There are many differences when it comes to growing vegetables either outdoors or indoors. Soil type and preparation, watering practice, light control, disease and pest control differ between the two environments. Be sure to learn about the pros and cons of each before deciding to plant your garden.
For instance, preparing and maintaining the soil for outdoor vegetable gardening can be an arduous task. Nutrient levels in the soil can be exhausted from yearly planting of the same crops. Fertilizers get leached away. Soil disease is more difficult to control. Breaking up clay or changing pH in a large area can be difficult. However, on the flip side you don’t have to prepare and change out multiple containers as you would with indoor planting.
Indoor soil preparation requires less fertilizer, but can be harder to control. The soil has to be prepared carefully to maintain the right balance between drainage and moisture retention. It is much easier to retain the right level of moisture in outdoor gardens.
It is more difficult to create an automatic watering system for indoor gardens. A simple drip irrigation system is easy to install for outdoor gardens. An automatic sprinkler system for indoors can be more expensive and messy. However, if you only have a few indoor gardening containers, watering by hand will get the job done.
Outdoor gardens usually have no problem receiving adequate sunlight. Outdoor gardens usually enjoy five or more hours of sunlight during the day. It can be more of challenge to find five or more hours of sunlight for indoor plants unless you want to keep moving them around to from window to window throughout the day, which is not realistic.
However finding shade for indoor plants is not a problem. On those hot days, you can simply close the window blinds to protect indoor plants. Also putting plants near a glass window provides a sort of greenhouse effect and promotes growth.
Diseases and pests can be a problem in either environment. But fighting them outdoors is decidedly harder. It requires constant vigilance and generally more chemical assistance. Fungi are more likely from moisture on the leaves during the night. Insects have easier access to lay eggs that become larvae.
Chemical controls, organic substances, and trap crops are not always the most pleasant controls. Most insecticides have harsh odors and even plant-based oils can be overpowering and more expensive than other types of chemical controls.
In the end, each grower will have to weigh the pros and cons for his or her particular situation. Either form of vegetable gardening requires effort, but both bring great rewards when done well. There’s nothing quite like fresh vegetables for good taste and great health.