Indoor gardening is an ancient method employed to cultivate plants in containers, most often used for decorative purposes, including the beautiful flowers and trees sometimes found in large shopping malls, or even the trailing vines sometimes found in public restaurants to give a sense of privacy and serenity. The first attempts at indoor gardening took place in ancient China, where clay pots and small terracotta planters were using to grow a wide variety of plant life. A more recent method of cultivating plants has evolved through the use of hydroponic systems in which water is delivered directly to the plant roots through a thick plastic medium. With this method, the plants stay alive for only a short time before eventually flowering and falling off. The first step in indoor gardening is to choose your plants, either because you want something that will live throughout the year, or because you prefer a certain type, and then to place them in suitable pots, vases or other containers. For the most part, herbs and other living room vegetables can be successfully contained without the use of artificial lights. However, you may wish to use lights on African or Asian greens to add a touch of color and drama to your herb garden. When it comes to indoor gardening, one of the most important things to consider is the soil. Soils, whether they are loose and organic or packed and compacted, must be properly aerated to promote the growth of healthy plants. To do this, you need to either use an air pump or aerator, both of which will add air to the soil. Air pumps, which may also be called “hydro-pumps,” work well if you have the space available, or if you simply want to adjust the amount of water in the soil, since excess water can make the roots wilt. Once you have decided which types of houseplants you will grow indoors, it is time to decide how you will position them. Plants should be arranged in layers, so that their light and water source are not blocked. However, make sure that you do not overcrowd the rooms in your home, or you might end up with a lot of “stacks” or “monsters” on your countertop. If you have ever seen a beautiful specimen plant in a dirty glass box, you know exactly what I mean! Indoor growing plants, like their outdoor cousins, require similar soil preparation techniques to hydroponic gardening. If you wish to use hydroponic nutrients to boost plant growth and improve plant quality, it is best to purchase specially formulated nutrients from a reputable hydroponic gardening retailer. You will also need to select a proper venting system for your indoor gardening system. This is not necessarily more expensive than traditional soil, but it will depend upon the design of your venting system and the size of the pots that you plan to use. Indoor gardening also requires regular maintenance, which should include checking and replacing soil, pots, lights, and added fertilizers at scheduled intervals. When it comes to the actual components of your indoor gardening system, there are two primary parts. First, the nutrient solution bed will hold all of your nutrient solutions. Second, the growing medium, which is made of a mesh or perlite material, will provide the structure in which your plants will grow and develop. Both of these parts should be kept clean and free from any dust, mold, or bacteria. Indoor gardening can be an enjoyable and rewarding experience, but it takes a little work to keep it clean and healthy.
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