While most fruit and vegetable gardens produce their wares outdoors, some areas do not allow for such growing opportunities. Whether you simply don't have room for a garden, or your climate doesn't accommodate the fruit and vegetables you want to grow, an indoor terrarium may be the solution to your growing needs. Terrariums can be made of any clean container that can seal, including aquariums and plastic containers. Because they contain and recycle moisture, terrariums need very little care to produce healthy fruits and vegetables.
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Things you need
- Terrarium container
- Horticultural charcoal
- Potting soil
- Fruit or vegetable plants or seeds
Clean your clear glass or plastic container to be used as a terrarium. Wash the container in hot, soapy water, and rinse it thoroughly with hot water to remove any dirt, dust or other contaminants that could negatively affect the way the plants grow. Leave the container open to dry overnight.
Place a ½-inch layer of gravel in the bottom of your terrarium. This gravel layer will allow the soil to drain and will help to prevent rot and other water damage to the plants.
Place a ½-inch layer of activated charcoal or horticultural charcoal on top of the gravel to keep the soil fresh.
Fill the terrarium with potting soil that will drain well. If you cannot find a draining potting soil, mix one part vermiculite or peat to one part of your soil and fill the terrarium. The amount of soil needed will vary depending on the size of your terrarium and the fruits or vegetables you want to grow; consult seed packages or experts at a garden centre or nursery for proper spacing and soil depth of specific plants.
Plant your fruit and vegetable seeds or plants. Install plants so that the tops of the root balls are even with the top of the soil, or plant seeds to the depth recommended on seed packages. Firm the soil around each plant or seed to hold it in place. Leave enough space between plants for your fruit and vegetables to grow.
Water the terrarium with 88.7 to 118ml of water. The water level at the bottom of the terrarium should never exceed ¼-inch deep. Seal the terrarium and place it in a spot that receives indirect sunlight or mild artificial light for six hours a day.
Water every four to six months, if you notice plants beginning to dry out or the water level in the bottom of the terrarium disappearing. Do not fertilise or overwater, as the contained terrarium provides its own moisture and water. Remove plants if they get too big for the terrarium or are ready for harvest.
Tips and warnings
- You can use any clear container for a terrarium. You can also purchase containers designed as terrariums from garden centres and nurseries.
- The number of plants you can grow in your terrarium will vary depending on the size of your container.
- Arrange your plants so that taller plants are in the back of the terrarium, thus allowing you to see all the plants when you look in through the front.
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