Author Topic: Growing Indoor Vegetable Garden?  (Read 3308 times)

mmmainm

  • 5 O'Clock Shadow
  • *
  • Posts: 11
Growing Indoor Vegetable Garden?
« on: November 10, 2016, 06:53:05 AM »
Does MMM have an article on growing an indoor vegetable garden?  (spinach, etc)

I have not found one.

Or do any readers have such a garden?

I would like to start a garden like this.  (it is me and a 9-year-old son in the house)

I already have a backyard (warm weather) garden.

Thanks.
Mac
Oregon

Kaydedid

  • Stubble
  • **
  • Posts: 214
Re: Growing Indoor Vegetable Garden?
« Reply #1 on: November 10, 2016, 07:57:48 PM »
I've done this, and start lots of plants indoors.

Unless you have an extremely sunny window (preferably a skylight), your plant is going to struggle with getting enough light.  Up here in Wisconsin, winter days are just too short for good growing.  We use a fluorescent shop light with one warm and one cool bulb for full-spectrum light, set on a timer.  Works well, but extra electrical costs are an issue.

Prioritize expensive things that use a lot of the plant, but don't need a ton of space.  Herbs are excellent, along with fancy organic greens.  If you live somewhere cool and don't keep it super warm in the winter, keep that in mind.  Tomatoes and peppers will not thrive at 68 degrees.

Sent from my SM-G930V using Tapatalk


Kaydedid

  • Stubble
  • **
  • Posts: 214
Re: Growing Indoor Vegetable Garden?
« Reply #2 on: November 10, 2016, 08:00:55 PM »
In general, the time and money required has made indoor gardening not worth it to us.  However, if I really wanted to cook with fresh vs. dried herbs, or organic greens were extremely expensive, it could be worth it.  It's definitely worth it to start my 50-100 tomato plants every year.

Sent from my SM-G930V using Tapatalk


korn_man55

  • 5 O'Clock Shadow
  • *
  • Posts: 5
Re: Growing Indoor Vegetable Garden?
« Reply #3 on: November 10, 2016, 08:16:37 PM »
I go back on forth if I should do this too.  I live in South Dakota and we have cold winters and we keep the house in the 60s.  I grow barely fodder all winter for my chickens and I only use the window for fodder, but I harvest the fodder out every 7-10 days.  We did an experiment for my son's science class last year and used an LED grow light, and it did help speed up the harvest process for the barely fodder.  We are going to try some lettuce and spinach this year with the small LED grow light.  Good luck!

Thegoblinchief

  • Guest
Re: Growing Indoor Vegetable Garden?
« Reply #4 on: November 11, 2016, 05:57:01 AM »
Expect a cost of production somewhere in the vicinity of $10/lb if you use grow lights exclusively.

Look at micro greens too. Sunflower and pea shoots both make really yummy salads or additions to salads. The process is similar to fodder but there's lots of good resources available to learn.

I personally don't do it. Winter is my time to relax from the busy gardening season. I can buy salad mix or micro greens for cheaper than I could grow and support local farmers all winter long here. We have a very active winter farmers market in Milwaukee.

Frugal Lizard

  • Handlebar Stache
  • *****
  • Posts: 1785
  • Age: 52
  • Location: Southwest Ontario
  • One foot in front of the other....
Re: Growing Indoor Vegetable Garden?
« Reply #5 on: November 11, 2016, 06:45:30 AM »
Expect a cost of production somewhere in the vicinity of $10/lb if you use grow lights exclusively.

Look at micro greens too. Sunflower and pea shoots both make really yummy salads or additions to salads. The process is similar to fodder but there's lots of good resources available to learn.

I personally don't do it. Winter is my time to relax from the busy gardening season. I can buy salad mix or micro greens for cheaper than I could grow and support local farmers all winter long here. We have a very active winter farmers market in Milwaukee.

+1 You really need about 10 hours of daylight to really get any kind of growth.  I have always felt a little gardened out by October.  But in January am rested and keen again so around Feb.  I get starting seeds for outdoor garden - tomatoes and flowers and herbs.  And I get cold loving greens going in a cold frame for super early eating.  I am going to try to get some growing super early in the neighbours greenhouse.  My house is just too dark for any decent yields of greens and the seedlings take up all the space that I have.

mmmainm

  • 5 O'Clock Shadow
  • *
  • Posts: 11
Re: Growing Indoor Vegetable Garden?
« Reply #6 on: November 11, 2016, 08:48:19 AM »
Thanks for the comments.

I do not have enough direct light.

I would have to go with grow lights, about which I know nothing.

My only real goal would be to grow spinach indoors all year round, and to start some plants indoor for the summer garden.

Here is what I would like to start indoors in January:
- Tomatoes (maybe 2 cherry)
- Sunflowers
- Carrots
- a zucchini plant

My house is between 62 and 67 F in the winter.  Too cold for this activity?

Thanks.

Mac
near Portland, OR

birdie55

  • Stubble
  • **
  • Posts: 146
  • Location: Nor Cal
Re: Growing Indoor Vegetable Garden?
« Reply #7 on: November 11, 2016, 11:01:32 AM »
I have an Aerogarden that I use to grow lettuce in the winter.  It is a tabletop hydroponic garden unit with grow lights.  It comes with either lettuces or herb seeds.  I have not tried spinach in mine, but just planted one to try.  I don't know why it wouldn't work as well as lettuce.  Both grow well where I live in the winter, but I prefer to do my vegetable gardening in the warm weather, not in winter. 

I also grow soil sprouted seeds to cut up for salads.  Those grow in a dark place for four days and then with window light until ready to cut.

