Author Archives: Cristina

What You Need To Garden Indoors

The things you need for gardening indoors are exactly the same as the things you need when you grow plants outdoors. That is because the plants are the same and they have the same needs. This should be obvious.

And what do plants need to grow?

Plants growing in indoor garden

They need energy. And they get that energy from water and from light and from nutrients. This means that the two most important things plants need to grow well is a good supply of water and a good supply of light. They also need other things, but let’s talk about these two first and the things you’ll need to provide your plants with the proper light and nutrition.


Outdoors plants get much of their water from the rain and from the groundwater, but this is often not enough. That is why many people will install sprinkler systems. They provide additional water to the plants for times when they are not getting enough.

When you grow indoors you no longer get any water from nature, so you have to supply all of it. You could use sprinkler systems indoors, but that doesn’t really make a lot of sense.

For that reason most people will water the plants manually, or they will use an automatic drip system, or they will grow hydroponically. Those are the most common ways to get water to your plants when you are growing indoors. Obviously hydroponic growing has been linked to the cannabis industry, but it is also the method used for many fruits and vegetables.


Outdoors plants get their light from the sun. If you are in an area where there is not a lot of sunlight, plants simply don’t grow very well. When you grow indoors, you control the light they get.

This means you can make sure that your plans always get sufficient light. The way to supply that light is through grow lights. LED grow lights are probably the most popular these days, but in the past HPS and MH grow lights were used extensively as well. Fluorescent lights are also fairly common, but they are only good for small gardens. This and they don’t have the power to grow a large amount of plants.


Indoor plants in pots by windowsillI will list soil as a requirement for plans, but it does not need to be soil. As mentioned above, they can grow hydroponically or in some other grow medium. That medium does not need to be soil.

The most important thing are the nutrients in the soil or in the grow medium. When plants grow outdoors, the soil gets nutrients from nature. Indoors, you need to supply them. Generally this is done by adding nutrients to the water which is then used to water the soil.

If you’re growing hydroponically, the water that circulates has nutrients added to it. In other words, soil is used as a medium to provide nutrients to the roots of the plants.


Pots exist to hold the soil for the plants. You don’t need pots if you have some other container, but you need to put the soil in something, so that the plants can stay in the soil.


When you are growing indoors, the air could become too rich in oxygen and not have enough carbon dioxide for your plants. For that reason, you need to make sure to ventilate the grow space.

You also need to regulate the temperature. Plants need a certain temperature range within which they grow well. It gets too hot or too cold, the plants will suffer and eventually die. For this reason it is important to control the temperature and give them the temperature they need.

The same goes for humidity. Plants also need a certain humidity, which differs from one plant to another. Make sure you are giving your plans to exact immunity they need, in order to ensure optimal growth.


Those are the basic requirements for growing indoors. If you have your own indoor garden, make sure you supply these things to your plants at the very least. If you do that, your garden should be a success.

Fountains Complete Any Garden

Whether you have a garden indoors or outdoors, there is one thing that will tie it all together better than anything else.

Can you guess what it is?


an outdoor fountainThat’s right, if you have an indoor garden growing under LED grow lights or an outdoor garden growing under natural sunlight, plants need water. That much is obvious. But that’s not what we are talking about here. Water is also good for the soul. The sound of flowing water calms us like few other things can.

I’m sure you’ve heard those sounds of nature tapes that help people sleep or meditate or just relax. The majority of them involve flowing water in some form or another. For example, the noises from waves breaking on the beach or a waterfall or rain falling in the woods. Running water just does something to us that really relaxes us.

But how do you get running water into your life, unless you don’t live via beach or near a waterfall or a bubbling brook.

The answer is a fountain.

That’s right, just like people did hundreds, even thousands of years ago, fountains can bring water into your life. The ancients knew this and build fountains all over the place. But these were the rich people. The commoners never had fountains. Today that is different.

large indoor fountainNow, we can all have fountains. You can buy all kinds of great fountains online these days. You can find indoor waterfalls or tabletop fountains or anything in between. The waterfalls are the best, but they are also large and expensive. The tabletop fountains are compact and much cheaper, but the sound of water is not as great with them.

For your outdoor garden, you can install like a nice large stone fountain or something much smaller. The main thing is that you have the sound of running water. Of course, outdoors you want a bigger fountain because it will be harder to hear the water, especially if you’re trying to listen to it from inside.

Head to that site we inked to above and check out some of their selection of fountains. They are fairly easy to install, much easier than your average sprinkler system. And if you’re on this site, chances are you’ve already installed a sprinkler system in your yard and you may have even installed a hydroponic system and a full indoor garden with grow lights. If you’ve done all of that, installing a home fountain is easy.

