Author Topic: Does anyone grow herbs / small plants in their office space?  (Read 9444 times)

hybrid

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My garden at home is coming along nicely, but I'm thinking ahead to when the growing season ends in a few months.  Also, I live in Virginia so a bunch of cool weather plants are off the table right now.  There is an empty, air conditioned, locked office in my building with a window with southern exposure (a former phone room) that would seem ideal for growing cilantro, jalapenos, other herbs, etc.   Has anyone done this in their work areas or home and have any tips for this indoor gardening newbie?  Many thanks.

crazy jane

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Re: Does anyone grow herbs / small plants in their office space?
« Reply #1 on: June 11, 2013, 07:15:52 AM »
I have a light bank in my classroom. In addition to using it for seedlings that are lated transplanted to our school's courtyard, I grow herbs in the fall and winter. Basil, thyme and oregeno are my most succesful herbs. Can't seem to get rosemary to grow. Everyone comes in throughout the year and helps themselves. Also, I made a light bank using pvc and a few basic items from Home Depot. Have fun and enjoy your indoor gardening.

Christof

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Re: Does anyone grow herbs / small plants in their office space?
« Reply #2 on: June 11, 2013, 08:03:13 AM »
I have a small rosemary bush on my desk. It's pretty low maintenance and doesn't mind if I can't water it for two weeks.

bogart

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Re: Does anyone grow herbs / small plants in their office space?
« Reply #3 on: June 11, 2013, 09:26:21 AM »
Doh!  This is a brilliant idea!  Having a small pot with herbs I like to eat in at work would make my office smell nice *and* simplify fixing great-tasting lunches at work.  Unfortunately the office I'm about to be moved into is sparse on natural light, but even (just) working with what's there and replacing the plants from time to time seems like a life-improver to me.  Thanks!

hybrid

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Re: Does anyone grow herbs / small plants in their office space?
« Reply #4 on: June 24, 2013, 10:49:12 AM »
A quick update, I have given this a try.  I brought in four pots and some potting soil and am growing cilantro, jalapenos, basil, and cherry tomatoes.  Just started about ten days ago and the seedlings are coming up now.  The cilantro in particular looks like it will thrive under these conditions, and of course I don't have to worry about pests which is a plus.  Pictures soon when they are worth showing.

oldtoyota

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Re: Does anyone grow herbs / small plants in their office space?
« Reply #5 on: June 24, 2013, 11:04:55 AM »
Funny you ask. I was just thinking about growing herbs on the ledge of a window.

psu256

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Re: Does anyone grow herbs / small plants in their office space?
« Reply #6 on: June 24, 2013, 11:27:41 AM »
A quick update, I have given this a try.  I brought in four pots and some potting soil and am growing cilantro, jalapenos, basil, and cherry tomatoes.  Just started about ten days ago and the seedlings are coming up now.  The cilantro in particular looks like it will thrive under these conditions, and of course I don't have to worry about pests which is a plus.  Pictures soon when they are worth showing.

I think the tomatoes might grow too big for a desk, but a pot on the floor if you have space would probably work ok. Make sure to trim the basil before it flowers. You might want to let the cilantro just grow to seed if you'd rather have coriander than cilantro, its up to you and your tastes.

hybrid

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Re: Does anyone grow herbs / small plants in their office space?
« Reply #7 on: June 24, 2013, 12:37:55 PM »
I think the tomatoes might grow too big for a desk, but a pot on the floor if you have space would probably work ok. Make sure to trim the basil before it flowers. You might want to let the cilantro just grow to seed if you'd rather have coriander than cilantro, its up to you and your tastes.

Oh, indeed, the cherry tomatoes will have to transfer into a much bigger vessel over time.  And if they thrive in the office, easily done.

I have cilantro at home that is bolting into Coriander, so I'll have both.  We like to cook Indian food, so having both of these is a plus.

hybrid

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Re: Does anyone grow herbs / small plants in their office space?
« Reply #8 on: June 24, 2013, 12:48:21 PM »
Last year my brother built a raised bed in his yard and did very well with it.  So it got me thinking, instead of using pots in the office, why not build a small, custom, raised bed that fits the windowsill?  Something that would slide right into the space and use every bit of the growing area available.  And since it would be fairly small, I could probably make it quite a bit deeper as well, perhaps a full foot or two.

