Wednesday, June 30, 2010

Indoor Gardening

"Thank goodness for pot growers!"

"Umm... what?!"

"There's a ton of information on how to build effective grow boxes on all the pot growing sites. They're even more dedicated than veggie gardeners!"


We've been talking about getting more pots to supplement our current garden beds. So when Keith mentioned pot, I naturally thought that he was talking about containers, even though what he said didn't make much sense. But, no, he meant the other kind of pot. Ah. That makes more sense now.

I haven't even started any seeds for the fall planting yet, but Keith is one step ahead and already thinking about the winter. He wants to build some sort of an indoor grow box where you can not only start seeds, but also grow full-sized vegetables (real vegetables, not pot) in the winter. Initially, I was a bit skeptical, but after doing some quick internet research, I'm starting to warm up to the idea. Apparently it's possible to grow some leafy and root vegetables, and even fruit-setting ones like tomatoes indoors with proper lighting. And no, I'm not talking about full greenhouse operations, which I do know is possible.

Do any of you have any experience growing vegetables indoors during winter time? I would love to hear about your setup and what you've successfully grown indoors.

P.S. After reading Granny's comment, I would also like to hear about any unsuccessful attempts, and any lessons learned.


Annie's Granny said...

I killed two pots of tomatoes last winter, does that count?

Oh, you said "successfully grown".


thyme2garden said...

Ha, I just edited my post to ask people for any unsuccessful attempts as well. So yes, your experience counts! Do you know what you may have done (if anything), or not done, that caused the tomatoes to die, other than the fact that they were indoors? Not enough light? Too cold? Not enough ventilation?

Annie's Granny said...

Leaf miners. I think they came from the nursery with them, and I had to keep picking off leaves until the plants were nearly denuded. They performed fairly well through the winter, then just turned ugly and sickly. When I pulled them from their pots, the root system looked healthy. I think starting my own plants from seed would have given me better results. The tomatoes spent a lot of time outside down there, just being brought in on cold nights, so they had plenty of sunshine.

vrtlarica said...

If you are planning to use grow lights, then I think it might be possible. But without lights, I am not sure that it will work.
There is just not enough light indoors, especially during winter, when days are so short.
I wish you good luck with the project!

thyme2garden said...

Granny, thanks for the info about leaf miners. I haven't had the pleasure of their presence in my garden yet (at least none that I'm aware of), but I'll be on the lookout for them.

vrtlarica, yes, we're definitely considering grow lights as part of the setup. Thanks for your encouragement!

Annie's Granny said...

The leaf miners are particularly bad on beet greens and spinach. I've never had them attack my tomatoes up north, but I read it is common in the south. My fall crops aren't bothered like my spring crops. See an example of leaf miner damage at

LOL, that's minor miner damage. You should have seen my beets this year!

Dirt Lover said...

The only thing I've done inside is start seeds. That's where I learned firsthand there's not enough light. You are wise to know this before you start! Sounds like there's lots of info on the pot farming sites. I say you should go for it, and let us know how it works. Good luck!

thyme2garden said...

Granny, thanks for the link! The pictures and descriptions of pests are really helpful to me, as I still have a long way to go before learning about all the common pests.

Dirt Lover, I also learned this year that seed starting without a light doesn't work so well, even if you situate the seeds right next to a sunny south-facing window. Trial and error!

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