There are many reasons why one would want to take their gardening indoors. For starters, it can be a lot easier to germinate seedlings in the safety and moderate temperatures of a home. Gardeners can also keep a closer eye on their plants and tend to them frequently. An indoor greenhouse provides a clean way to effectively garden inside your house. It is an excellent alternative to bringing your dirty pots inside. When you think of a greenhouse, you probably imagine a giant structure taking up half your yard. Indoor greenhouses are much different, coming in small sizes to fit on a small area of the floor or even a table top.
Table Top Indoor Greenhouse
Small yet effective, table top greenhouses are a great way to start seedlings and get them ready for transplant into the garden. Just like a full sized greenhouse, humidity gathers underneath the cover, providing the heat and moisture necessary to keep greenhouse seeds alive. With the cover in place, the soil is kept moist at all times. The greenhouse should be kept near a window to receive proper sunlight. The indoor green house base typically has individual seed pockets in which soil is placed. One seed per pocket makes it easy to transplant the section into your garden. Peat pads can also be placed inside. Another helpful tip is to use a seedling warmer underneath the greenhouse (see picture). These mats are placed underneath the seed plot to keep the roots warm. Warmth is essential especially if your home gets cold at night. One of the best articles on this subject I have read can be found here.
The most basic indoor greenhouse is composed of a soil base container and a clear plastic top. However, there are models that have additional features that can help gardeners get the most out of their system.
The greenhouse pictured to the right has what is called an automatic watering system. The container underneath the greenhouse holds water which seeps up into the soil through fiberglass tubes. The fiberglass tubes regulate the amount of moisture in the soil, keeping the plants watered. Simply refill the water container whenever it gets low. Gardeners who go on trips or are very busy can appreciate this low maintenance feature.
Greenhouse Gardening Light
When growing plants indoors, it can be difficult to give plants the sunlight they need, especially if you live in an area with frequent overcast. A greenhouse grow light can be placed over your plants to give them full, lush light even in a room without windows such as a garage or basement. These lights are very efficient, providing a wide range of light frequencies needed for healthy growth of any kind of gardening plants, including veggies, fruits,flowers and herbs. Their power is rated in lumens, the standard output rating for these lights. I do not recommend using a greenhouse hater with these units for fear of melting the plastic or burning the plants.
Enhanced Soil / Compost
Advanced gardeners frequently employ a composting tumbler to create nutrient rich soil for their greenhouse gardening.
When and if you are ready to upgrade to a full-sized growing environment, try using a compact lean to greenhouse.
A wooden greenhouse is the most beautiful of the full-sized models.