OK all you engineering types, how would you build this structure?  The element I feel I need to plan for most is drainage.  It is an office space and I cannot afford to build a structure that will leak water, so I need to have some sort of drainpan built into the structure to catch excess water.  Would you consider painting (part of/all) the sun-facing side black to warm the soil beyond the normal office temp of 74 degrees for plants that do better in warm weather?

oldtoyota

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Re: Does anyone grow herbs / small plants in their office space?
« Reply #9 on: July 06, 2013, 07:15:19 AM »
Last year my brother built a raised bed in his yard and did very well with it.  So it got me thinking, instead of using pots in the office, why not build a small, custom, raised bed that fits the windowsill?  Something that would slide right into the space and use every bit of the growing area available.  And since it would be fairly small, I could probably make it quite a bit deeper as well, perhaps a full foot or two.

OK all you engineering types, how would you build this structure?  The element I feel I need to plan for most is drainage.  It is an office space and I cannot afford to build a structure that will leak water, so I need to have some sort of drainpan built into the structure to catch excess water.  Would you consider painting (part of/all) the sun-facing side black to warm the soil beyond the normal office temp of 74 degrees for plants that do better in warm weather?

I do not know. However, this is awesome and badass.


pbkmaine

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Re: Does anyone grow herbs / small plants in their office space?
« Reply #10 on: July 06, 2013, 07:31:31 AM »
Instead of a raised bed, why not look for a big plastic tub that fits the space? If it's a big space, something like an under-the-bed storage container. Test for water tightness, line with pea gravel, and put pots in it.

hybrid

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Re: Does anyone grow herbs / small plants in their office space?
« Reply #11 on: July 06, 2013, 08:02:04 AM »
Instead of a raised bed, why not look for a big plastic tub that fits the space? If it's a big space, something like an under-the-bed storage container. Test for water tightness, line with pea gravel, and put pots in it.

That's an interesting idea....  The windowsill I have in mind though is fairly narrow (about a foot) while fairly wide (over three feet).  So off the cuff I am wondering where to get a plastic container nearing those measurements.  But I do like the concept, and the pea gravel makes sense no matter what option I go with.  Thanks!

Rural

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Re: Does anyone grow herbs / small plants in their office space?
« Reply #12 on: July 06, 2013, 08:06:29 AM »
Instead of a raised bed, why not look for a big plastic tub that fits the space? If it's a big space, something like an under-the-bed storage container. Test for water tightness, line with pea gravel, and put pots in it.

That's an interesting idea....  The windowsill I have in mind though is fairly narrow (about a foot) while fairly wide (over three feet).  So off the cuff I am wondering where to get a plastic container nearing those measurements.  But I do like the concept, and the pea gravel makes sense no matter what option I go with.  Thanks!

Two window boxes? I'm seeing long, narrow window pots in the discount stores right now. Not long enough for your space, but two might fit.

ShavinItForLater

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Re: Does anyone grow herbs / small plants in their office space?
« Reply #13 on: July 06, 2013, 02:38:40 PM »
There is an open source project for vertical window farms based on hydroponics, here is a link to the part showing how you can build your own.

http://www.windowfarms.com/build-your-own/

You can also buy them pre-made from them, but I'm sure as mustachians you can build them for much less.  I haven't tried it but I may give it a shot at some point--I already have a 40' x 8' backyard garden and I'd certainly like to grow some food over the winter months.

hybrid

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Re: Does anyone grow herbs / small plants in their office space?
« Reply #14 on: July 06, 2013, 07:23:17 PM »
There is an open source project for vertical window farms based on hydroponics, here is a link to the part showing how you can build your own.

http://www.windowfarms.com/build-your-own/

You can also buy them pre-made from them, but I'm sure as mustachians you can build them for much less.  I haven't tried it but I may give it a shot at some point--I already have a 40' x 8' backyard garden and I'd certainly like to grow some food over the winter months.

Ohhhhh, that's very cool but you hit the nail on the head.  I'd much rather build than buy if I can.

hybrid

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Re: Does anyone grow herbs / small plants in their office space?
« Reply #15 on: July 06, 2013, 07:26:41 PM »
Here is what the office experiment looks like after a few weeks.  The cilantro came in first and looks like it will be very productive, followed by a cherry tomato plant (which will get transplanted to something larger soon), followed by the basil and lastly the jalapeno plant has started coming in.



« Last Edit: July 06, 2013, 07:28:53 PM by hybrid »

pbkmaine

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Re: Does anyone grow herbs / small plants in their office space?
« Reply #16 on: July 06, 2013, 08:35:05 PM »
If it is a foot wide, a plastic shoe box will fit and hold two pots. You can line several up end to end.