A gardener may choose to grow plants and herbs indoors for a variety of reasons. These include growing the plants against their season, in cold zones or simply putting them inside due to a lack of outdoor space. Whatever the reason, most vegetables and herbs do well inside, as long as the gardener follows some standard growing guidelines.
Some of the most successful indoor vegetables and herbs include tomatoes, beans, cucumbers, peppers, basil, oregano and sage. Large plants like corn are not generally grown inside, due to space restrictions.
Pots and Planters
When you're growing vegetables and herbs indoors, it's important to pick the right growing foundations. Herbs generally do well in wide trays, while heavier vegetable plants need pots that hold at least 3 to 5 gallons of soil and balance the foliage. All pots should have drainage holes to keep the plants from sitting in standing water at any time.
Vegetables and herbs grow best in deep, loose, quick-draining foundations and fail in standing water or soupy soil conditions. Indoor plants should be potted with a quick-draining soil and organic compost to give them a nutritious foundation. Vining plants like tomatoes and cucumbers require support from stakes or cages, even indoors.
All vegetables, and most herbs, require full sun and consistent temperatures for successful growth. This is particularly important indoors, where plants should sit in sunny windows or under artificial lights to receive the right light exposure. Lack of light restricts growing, blooming and fruiting in vegetable plants. Growers should never put their plants near heating vents or fireplaces, which will dry the soil, foliage and fruit.
Water and Fertilizer
Vegetables and herbs that are isolated in pots don't receive an outdoor plant's natural nourishment from rain and runoff. Their soil is shallower, and will also dry out more quickly than the soil in the garden. Fruit and vegetable production depends on adequate nourishment and water, so it's important to increase care for potted plants with regular watering and feeding.