If gardening is your hobby, but you live in a place with harsh weather throughout the winter months, outdoor gardening may be impossible for most of the year. Fortunately however, there is a solution: Indoor gardening.
With the right tools, you can continue to garden and grow the plants you love regardless of where you live or what the weather is like outside.
Throughout this article, we’ll outline the essential small gardening tools and materials to have so that you can start your very own indoor garden and keep your house plants looking amazing!
1. Hand Trowel
A hand trowel is a smaller tool used for moving small amounts of soil, fertilizer, and other plant material. It’s an essential item in any indoor garden. It looks like a miniature handheld shovel. It can also be used for breaking up soil, as well.
They come in a few shapes and sizes, but many are about 4-8” long, with another 6-8” inches for the handle. Look for one with a comfortable, ergonomic grip, which will come in handy during extended use. Others feature measuring lines so you can tell exactly how much soil or fertilizer you are moving.
2. Indoor Pots
There is a lot to be said about indoor plant pots and how they are organized to maximize your indoor space and grow as many plants as possible. We’ll get into that later in the article. For now, we’ll just focus on the two main types of pots: plastic and ceramic.
Plastic pots are generally a little cheaper, and come with their own set of pros and cons. The thinner material means they are a little lighter and easier to move. Since plastic is not porous, you run the risk of root rot if you happen to overwater your plants. However, they are very convenient and easy to clean, and the issue of root rot can be avoided by using a pot with drainage holes.
On the other hand, ceramic is a little heavier, but not quite as durable. However, some prefer the look of ceramic because it is sturdier and more decorative than plastic. It is also a little more difficult to clean.
3. Label Maker
You may be thinking of a label maker as a typical office tool rather than something a green thumb would use to help with gardening. However, they can be super helpful with gardening! When you first plant your seeds, it can be difficult to remember which seeds are in which pot, how much sunlight they need, how often they need to be watered, etc. With a label maker, you can keep all of this information straight and easily accessible so that you can ensure every plant is getting exactly what it needs to grow strong and healthy!
4. Soil Knife
A soil knife, also sometimes known as a hori-hori, looks like a thinner version of a hand trowel that we mentioned earlier. It has a serrated, strong blade, often made from stainless steel or some other metal alloy. It is great for cutting through roots and removing weeds quickly and easily. They are about 6-12” long, and general feature ergonomic handles for comfort during extended use. The best soil knives feature rust-resistant blades that will remain sharp after being used over and over again.
5. Hand Fork
Hand forks, like soil knives, can also be used for digging up weeds and pulling out roots. In fact, the soil knife, hand trowel, and hand fork are often sold together in introductory gardening kits as three of the essential tools for indoor gardening. These are also very good for helping to loosen soil or aerating to allow nutrients and water to penetrate deeper towards the plant’s roots.
6. Plant Stand and Plant Pot Organization
There are countless ways to organize an indoor garden to maximize your space. Some are good for just a few larger plants, but some systems will allow you to stack 36 plants or more in a relatively small space!
If you are strictly gardening for volume and don’t necessarily care about decorations or design, consider a simple wire rack setup. This allows you to stretch your space floor to ceiling and take advantage of every cubic foot. Assuming you could hold 10 plants on each shelf, with 6-8 shelves you could hold as many as 80 plants.
However, if you do want to be more decorative, there are plant stand that utilize interesting designs. They do hold fewer plants, but they can liven up any space and fit in seamlessly with your interior decor.
Most indoor gardeners like to strike a balance between efficiency and aesthetic appeal. Below, we’ve included some popular options with a brief description of how many plants they can hold, photos, and a link to purchase the setup on Amazon. Each set comes with slightly different materials, so be sure to read the descriptions carefully to know exactly what you are getting.
7. Soil Probe
A soil probe (ph meter) is another essential that every indoor gardener should have. It is a small stick that you insert down into the soil of each pot in order to analyze the composition of the soil as well as the moisture levels. This allows you to ensure each plant is in a pot with optimal growing conditions for its individual needs.
Further, if something is not quite right, the information from the soil probe will allow you to make quick adjustments to get back on track in no time. No more guesswork in trying to figure out whether your plant needs more water or nutrients. With a soil probe, you’ll know for sure every time!
8. Neem Oil
Neem oil, while not technically a tool, is critical to the health and wellbeing of all of the plants in your garden. It serves two main purposes. The first is to kill any fungi that could grow alongside your plants, and the second is to kill pests and prevent new ones from finding a home in your plant pots. Simply apply the Neem Oil following the specifications on the bottle to keep your plants healthy and free of diseases and pests.
9. Indoor Plant Grow Lights
Indoor plant grow lights can be a great substitute for natural light. They provide a full spectrum of light to help plants grow to their fullest potential. Full-spectrum means the provide a balance of warm and cool light similar to what outdoor plants would receive from the sun. Before purchasing indoor plant lights, you’ll want to check the manufacturer’s specifications for the area covering and intensity of each bulb to see how many you need to purchase and how far each bulb should be from the plant.
Indoor Gardening Tools
Each of the tools on this list is an essential item if you are considering getting into indoor gardening. Or, if you aren’t the gardening type, they make a great gift for every gardener on your list, from beginner gardeners to seasoned experts. They are also a great way to get someone else into gardening. Best of luck on your indoor gardening journey!