Indoor Garden: Soil and Moisture Considerations for Apartment Dwellers

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Managing garden soil in an indoor garden is tricky, and there’s more to it than just dumping potted soil in containers and hoping for the best. Some things in the soil and some conditions in your apartment are beneficial and will encourage growth. Other things can lead to plant damage. There are key soil and moisture considerations that you need to keep in mind when gardening in your apartment:

Soil Temperatures

In order for seeds to germinate, they require more heat than the average temperature of an apartment. Seeds should not be planted unless it is warm enough. Some plants that are hardy to cold weather will be fine at soil temperatures under 70 degrees Fahrenheit, but some need more. Sunlight gives soil and seedlings heat as well as light, so be sure to put it in a sunny area to keep the soil warm. If you need to use artificial grow lights to help you achieve and maintain desired temperatures, consider LED grow lights.

Watering the Plants

You don’t want allow your soil to get too dry, because your seeds, seedlings and plants won’t do well. However, it’s not good to have your soil too wet either. Over watering can destroy a plant more than under-watering. You just have to check your plant several times a day until you start to know when the soil gets too dry. It may be hard to tell whether the soil is too dry, so there is a little guideline that beginners can go by. If your garden soil dries an inch or two down, water about one inch. Another method is to water until the water drains at the bottom.

Eggshells in Your Soil

Adding crushed eggshell to your soil can do it a lot of good. Eggshells will encourage adequate drainage in the soil. If you’re using garden soil from neighbors or from the property and it’s too acidic, add some crushed eggshells. Some garden experts say that it will make your soil more alkaline. Eggshells are also a good source of calcium. Calcium is very good to have in your soil. It will help your plants grow. Try to use eggshells from chickens that were not raised on hormones or medicated. Those things remain with the eggs, which will stay in your soil and seep into your plants.

Teabag Compost

Compost makes your soil denser with nutrients and it will boost any plant’s growth. You can buy commercial compost or make your own. It’s not hard to make your own compost. Get weeds, fruit and veggie kitchen scraps, and grass. You can add things like peanuts, used coffee grounds and grass clippings as well. Put them all in a burlap sack or an old pillowcase. Take a garbage can and fill it with water. Add the sack to the garbage can full of water. Let it sit in the water for about three days. Then, take the sack out of the garbage can, scoop some out of it and mix it gently into the soil. The compost will improve your soil and act as a fertilizer.

The quality of your garden soil has a direct correlation to how well your plants will grow. Improving your soil with these simple guidelines will help your plants grow well.

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