Growing vegetables indoors may seem strange for some gardeners, but this is an ideal way to have fresh produce throughout the year. Indoor vegetable gardens are perfect for those who live in apartments or condos, or just have limited space in a home garden and want to enjoy freshly grown produce. The key to growing vegetables indoors is choosing the easiest varieties so there is less maintenance and fewer problems.
Lettuce is one of the easiest and fastest vegetables to grow indoors. It is typically ready to harvest three to four weeks after planting, and continues to grow, producing every two weeks after. Leaf lettuces, such as green leaf, spinach, cress, arugula, Swiss chard and curly endive, grow best indoors. Head lettuce does not grow well indoors.
Another fast-growing vegetable for indoor gardening is the radish. Seedlings will appear less than one week after planting and reach maturity in less than a month. Radishes taste best when they grow rapidly and are harvested as soon as they mature, otherwise they become woody and "hot" tasting the longer they stay in the soil.
Sweet green bell peppers are a cousin to the hot pepper, yet these are sweet and grow well indoors, as they don't need a lot of care. Provide peppers with enough sun by placing in a south-facing window, water them a couple times weekly and stake if they grow too heavy with their fruit. Sweet peppers are usually ready to harvest about 70 to 90 days after planting and first turn green, then as they are left to ripen on the stem, turn red, then yellow, and finally orange.
Growing onions indoors is easiest when planting sets instead of starting from seed. Onions need little maintenance and do better if left alone except for providing light and occasional watering. About eight to 10 weeks after planting, the immature green onion can be picked and used in salads, otherwise the bulb onions will not be ready to harvest until the tops turn yellow and fall over.
Bushy varieties of green beans grow easily indoors because they are compact and do not normally need staking. Give them plenty of light by placing the beans in front of a south-facing window or putting them under a fluorescent light. Water beans weekly. Green beans are ready to harvest around 50 days after planting.
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