It doesn't matter whether your thumb is green or black when there are clever indoor gardening systems that do all the work for you. These ideas for growing herbs, vegetables and strawberries indoors range from cheap and simple tea tin windowsill gardens to compact, high-tech systems with built-in lights that automatically water plants and notify you when more nutrients are needed.
Vertical Wine Bottle Window Garden
BioCity sells gorgeous vertical window gardens made of reclaimed wine bottles. Check out all the options at the website, but if you're crafty, you can likely recreate it on your own.
Vertical Fogponic Unit
The clever Fogponic unit uses vaporized water to transfer nutrients and oxygen to enclosed, suspended plant roots. The vertical planting module takes up very little floor space, but produces a surprising amount of food, depending on what you choose to grow.
Another vertical gardening system, the WindowFarm, is a hybrid hydroponic gardening system made of recycled materials that's hung in a window. You can order a unit from the company, or get instructions to build your own DIY version.
Pod Fogponic System
Need something more compact? The Pod garden system uses Fogponics to grow a miniature indoor herb garden. Multiple units can be joined together if you decide you want to grow additional plants.
Aquaponics Indoor Growing System
Combining aquaculture with hydroponics creates a symbiotic relationship between fish in a tank of water and plants that grow above them, each feeding off the nutrients produced by the other. There are lots of ideas out there for building your own aquaponics system, from small tabletop systems to larger outdoor gardens, but this one packs it all into an easy-to-use, compact package that includes an advanced grow lighting system and alerts you if the water or nutrients are low.
Automatic Mi Garden
The Mi Garden is a self-contained indoor planting system that makes it incredibly easy to grow fresh vegetables, herbs and flowers, whether you've got a green thumb or not. Many of the processes are automated, so once you've planted the seeds, the plants require very little human intervention to thrive.
Veggies Grown in Recycled Plastic Bottles
Easy, cheap and highly effective, the plastic bottle method of window gardening is tried and true. see lots of photos and learn more about the process at Fine Craft Guild.
FRESH Indoor Vertical Garden
Grow a lot of herbs or lettuce while barely taking up any counter space in the kitchen with 'Fresh' by James Orchard. Salad plugs are grown in inserts that plug directly into a wick that gives them just the right amount of water and nutrients, and it's got its own grow light.
Mason Jar Herb Garden
Mason jars mounted to strips of reclaimed wood using inexpensive plumbing parts from any hardware store result in a gorgeous, inexpensive and green indoor vertical garden. Learn more at Inhabitat.
DIY Window Pane Vegetable Garden
If you're living in a small apartment that lacks any kind of outdoor space, you can still grow a garden. Check out this cool adaptation of a folding window garden that can either be kept in upright position to act as a window screen, or laid flat to open the view.
3-Tier Sunlite Garden
If you've got a good amount of space in your house to grow food, a tiered growing rack with built-in lighting is the way to go. Gardener's Supply Company offers a pre-made tiered garden, or you can just add grow lighting to a set of shelves.
Tea Tin Windowsill Garden
Have some decorative tins laying around? Put them to good use as beautiful, recycled herb planters. Apartment Therapy has a simple DIY project to line a windowsill with these beauties.