All you need to do is perhaps connect your fountain to a water outlet or hose, but many of them don’t even need that. With many of them, you just need to fill them with water and they keep on using the same water. These are the easiest types. The other types need to be hooked up to a water line but that is not hard to do either. All of them come with instructions and you will be able to do it easily yourself. If you can’t, you could always just hire someone to do it for you. Any plumber can take care of it for you with no problem.

If you’ve always wanted a nice place to relax in your home or in your yard, the fountain will make that place better and more relaxing. Trust me on this. Get yourself an indoor or an outdoor fountain and install it in your yard or your home. Listening to this fountain while you sleep or while you relax or while you meditate will improve your garden and change your life completely. Fountains are wonderful and you should definitely get one.

Saving Sprinklers In The Winter And Moving Garden Indoors

sprinkler systemWinter is a time of wonder. The world turns white the air turns cold and the indoors turn warm. I’ve always loved winter. I just love sitting in my warm home and looking out at the cold world while sipping on a hot tea. It doesn’t matter what type of tea, I love them all.

But for our garden and our plants, winter is not always great. The cold weather harms our plants and they either don’t grow at all or they die. For that reason, we need to move our plants indoors during the winter. And since there isn’t as much light in the winter, natural light I mean, we generally have to supplement the lighting. When the plants are indoors, we hit them with some fluorescent light or with some LED grow lights. This makes sure they have enough light even on the darkest of winter days.

Another issue with the garden is the sprinkler system. In the winter, your sprinkler system can freeze, causing irreparable damage to the pipes. For this reason, it is a good idea to run warm water through the pipes during the winter. This keeps them from freezing and then bursting as a result.

There are a few other things you can do to protect your sprinkler system in the winter as well. You can find a lot of information on protecting your sprinkler system from cold weather here. Read up on it and take measures to prevent any damage.

If you have a fountain in your yard, you need to take special care of it in the winter as well. If it is small and you have a suitable space to move it indoors, do that. If the fountain is large, drain all the water from it and let it dry completely (so that nothing is left that can freeze) and then cover it up for the winter.

As for moving your plants indoors, there are a few things you need to look out for. If they are outdoor plants that are growing naturally, you don’t need to worry about any of this. But if they are plants that are in planters or pots, you need to move them inside most likely.

The easiest thing is to just move the whole pot or planter, with the plant inside it, indoors. If you have a greenhouse or room with a lot of natural light, that is ideal. If not, it is fine, but you will need to buy more grow lights in order to give the plants sufficient lighting.

Naturally, you also want to take care of the rest of their environment. You need to make sure they have plenty of water and plenty of nutrients and you also want to make sure the air has plenty of humidity. CO2 levels are important as well. If they are off by too much, it will hurt your plants.

Indoor growing is a bit more work, but on the other hand, you control everything. Since you control the complete environment, you can ensure that your plants get the absolute ideal growing environment. This actually benefits them greatly, as they grow better, faster and stronger than they would outdoors.

This is the reason many people garden indoors even when they don’t have to. They do it even when they live in a warm climate or during the summer months. It also means you don’t have to install an expensive sprinkler system. In fact, you can just go with a hydroponic system and solve that problem altogether.

Are LED Grow Lights Worth The Extra Cost?

It seems many of our readers live in colder climates, because we get a ton of questions about growing indoors. Now obviously many of those questions concern installing sprinkler systems inside a greenhouse or using a completely different water delivery system altogether, like hydroponics or aquaponics. But we also get a lot of questions about indoor grow lights and most of those questions concern LED lights.

Everyone knows they cost more than traditional lighting. As you can see on this page, LED grow lights can be very expensive. The question is: is this higher expense justified by better performance? The truth is: it isn’t so easy to answer.

There are a lot of very bad LED manufacturers who churn out cheap light fixtures that might be okay if you’re only vegging, but if you want to flower plants, they simply won’t perform. You find these lights on Amazon and on eBay and, of course, on various Chinese websites.

red led diode for grow lightThey use cheap LED diodes, not the quality ones made by Cree or Osram and, although the companies often promise money-back guarantees and warranties, they rarely honor them. If you try to get your money back, you end up on the phone with some guy in China who doesn’t speak a single word of English and in the end you give up. Luckily, these lights are quite cheap, so you don’t really spend too much and lose too much. One of these lights can cost less than $100.

You are most likely thinking: of course you’re not going to get a good light for under 100 dollars. That’s true, but you’d be surprised at how many people risk a purchase like that in the hopes of saving a lot of money. The only thing that surprises me is that they are then surprised when they get a bad light that doesn’t work. And then they get angry at the company, as they should, I suppose, but really, it is completely their own fault. Why did they buy this light in the first place?

