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Indoor garden questions

Discussion in 'Back to Basics' started by fritz_monroe, Dec 2, 2007.

  1. fritz_monroe

    fritz_monroe Monkey+++

    We would like to grow some herbs over the winter. I've been doing a little digging around and I know I can use one of those little greenhouses, but I have horrible lighting in the house. I don't have any windows facing South. So I could do the grow light thing, but wanted to see if there were any recommendations. I don't want to waste my money, and I've heard that I can use florescent lights for this, but it's something like 14 hours to give 5 hours of "sunlight."

    I like the idea of a single piece unit like the AeroGarden, but that thing is almost $200. Definately not worth that. Anyone ever seen a homemade type of system like this? Any good web sites around for this type of growing?
  2. slots

    slots Monkey+++

    The lack of a south facing window limits your growing options, but its always worth experimenting to see whats possible. I know a friend of mine who manages to grows Basil on a north facing window...

    I would be cautious of any hydroponic type growing kits (ie. artifical light based). Your electric bills could soar to astromnomical levels. (One of the ways the law enforcement agencies catch cannabis growers in colder climates is via their excessive power consumption).

    There are a number of products you can definately start with though.

    Sprouting: You can sprout many seeds for a very nutritious addition to any meal. I would imagine this forum is full of info, but heres a link to get you going:


    Grow your own mushrooms. There are kits out there which will give you all you need. Here is a UK site that supplies them, but I'm sure you'll find a US based site with some searching.


    Its surprising what you can grow indoors given a little patience and time.
  3. sniper-66

    sniper-66 Monkey+++ Moderator Emeritus Founding Member

    Sorry, I thought that was what we were talking about, he did say herbs and winter!!

    Actually, I bought a florescent light for the wife's outdoor plants over the winter and got two grow bulbs. I run it eight hours a day and the plants are doing quite fine with that. She has about 10 large pots.
  4. bubbajoe

    bubbajoe Monkey+++

    put more money into the bulbs than the fixture. really any flo tube fixture will work . i 've grown herbs on the kitchen counter with small flo fixtures attached under the cabinets. i like using full spectrum flo lights used for saltwater fishtanks. very clean white light . the plants seem to like it the best.

    http://www.hydroponics-at-home.com/ there are websites for low cost do it your self hydroponics. its pretty easy to make one .

    IMHO the Areogarden is $$$ for what it is.. a dish of water with a grow light.
  5. jash

    jash Monkey+++

    Make sure to keep your plants well trimmed-some like basil & cilantro tend to "stretch" when under lighting and then cannot stand upright on their own. Also, keep the dirt around the plant from becoming compacted-it doesn't allow water & nutrients through.
  6. fritz_monroe

    fritz_monroe Monkey+++

    Exactly why I want to see my options. I can't see myself paying that much for that little.

    But thanks for the advice on the lights. I'll keep doing my research.
  7. RightHand

    RightHand Pioneer in a New World Moderator Founding Member

    I wouldn't pay that much either for the Aerogarden but...I have a client who bought one and I have to say, the veggies are gorgeous. Between the quality of the light and the seed pellets, everything seems to grow beautifully.
  8. ozarkgoatman

    ozarkgoatman Resident goat herder

    That thing costs way to much. We have used aquariams with a grow light above it and it works well, for alot less money. Look through the paper and you can find used aquariams preety cheap most of the time.

  9. kckndrgn

    kckndrgn Moderator Moderator Founding Member

    hmm, interesting idea. an old aquarium and a grow light.

    Now my question, it's prolly plant dependant, but what about temp? We tend to keep our house a bit cooler in the winter (mid to upper 60's at the therm, some rooms warmer, some rooms cooler). Should that even be an issue?
  10. ozarkgoatman

    ozarkgoatman Resident goat herder

    While most all plants should have no trouble growing in those temps you may have trouble with germination. Ours in near the wood stove so our biggest problem is to much heat, and it drying out. :)

  11. fritz_monroe

    fritz_monroe Monkey+++

    I never though about aquariums. Are the grow lights a standard size? If so, I could use a regular fish tank lid. Hmmmm.
  12. ozarkgoatman

    ozarkgoatman Resident goat herder

    Yes :) One more thing we do to help the seeds germinate faster is to wet the top edge of the aquarium and take a clear sheet of plastic streched over it then it forms a seal and you have a mini-greenhouse. [beer]

  13. bubbajoe

    bubbajoe Monkey+++

    I've used Aquariums to grow plants in ,works pretty good. I like to use small clay pots to start the plants out in the tank .then once they start ,I move them out and start a new batch. biggest problem iv'e had with indoor gardening is fungus and mold from to much water and not letting the soil dry out. i use clay pots to help pull the extra water out of the soil. you may have to water more often but it will help keep the mold and fungus down. next problem you may see is white flies . most of my indoor herbs seem to get them in the winter. i like to keep a spray bottle of water with a teaspoon of liqiud soap mixed in to keep them at bay.
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