IKEA is one of the latest mainstream retailers to jump onto the indoor gardening bandwagon with their own range of indoor gardening equipment allowing anyone to grow their own herbs at home. The IKEA indoor gardening system is not dissimilar to indoor herb gardens from other indoor gardening specialists, but with IKEA's focus on interior design, the indoor garden blends more harmoniously into the home. The IKEA indoor garden is simple but stylish in the typical IKEA way. The simplicity of the system makes the setup of the indoor garden a painless process that is ideal for the non-green fingered amongst us. Impressively, IKEA even provides us with everything we need to go from seed to harvestable herbs without the need to look anywhere else.
The IKEA indoor gardening system begins with an IKEA-designed propagator box, a selection of herb seeds, and stonewool seed starter media (also known as Rockwool) to hold and support the seeds during germination. Individual seeds are placed within soaked stonewool inserts that are then placed in bespoke receptacles within the propagator box. The box is then covered with a transparent lid and placed on a windowsill for natural light to stimulate germination. Once the seeds have germinated, seedlings are then transferred to IKEA’s cultivation insert set which is designed to support the rest of the growth of the herbs to maturity. For grow lighting requirements, the cultivation insert box can be fitted with its own bespoke grow light and the whole unit itself can be used as an independent indoor garden if desired. Alternatively, the cultivation insert box (without its light) can be inserted into more stylish one or two tiered standalone racks from the IKEA’s KRYDDA line which is also designed to support the integration of the grow lights. The nice thing about the KRYDDA racks is that they look less clinical and fit in better alongside everyday household furniture making the indoor garden look more like a natural part of the home.
Below the surface, the IKEA growing system uses a hydroponics system for simplicity and efficiency, with IKEA supplying their own brand of plant nutrients as well as their own inert media (pumice stone) required for physical support of the growing plants. As for the IKEA grow lights, they are included as part of its VÄXER range. They are LED-based grow lights which provide 25% blue, 35% green and 40% red wavelengths which combine to give a colour temperature of around 4200K. The presence of green wavelengths in the VÄXER grow lights suggests that the lights are not necessarily optimal for plant growth. This is perhaps not surprising since IKEA likely chose the lights as a balance between providing a sufficient level of plant growth while at the same time creating a grow light that is still aesthetically pleasant to the human eye ensuring that the IKEA indoor garden still blends neatly into the home environment. Fortunately, growing herbs is not a difficult endeavour so the plants tend to do well even under suboptimal lighting, however growing anything more sensitive or substantial such as fruit-bearing plants is likely to be impractical in the IKEA indoor gardening system.