American
Dream". That is there aren't enough resources on the planet for every
American to live that dream. The best one can hope fore to as many as
possible have their survival needs meet. Assuming the rest of the plangents residents don't push back at American consumption.

Tigertame4 (author)2016-01-24

As I looked at it it seemed vaguely familiar. Then I remembered a friend back the seventies who had a garden like this. He grew pot in his living room. LOL

Tigertame4 (author)2016-01-24

As I looked at it it seemed vaguely familiar. Then I remembered a friend back the seventies who had a garden like this. He grew pot in his living room. LOL

Tigertame4 (author)2016-01-24

Looks really good.

Tigertame4 (author)2016-01-24

Looks really good.

TravisM18 (author)2016-01-21

No mention of hydro crystals water gels that can help regulate water for a few years for potted plants. And Aquaponics is something I would look into.

liongold (author)TravisM182016-01-21

HYDRO GEL LAST A FEW YEARS? I DID NOT KNOW THAT...ANYONE HAVE AN ONLINE PLACE THAT SELLS THEM AT A GOOD PRICE. BTW, APPROXIMATELY HOW MANY SEASONS WOULD YOU SAY THEY LAST?

TravisM18 (author)liongold2016-01-22

http://www.watercrystals.com/ A 13 dollar bag should work with your house plants hydrate untill they swell all the way before mixing into soil for plants.

cobergland (author)2016-01-22

Very nice, well done. Thank you!

blueye81 (author)2016-01-22

Intro made me laugh :-) Thanks for the ideas! Hopefully, we will just try them out for fun and never out of necessity...

CraftAndu (author)2016-01-19

This is absolutely fantastic instructable. I love the intro (Trump :D). You gave me a lot of ideas. Thank you for sharing. Could it be possible to use mealworm poop as fertilizer? Oh and you have my vote ;)

mart33n33 (author)CraftAndu2016-01-21

Yes! and thank you for the reminder... Mealworm poop, or frass, makes an exquisite plant fertilizer – indoors and out

kchapmans (author)2016-01-21

Step 8 was just too funny. Thanks for the great ideas...and the giggles!

n5yzv (author)2016-01-21

Funny. I started my garden because of Obama.

fran3co (author)n5yzv2016-01-21

Nice to hear that Mrs Obama is really making a difference in nutrition and gardening! Good for you :)

TeresaM7 (author)2016-01-21

We are one of the few cultures that don't eat insects as a form of protein. Still, the idea of mealworm meals makes me cringe! Love this Instructable. We may all be put to it soon because, you know, Trump!

BradS3 (author)2016-01-21

If you are venting to the outside and need a fan, you could position the fan to pull near the outside wall (as long as there is power there, or possibly use a solar solution) to reduce the noise inside the grow tent which could be louder than you'd think do to it being an enclosed space. Also if using that vent to the outside and using solar you could possibly power all the LED's with the solar power as well.

sharonacles (author)2016-01-21

Love the humour in this instructable! I tip my hat to you, sir or madam.

milliondollarfitness (author)2016-01-20

Great ideas!

dianekallal (author)2016-01-20

lol, I thought the Trump comment was funny! Great ideas, thank you.

eklutts (author)2016-01-19

I would be careful with the pallet idea. You need to make sure that it wasn't used for transporting chemicals or anything that the wood could absorb and potentially get into the soil while planting. I think there is an instructable that talks about how to identify what they were used for....But I do think that it's is an awesome idea!!

mart33n33 (author)eklutts2016-01-19

Thanks! Good call on ensuring the safety of the pallet wood.

thepantheonzaibatsu (author)2016-01-19

Love this. "Farming is somewhere in everyone's DAN."
Truer words never spoken. Great instruct able.

About This Instructable

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Bio: Seafood is my specialty but my love of food justice, self-reliance and productivity knows no bounds. I grow food under my bed.
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