Growing your own vegetables can be easier than you think. It can save you money as well as improve your home’s air quality. Beginning your indoor garden can be a great project for kids and families, or a rewarding hobby for the single city dweller.

Broccoli, cauliflower, eggplant, peas, cabbage, tomatoes and onions are great choices to start indoors in the beginning months of the year for Philadelphia’s climate. There are many other suitable seeds that will thrive indoors, so choose the vegetables that best suit your taste. If your space is limited, you can still grow a variety of fresh veggies in pots with the proper care.

Containers with proper drainage, soil, seeds or seedlings, fertilizer and a sunny space in your home are what you’ll need to get started. Label each of your containers when initially planting to avoid confusion when trying to identify each plant.

For vegetables, almost any all-purpose potting soil will work just fine. Once you have your containers, which can be anything from a milk carton to a decorative pot or trays, filled and watered, plant the seeds as indicated on the packaging. Be sure to carefully read the individual instructions and keep them for future reference. When initially planting, barely cover them with soil, as they are more likely to germinate and begin growing if they are just under the soil surface.

Once planted, lightly spray with a fine mister to avoid drowning them. It is suggested to place each container in a zip lock type bag or cover with plastic to create a greenhouse effect and retain the warmth your little seedlings need to thrive for the first few weeks. You may add fertilizer based on the instructions for the type you purchase. Many of the garden retailers will be able to assist you in choosing which is best for the type of veggies you are growing.

Sunshine is vital for their germination, so be sure to place them in an area where they can receive the most direct sunlight your home has to offer.

Once you have established vegetable seedlings between 2-3 inches tall, you can remove the plastic and let them enjoy the fresh air. If the danger of frost has passed, you can repot them or place them outside on a deck or patio to continue to flourish. Within a few months, your hard work will begin to pay off and you will enjoy the vegetables of your labor.

There are several knowledgeable and reasonably priced retailers throughout Philadelphia for you to choose from.

City Planter
814 N. 4th St
Philadelphia, PA 19123
(215) 627-6169

Urban Jungle
1526-30E Passyunk Ave
Philadelphia, PA 19147
(215) 952-0811

Secret Garden
7631 Ridge Ave
Philadelphia, PA 19128
(215) 483-5009

Laurel Hill Gardens
8125 Germantown Ave
Philadelphia, PA 19118
(215) 247-9490

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