Tomatoes and sunflowers will take 6 weeks or so to be ready for the outside soil, zucchini takes only a few weeks.  And carrots are a root vegetable, which should be direct seeded into the soil where they will be grown.  So you can backdate from the date you will put the tomatoes etc into the ground, and start the seedlings inside.  Tomatoes do need a lot of light inside, I have grow lights that I use inside for my tomatoes, peppers and eggplants.



 

SisterX

  • Magnum Stache
  • ******
  • Posts: 2768
  • Location: 2nd Star on the Right and Straight On 'Til Morning
Re: Growing Indoor Vegetable Garden?
« Reply #8 on: November 11, 2016, 12:14:03 PM »
My only real goal would be to grow spinach indoors all year round, and to start some plants indoor for the summer garden.


In the PNW you should be able to grow spinach out in your yard in the winter. I know, because that's what I'm doing. It's going gangbusters, despite the bunnies and slugs. I also have a fall crop of peas going that are thriving. Of course, this advice assumes you're not in one of the mountains or east of said mountains, where it snows. However, even then a cold frame should be able to assist.

You should be able to look up charts of what you can grow outdoors in your area in the fall/winter. I don't know what happened to Erica, but NWEdibleLife is an amazing resource.

Cranky

  • Handlebar Stache
  • *****
  • Posts: 1695
Re: Growing Indoor Vegetable Garden?
« Reply #9 on: November 11, 2016, 03:53:28 PM »
I think that the PNW is mild enough that you should look into a hoop house or covers for your raised beds.

I am in gloomy NE Ohio, and I look at my aerogarden as an investment in my mental health, not as cheap homegrown food. I usually do a round of lettuce and then a round of flowers over the course of a winter.

mmmainm

  • 5 O'Clock Shadow
  • *
  • Posts: 11
Re: Growing Indoor Vegetable Garden?
« Reply #10 on: November 12, 2016, 05:22:34 AM »
Thanks for all the comments.

I will look into an Aerogarden.  I have direct sunlight only in my home office, and that is not a good place for plants, so I need something electric.

NWEdibleLife's front page has an article about April gardening chores.
Is it still active?

I will see about putting some lettuce out now.

Mac
near Potland, I mean Portland

Thegoblinchief

  • Guest
Re: Growing Indoor Vegetable Garden?
« Reply #11 on: November 12, 2016, 06:03:59 AM »
Thanks for all the comments.

I will look into an Aerogarden.  I have direct sunlight only in my home office, and that is not a good place for plants, so I need something electric.

NWEdibleLife's front page has an article about April gardening chores.
Is it still active?

I will see about putting some lettuce out now.

Mac
near Potland, I mean Portland

I've tried contacting Erica a couple of times, I think she's just taking a sanity break. I know she was planning on starting homeschooling this year. I'd highly recommend her backlog for learning PNW gardening.

Steve Solomon and Carol Deppe books are also excellent resources.

Kaydedid

  • Stubble
  • **
  • Posts: 214
Re: Growing Indoor Vegetable Garden?
« Reply #12 on: November 12, 2016, 01:33:35 PM »
Thanks for the comments.

I do not have enough direct light.

I would have to go with grow lights, about which I know nothing.

My only real goal would be to grow spinach indoors all year round, and to start some plants indoor for the summer garden.

Here is what I would like to start indoors in January:
- Tomatoes (maybe 2 cherry)
- Sunflowers
- Carrots
- a zucchini plant

My house is between 62 and 67 F in the winter.  Too cold for this activity?

Thanks.

Mac
near Portland, OR
You might have trouble getting the tomatoes to sprout at that temp.  They usually will as long as they're not overwatered, but it may take a week or three.  You can put them near a heat vent or warmer spot in the house.  They also sell warming mats that go under a flat.  We used a heating pad on low, wrapped in a towel.

As far as grow lights, see my above comment.  Shop light and half cool and half warm fluorescent lights, on a timer for extra easiness.  No need for the expensive grow light bulbs. 

Sent from my SM-G930V using Tapatalk


Kaydedid

  • Stubble
  • **
  • Posts: 214
Re: Growing Indoor Vegetable Garden?
« Reply #13 on: November 12, 2016, 01:35:39 PM »
Also, don't start the sunflowers more than 4 weeks before planting.  They don't transplant well if they're too big.

Sent from my SM-G930V using Tapatalk


mmmainm

  • 5 O'Clock Shadow
  • *
  • Posts: 11
Re: Growing Indoor Vegetable Garden?
« Reply #14 on: November 15, 2016, 05:53:06 AM »
Thanks for all the comments, folks.

Kaydedid,
About the grow lights:
I see on NWedibleLife dot com, they recommend Agrobrite T5, FLT24, 2 Foot, 4-Tube Fixture with Included Fluorescent Grow Lights (amazon).
Are these too fancy, and not needed?
Again, I keep my house 62-67F in the winter.
Thanks.
Mac

FLBiker

  • Pencil Stache
  • ****
  • Posts: 966
  • Age: 43
Re: Growing Indoor Vegetable Garden?
« Reply #15 on: November 15, 2016, 06:42:53 AM »
Another indoor plant idea is sprouts.  I usually do lentils, but you can sprout lots of stuff.  The process I follow is simple -- soak them overnight, then dump them in a colander and cover with a damp handkerchief.  Run water through it twice a day (to both rinse and keep damp).  It typically takes 3 days or so.  They're a great addition to salads, stirfries, etc.

Also, I'm not sure how well it would work indoors, but I really like katuk as a spinach replacement.  It's a perennial, and even when I've lost them to freezes, they've always come back.  Granted, I'm in FL, but I've had nights in the high 20s.  And, down here, they're covered in leaves almost all year (maybe not Jan / Feb).  You could try it indoors, though.  Once you have a plant, it is extremely easy to propagate.  I've probably got ~50 now, and I could easily have 500.