So let’s assume you’re smarter than that and you know that you’re going to have to pay over $1000 for a quality high-performance and high powered LED plant light. We’re talking lights by companies like Black Dog or NextLight or Cirrus LED Systems. Some people would include Kind LED, and they do make good lights, but I wouldn’t include them in the top tier anymore. The same goes for Lush LED and Advanced LED Lighting.

So, to answer the question: yes, these lights are worth the expense. They will save you a lot of money in power costs and in heating costs. The top tier lights also outperform their high-pressure sodium and metal halide counterparts. They give you a lot more output for a lot less input.

led plant grow light

They also have a spectrum perfectly tailored for plants, which is why they use so little power. It is also why the resulting fruits and buds are higher quality than they are with HPS. Whatever you may be growing, you will get better results with a quality LED light than with traditional lighting systems.

And if you are growing in a greenhouse, you get the benefit of sunlight and then also the LED light on top of that. Is is a great supplement for sunlight and it also works on its own on days when there is no sunlight. As a side note, LED lighting is also a great way to light up a fountain, if you have one or are planning on getting one.

So, if you have the money for an LED grow light and you’ve been wondering if it’s worth it to spend that money, now you know. It is definitely worth it. Your plants will thank you and your garden will thank you. Plus, the light is really colorful. You could have your own little disco party underneath them! Just get some decks, read up on how to DJ and start spinning some record beneath the colored lights!

Your wallet will also thank you. Not only will you spend less money, you might actually make more money when you sell whatever you are growing, if you sell it. Even if it’s only for your own personal use, you will enjoy the much higher quality. And of course the lower power bill. And I didn’t even mention how much easier it is to grow with indoor LED lights than with HPS or MH lights, but we can talk about that in another article.

How To Set Up A Lawn Sprinkler System

Setting up a lawn sprinkler system is not easy. It takes a lot of work and also costs quite a bit of money. Personally, I would recommend hiring a professional sprinkler system installer to take care of it for you. It will cost a bit more, but will save you a lot of hassle. And if you don’t know what you’re doing, there’s a good chance you might screw something up and that would end up costing you a lot more money.

lawn sprinkler system

If you do decide to install your own lawn sprinkler system, I will try to help you as best I can. I wll list the steps and give you a short description of each. Hopefully this will help you get your sprinkler system up and running.

Plan out your sprinkler system

Before you begin installing anything, you need to have a complete plan for your sprinkler system. The first step is to contact your utility company and figure out where all existing cables are buried in your yard. You want to make sure you don’t hit any of them when you start digging.

You also need to know the exact size of the yard, so go ahead and measure that out. Then you need to figure out the water pressure and the range of each individual sprinkler head. You need to know exactly how much area they cover. When you install the sprinklers, you want to make sure that the water from one head reaches the next one in each direction. This ensures that there are no dry spots in your yard.

Next, make a diagram of your yard on paper and add in all the locations of the sprinkler heads, including the type of head. Once you have your diagram, mark your yard with some yard paint or some little flags. Put one in the location of each sprinkler head.


Get access to water

The easiest way to get access to water is to tap into your existing main water line. You can also connect to an existing spigot, but it is more professional to connect to the mainline. Either of those two methods do require an anti-siphon valve. This prevents various lawn chemicals and fertilizers and plain brackish water from entering your sprinkler system.

Dig your trench

Next you want to dig a trench that will be about 6 to 8 inches deep. First, remove the sod and place it to one side. This makes it much easier to replace later. If you have access to a vibratory plow, this will make the job much easier. These are also sometimes known as a trenching device.

Install the valve manifold

You need to get the whole valve manifold box into the ground, so you need to dig a hole that is slightly larger than the box itself. One end of this needs to be attached to the main water line. Make sure to tighten all clamps securely, so no water leaks.

Lay the PVC piping

You want to use three-quarter inch PVC pipes for this. Attach the piping to the open end of the valve manifold. Then lay pipe all along the trench you dug previously. Anywhere where the pipe branches off from the main trench, used “t” connectors. Attach them to the line using 90° connectors.

Install the sprinkler heads

lawn sprinkler headBefore you install the sprinkler heads, run water through the line to make sure there is no debris. You also want to make sure all sprinkler heads are level with the soil.

Once you got them installed, fill-in all the dirt round the sprinklers and all of the trenches you dug. Replace the sod. Hopefully you won;t even be able to tell that you dug up your yard.

