With the reduction in price of LED grow lights, the dream of cultivating an indoor garden has become a reality for many urban dwellers who don’t have the outdoor space for a traditional garden. While they were once an expensive commodity, LED grow lights have become far more affordable in recent years, allowing you to bring the sunshine indoors whether you live in a house, an apartment, or something in between.
There are a number of reasons you may wish to have an indoor garden. Maybe you’re lacking outdoor space, or the climate in which you live isn’t conducive to having a conventional garden outside. You might enjoy the thrill of gardening all year long, or you could be looking to save a few bucks at the grocery store by growing your own fresh greens. Perhaps it’s some combination of these reasons, or another reason entirely. Whatever your reason is, indoor gardening has a wide range of benefits.
1. Improves Air Quality
Like they do in the great outdoors, plants act as natural air filters that drastically improve the quality of the air around them. Here’s how it works: as your indoor garden grows and matures, the plants gobble up a steady diet of light energy and carbon dioxide to use as fuel for their growth, and in return they produce the oxygen that allows us to breathe. As you may recall from your high school science class, this chemical process is known as photosynthesis.
However, recent scientific studies indicate that plants are also capable of absorbing a variety of harmful gases and toxins from their surroundingsthrough the pores on their leaves and roots, reducing pollution in the air, soil, and water around them. This process is known as phytoremediation, and researchers have discovered that plants and the microorganisms that live in their soil are adept at mitigating many of the common volatile organic compounds that plague indoor air quality. The lengthy list includes benzene and formaldehyde, the irritants spread by cigarette smoke, fabric softener, pesticides, carpet cleaner, plastics, fabrics, cosmetics, and dish detergent, just to name a few.
By filtering the air in your home, an indoor garden ensures an oxygen-rich atmosphere that will result in improved health for you, your family, and your pets. Eliminating these nasty pollutants from your indoor air lowers the risk that you and your loved ones will suffer from chronic headaches, eye irritation, and respiratory ailments like asthma and allergies.
2. Brightens Your Mood
Not only can the presence of an indoor garden boost your physical health, it can also vastly enhance your mental well-being. Environmental psychology research suggests that people who form a connection with their plants are more compassionate and empathetic because they have learned how to respond and attend to the needs of their garden. For many indoor gardeners, nurturing another living organism can add extra meaning to their lives and increase their productivity in other aspects of life. In this way, tending to an indoor garden is like owning a pet without the responsibility of taking it outside several times a day.
3. Saves You Money
Although you have to spend money initially on grow lights and other equipment, a serious indoor garden can help you save money in the long run by allowing you to grow herbs, vegetables, and fruits for you and your family to enjoy. Instead of overpaying for these essentials at the grocery store and then struggling to keep them fresh, you can produce your own delightful crops in the comfort of your own home. In addition to the money you will save and the pride you will feel, you can rest easy knowing that the greens you grow aren’t contaminated by the pesticides and preservatives that often accompany store-bought produce.
4. Increases Your Knowledge
Since different plants require different amounts of light and nutrients, there is a bit of a learning curve involved in taking your indoor garden to the next level. Once you get going, you will become an expert gardener if you put the time and effort into learning as much as you can about the plants you’re growing. Teaching others the tips and techniques you have discovered can be a very rewarding experience, especially if you have children who can join in, turning your indoor garden into a fun and educational project for the whole family.
There are countless other benefits to cultivating an indoor garden, so grab some grow lights and a few seeds and get growing!