The benefits of growing plants indoors are countless and delicious, and it’s easier to get started in indoor kitchen gardening than you might think. Follow the guide below to begin building your indoor plant, fruit and vegetable garden right in your home. You can follow the project step-by-step, or download the full PDF instructions here.
This large colander hanging basket is quick and easy to make and will provide a home for three to four tomato plants. You can also add an olla (ceramic jar) in the center, which gradually releases moisture to the thirsty tomato plants, saving you the time and effort of watering them every day.
non-toxic metal paint (optional)
bubble wrap or heavy-duty trash can liner
mixing bowl or similar vessel to fit into the colander
screwdriver or drill
3-4 bush tomato plants
water can fitted with a rose head
chains from a wire hanging basket
1. Paint or spray the outside of the colander with a non-toxic metal paint, if required, and allow to dry thoroughly. Line the colander with a plastic material, such as plastic wrap or a heavy-duty trash can liner, to make it watertight.
2. Buy or upcycle a plastic mixing bowl that will fit snugly inside the plastic-lined colander and poke several drainage holes in the bottom of it with a screwdriver, or use a drill. Set the bowl on top of the lined colander ready for planting.
3. Fill the bowl with the potting mix to about 1in (3cm) below the rim. Water your tomato plants and gently remove one plant from its pot. Make a hole in the potting mix and plant the tomato, ensuring its rootball is completely covered.
4. Firm the potting mix around the rootball. Repeat the process with the remaining tomato plants, leaving a space of at least 6in (15cm) between each central stem. Water gently with a watering can fitted with a rose head to settle the mix around the roots.
5. Fill the olla with water and half bury it in the center of the bowl. If hanging the colander, attach the chains by clipping them to some colander holes and hang from a sturdy hook fixed to the ceiling.
An olla will continually release moisture into the soil, but check the potting mix every few days – especially if you have planted three or four tomato plants – and if it feels dry, add more water directly onto the surface. If you do not have an olla, water your tomato plants every day or two, but ensure the potting mix never becomes waterlogged. Erratic or irregular watering can cause the tomato fruits to split.
If your potting mix does not contain added fertilizer, apply a balanced feed until the plants flower, after which apply a weekly dose of high-potash tomato fertilizer. Tomato plant flowers are self-pollinating and the fruits should set indoors, but by using a small fan to create a breeze or shaking the plants gently every two to three days, you will help to release the pollen that ensures the blooms will go on to produce tomatoes.
Grow herbs, vegetables, and flowers in your home that look amazing and taste even better with Indoor Edible Garden. Featuring 28 innovative step-by-step projects, Indoor Edible Garden is a highly visual guide full of practical tips and stylish ideas for how to create edible indoor gardens using whatever space you have available-from balconies and windowsills to countertops, walls, and even ceilings.