Angie’s List: Growing plants indoors for outdoor success

MACON, Georgia (41NBC/WMGT) – Giving your plants a head start indoors can make a big difference when you move them outside for the growing season.

If you can’t wait to plant a summer’s worth of tasty and nutritious vegetables, maybe you don’t have to. With the right equipment and attention, you can maintain a successful indoor grow room.

“If you’re looking to get your garden started early and doing it from inside your home, all you need to do is invest in some timers and lighting, and it doesn’t have to be that expensive,” Angie’s List founder Angie Hicks says.

Good lighting is critical. In her basement growing space, master gardener Sue Arnold uses inexpensive fluorescent lights in the warm and cool range available at big box stores.

“They need to be 12 hours a day. People think, ‘Well in my garden eight hours of sun is enough for a tomato,’ but indoors you need 12 hours a day. And you need a timer, that’s very important,” Arnold says.

Like Arnold, Derik Strenzel created his growing system for very little money by using re-purposed materials. He spends about 30 minutes a day tending to 300 varieties of vegetables, and chills out even longer.

“We spend three or four hours a day in this room just hanging out, relaxing,” he says. “All of the animals naturally come in here, all of the time. If we’re home and they want to hang out somewhere that’s not around us, I guarantee you they’re in here.”

When the time comes to transplant outdoors, do it slowly.

“Plants need to be introduced not only to the light, but to the wind, some gentle breezes would be nice. So put them in the shade for a while, deep shade, light shade, then increase the sun,” Arnold says.

Angie says online is a great place to buy seeds. Variety packs of 25 different veggies start as low as $5.

Categories: Angies List, Local News

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