Install the controller

The sprinkler system controller includes a timer that will regulate when the sprinklers turn on and for how long they stay on. Controllers differ a lot among manufacturers, so follow the manufacturer instructions carefully when installing yours. The final connection you make should be to the main water line. Once everything is set up, test your system completely and make sure all the sprinkler heads are even.

As you can see, the work is not overly difficult, but it involves a lot of time. There’s a lot of digging and a lot of work laying all the piping and connecting everything. If you have children, this could be a good project to do together. It could be a learning experience for them and a fun thing to do with your family. You also need to make plans to protect everything during the winter freeze.

If you are busy, however, I definitely suggest you hire a professional. It will cost you more money, but the time savings more than make up for that. If you want to avoid the time and work, maybe just move your entire garden indoors.

For more detailed instructions, check out Lowe’s Hardware.

Tips For Setting Up An Indoor Garden

If you live in a cold climate where you can only grow most plants for certain months of the year, you have probably considered gardening indoors. We get a ton of questions about this and figured it’s time to write up a quick post on it.

indoor garden with grow lights and sunlight

In general, gardening indoors is not that much different from gardening outdoors. In many ways, it’s actually easier. But there are some key differences and some things you need to be aware of. We will cover them all in this post.


Water for Your Indoor Garden

When you grow outdoors, your plants get rained on. In some cases, this is enough water for them. In many others, you need to give them some more water, using a lawn sprinkler system or just watering them by hand.

When you grow indoors, the plants get no natural water whatsoever. Every drop of water they need, you will have to provide them. For this reason it’s a good idea to set up a watering schedule At a certain time every day or every two days, you need to go give them the water they want.

If you have a larger operation, you could even set up a little irrigation system that runs on a timer. This is what many commercial greenhouses do. This way you’ll never have to think about watering your plants. Everything just happens automatically.

Another great thing to add is a fountain. Fountains are just as wonderful for indoor gardens as they are for outdoor gardens. This post talks all about adding a fountain to your garden.


Lighting for an Indoor Garden

plant growing indoorsAgain, when you grow outdoors, your plants enjoy the natural sunlight. They get the cycle of light that they need. It is bright for a certain number of hours per day and it is dark for a certain number of hours per day.

When you move your operation indoors, you control all of that. First of all, you have to provide them the right kind of light. The only way to do this is to use artificial grow lights. There are a number of different kinds of grow lights and getting into too much detail here is beyond the scope of this article, so I will just list a few of them. For much more information on grow lights, check out

The most expensive options are LED grow lights. These cost a lot to buy, but once you have them, they are cheaper to operate. They use less power and produce less heat than other horticultural lighting systems.

Another type of grow light are HID grow lights. These are comprised of high-pressure sodium and metal halide bulbs. The HPS bulbs have a more reddish spectrum in the MH bulbs have a more bluish spectrum. This means that MH bulbs are great for the vegging stage of plant growth and HPS bulbs are great for flowering and blooming. These lights work well and they are cheaper than a good LED fixture, but they cost much more to operate. They consume a lot of power and they produce a lot of heat.

For smaller operations, florescent grow lights will often suffice. They are not as powerful as the other two types, but they also cost less. And they generally produce less heat and use less power than an HID system, although that is in part due to them being weaker. If you compare the two lighting types them watt for watt, then fluorescent lights actually use more power and produce more heat.

Apart from these three main types, there are others like plasma grow lights and induction grow lights, etc. Like I said, we won’t worry too much about that here. Read Grow Light Info for more. Suffice it to say, you just need to choose one of these types of lights.

The big key when lighting your indoor garden is that you need to provide the correct light cycle. The lights need to be on for the exact same amount of time that they would be on out in nature. This way your plants know their schedule.

When it is time for the plants to move from the vegging stage the flowering stage you need to alter the length of the artificial daylight, so they know that it is time. In this way, you control the plants’ life cycle through your lighting schedule. This allows you to grow at any time of the year.

The plants are not relying on the sunlight to tell them what time of year it is. You are telling them what time of year it is. You can trick them and get them to to bloom several times a year. This is one of the big advantages of indoor growing. You no longer have to worry about seasonal gardening.

There are other differences between indoor and outdoor gardening, but lighting and water are the two main ones. We will cover the others in a later article, but for now this should be enough to get you started on moving your garden indoors.

Top 8 Tips and Projects for Spring Gardening

Gardening is always an interesting and exciting thing to do. It can be really relaxing, you feel close and connected to nature. Early spring is probably the exact time when the winter work is over and all the gardening work suddenly activates and you have to do much more than before and be your own professional manager. But what exactly is to be done and how not to get lost in the ocean of tasks and errands?

