If you want to extend your growing season or start seeds indoors you need an indoor vegetable garden. Learn how simple it is to make your own indoor garden with a few supplies. You’ll have your own budget-friendly indoor vegetable growing system in no time.
I live in the beautiful pacific northwest. Our summers are absolutely perfect however our fall, winter, and spring bring a lot of unstable weather. We wanted to grow more food year round so why not have an indoor garden.
I looked online for an indoor growing system and boy oh boy are they expensive! I knew I could do better so I upcycled a few bookshelves purchased some growing lights and created my own indoor vegetable growing system for under $100!
Indoor vegetable garden
There are so many plants and vegetables to choose from when planting your own indoor garden. You’ll want to first determine how you’ll be using your indoor garden.
I wanted my indoor garden to do a few things for me:
- Start seeds before transplanting
- Grow herbs indoors
- Have a tea garden
- Extend the growing season
In order to do all of that I needed enough space, growing lights, and different growing pots. We will be transistioning as the seasons change to get what we need.
For now we are planting herbs, tea, and early spring vegetables in this indoor vegetable garden.
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Supplies you’ll need
To make your own budget-friendly indoor vegetable garden system you’ll need a few supplies. Here are the supplies I used to transform these old bookcases into an indoor vegetable growing system:
- bookcase or shelves (I used the ones we had in our garage)
- paint (I used some leftover paint from my daughter’s room remodel)
- poster board (used a 10 pack from Target)
- peel and stick wallpaper (1 roll from Target)
- growing lights
- seed starter tray
- watering can
- drill with 1″ attachment
Indoor Vegetable Garden Video Tutorial
How to make an indoor vegetable growing system
Step 1 Paint
Before I got started I did clean the bookcase making sure to remove dust, dirt, and anything else that might prevent a smooth painting surface.
I then painted these bookshelves with 2 coats of paint-primer-in-one with a 3rd coat touch up. It didn’t need 3 full coats just a little touch up here and there.
I only painted the sides and shelves. Leaving the back for some peel and stick wallpaper.
Step 2 Apply wallpaper
I wanted a focal point and to glam up these shelves so I decided to add some peel and stick wallpaper to the back. The back panel was damaged so I used some poster board to attach the wallpaper to and then placed that in the back.
The poster board fit snug enough that I didn’t have to attach it with anything. You can secure it using hot glue if you need to.
Step 3 install growing lights
The next step is to install the growing lights. The system that I purchased came with zip ties, clamps, and double sided tape to choose from.
I ended up using the double sided tape to attach the lights to the top of each shelf and it worked great!
Finally I drilled a few holes to thread the wires through the shelves. I also drilled a hole in the back of one cabinet next to the outlet. Used a power strip and plugged in the growing lights.
Plant your seeds
Now that your indoor vegetable growing system is complete it’s time to plant your seeds!
Supplies you’ll need:
- Growing tray
- Vegetable starts soil mix
- Seeds of your choice (I share everything I planted below)
- Tea garden (optional)
- Watering can
Since it’s still winter I wanted to plant early spring vegetables those are:
- Peas (3 varieties)
- Brussels Sprouts
In our indoor vegetable garden I also planted an herb garden and a tea garden. Those include:
- Lemon Balm
These will be plants that I grow year round so I placed them in pots instead of growing trays.
Steps to plant your seeds indoors
To plant your indoor vegetable garden you’ll want to follow these simple steps:
Step 1: moisten the soil
Fill your tray with soil. If your soil is extremely dry make sure you moisten the soil. To do that add a bit of water and stir the soil. Repeat this process until you have moistened soil.
Step 2: 1 or 2 seeds per pod
Add your desired seed to each pod. Add 1 or 2 seeds per pod. I only add 1 seed if I’m planting peas or beans since they are large and germinate quickly.
Step 3: cover seeds
Cover the seeds with some soil.
Step 4: water
Add some water over the top. Don’t over water, just make sure that the seeds get enough to moisten.
Step 5 and beyond lighting
To make sure your seeds germinate make sure you give your seeds about 6 hours of lighting a day. Continue with making sure that the soil stays moist at all times. Seeds need water and light to survive and don’t do well dried out.
Will you need to fertilize your indoor vegetable garden? If you are using new soil for your seed you won’t need to immediately. I do recommend giving a little bit of food in 2-3 weeks. You can mix it with water when you give your plants a watering.
Transplanting your starts will determine a lot on the climate you live in, the vegetable you are growing, and the time of the year.
Please refer to your seed packet or check out the gardening almanac for a full list. You can add your zip code and it will give you a detailed guide.
With a little creativity you can make your own indoor vegetable garden so you can grow more of your own food.