How to Start a Basement Garden

If you’re short on outdoor space yet you have an especially green thumb, you might consider transforming your basement into a garden. Despite this, it goes without saying that a basement isn’t the traditional space to grow fruits and veggies. As a result, you might want to assess how you go about starting a basement garden successfully.

To begin with, basement tanking in London or wherever you’re based is of the utmost importance if you want to transform your basement into usable space. This is because basement tanking prevents groundwater from penetrating underground spaces, which reduces the likelihood of flooding occurring.

This is particularly important if you’re looking to create a basement garden, as flooding would result in the entire garden being flooded. To that end, detailed below are just some of the things to consider when it comes to starting a basement garden.


basement garden Light 

First and foremost, even if your basement is partially above ground and has a window or two, it’s likely that this still won’t be enough to grow fruits and veggies. While it’s true that some plants only require a small amount of light, the vast majority still require a specific wavelength of light for growth and maturity.

Fortunately, grow light setups are readily available these days, allowing you to transform almost any environment into an atmosphere that facilitates growth. What’s more, they’re relatively inexpensive, meaning you won’t need to break the bank to create your unconventional garden space.


mixture of soil and compost for basement planting

Soil is the beginning of all plants, meaning that it’s important to get this right if you want your plants to thrive. Due to this, it can be tempting to overcomplicate your soil; however, this could end up doing your plants more harm than good. Instead, experts suggest keeping things simple with a mixture of compost, peat, and vermiculite.

One thing that you need to concentrate on more than ever is that the soil doesn’t bring in any pests. This is because, in an indoor growing environment, these pests won’t have any natural predators, allowing them to multiply at a rapid speed.

Similarly, the soil needs to be able to retain nutrients while allowing for free drainage, as the majority of indoor gardens suffer from overwatering. It’s for these reasons that vermiculite is used. Read our article about choosing the best compost bin and get one that will suit your needs.



You might think that you’re restricted by what can be grown in a basement garden; however, with the right soil and grow light setup, you can pretty much grow whatever you’d like. Naturally, though, there are some plants that don’t grow as well indoors, even with the seemingly ideal growing environment.

If you want to play it safe, you should opt for herbs and leafy greens, as they tend to be quite at home in indoor environments. Some of the best plants to grow indoors include the following:

  • Peas
  • Bush beans
  • Bell peppers
  • Tomatoes
  • Radishes
  • Spinach
  • Lettuce
  • Swiss chard

Building a Viable Environment

Before you can really commit to the idea of a basement garden, you need to know that the plants actually have a chance to develop. Since basements aren’t always the most predictable of environments, with limited ventilation and random drafts of air, it can be tricky for plants to reach their full potential.

With LED grow lights, you’ll be able to maintain a constant temperature for your plants between 77 and 82 degrees Fahrenheit. Meanwhile, the low-energy nature of LED bulbs means you’ll be able to keep costs to a minimum, too. LED bulbs are the better alternative to heaters, as heaters dry out the air and rack up high energy bills.