Your Spring Garden Guide

  1. Take care of fruit trees.
    If you have any apple, peach, cherry or pear trees in your garden a great idea would be to start your spring season with thinning them. Those trees like that and it makes it so much easier for you to harvest them later.
  2. Clean out the garden.
    That’s really important. After winter we have lots of mess in the garden, plenty of debris, annoying weeds with roots that are hard to get rid of. So it’s just the right time to dig your planting tools from the cellar, sharpen them if needed and get to work. Nothing can really be done before you start cleaning up the garden.
  3. Clean the greenhouse.
    Don’t forget about this one too. The greenhouse needs to be clean, ventilated, all the pots and other items need to be washed and dry and ready to go. It would be a good idea to use some kind of garden disinfectant and wash the greenhouse thoroughly inside to make sure no pests and disease survives to damage your seeds and plants.
  4. Don’t forget about the compost.
    You’ll have to prepare the compost area since it will be needed soon. Or maybe you have one, but check the fencing and make sure it’s all done and is in good condition.
  5. Trim the plants.
    Take care of your older plants before you start planting new ones. Many of them need to be pruned but make sure it’s not going to get cold again, so check the temperature. Summer plants are usually trimmed in the early spring, while the blooming plants are only trimmed after they bloom, so don’t miss anything.
  6. Help your soil.
    It’s tired after a long winter season, so make sure you revitalize it and use organic materials for that one.
  7. Old and new mulch.
    If you put some mulch for the winter, don’t forget to clean it and if needed – put some new one.
  8. Start planting.
    When you are all done and ready – take you seeds and get to planting. This is probably one of the most exciting moments of gardening. Make sure you plant some perennials since those are a better investment.

What’s Your Next Task?

Gardening is never over, to say the truth. Once you are done with early spring cleaning and planting, it’s time to think of new flowerbeds, maybe plant some more annuals, remove bulbs, etc.

Don’t be lazy and prepare yourself for the upcoming season. Right now, while it’s still not the time for cleaning up, you could consider ordering some seeds for future planting. Choosing some summer-flowing bulbs would be a good thing to do on a cold windy winter day, that would also help you to tune yourself into garden work and motivate you.

Top 7 Easiest Garden Recycling Tips

Most of people who do gardening and take it seriously know a thing or two about hoarding, and you can see how many different things tend to be all over the place, saved “for later, if ever needed”. This “ever” never really comes, but the stuff usually never makes it to the garbage. What if all of that can still be used for the good: to improve your indoor garden or outdoor garden and help your savings, and also to help the nature and to recycle? Let’s look at 7 simplest ways to organize your garden recycling without paying a lot.

How to Recycle in Your Garden Efficiently

  1. Save cardboard.
    There are different types of cardboard that could serve you for different purposes, like egg carton containers are really good for chitting seeds, especially potato seeds. But even regular usual cardboard can be reused in your garden. It could be used to smoother weed when shredded, but also a great thing for composting and insulating.
  2. Mark your plants.
    Yes, there are good plant markers in the local store, but that seems boring and why spend more if you could make good use of all that junk in your house? Silverware that is not used anymore, chopsticks, yogurt containers, lollipop sticks – all that could be used for marking your plants and be eco-friendly, low-cost and make your garden look hip.
  3. Make use of CD’s.
    Those are good for scaring annoying birds that tend to like your tomatoes. Put those on the perimeter of the garden, so they glint in the sun.
  4. Don’t pop the bubbles.
    You know what the bubble wrap is good for? No, not just anti-stress thing, but it’s an awesome insulator for your greenhouse in the winter!
  5. Don’t throw away plastic milk containers.
    If you cut them the right way – you’ll get a perfect soil tool. The plastic bottle from detergent would be nice for that one too. You could make a watering can out of them.
  6. Do you have some old carpets?
    Then they are good to put on a deck when it’s frosty so you stay on your two feet. Or put in over the compost heaps, if you worry about the heat. Amazing weed suppressant too, by the way.
  7. Make use of coffee grounds.

Coffee is good not just for human beings, but for the nature too. Next time you finish your daily pot of java or any other kind, for that matter – why not make use of the coffee grounds? It helps the plants to grow better and healthier.

Benefits of Garden Recycling

There are many things that motivate people to recycle and the global warming or any other nature crisis should be enough to do that. Protecting the environment and the Earth is a good goal on its own. But the list of the tips above also could help you to get rid of all those things that are stacked in your house and don’t get used and make your garden look good and interesting, bring some changes into that. It won’t cost you anything and you’re killing two birds with one stone. Be eco-friendly, stay green and make gardening more than just soil and plants. And grow your own foods and veggies indoors. That is great for sustainability.