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Indoor gardening question

Sara Fletcher

Joined: May 02, 2012
Posts: 5
I live in an apartment right now without a backyard, so I've been trying to figure out creative ways to keep a garden. I've been looking into indoors gardens, but the main problem with my place is that it simply does not have access to enough sun. But I read that you could use certain light bulbs instead... has anyone had any good experiences with using grow light bulbs (I found some green ones with this lightbulb vendor)? Have you been able to grow a garden with artificial light? What are some ways I can get around this dilemma?

Trying to find ways to make the most out of green living and gardening
Devon Olsen

Joined: Nov 28, 2011
Posts: 1003
Location: SE Wyoming -zone 4
just about every type of light will work for growing plants if you have enough watts and lumens, LED's are extremely popular for growing small plants due to the low amount of heat they put out
flourescents are another very popular light CFL's are simply compact flourescents and work just as well, you are basically just trying to get plenty of light to the platns to supplement the sun
T5's are excellent for an indoor garden setup
if going indoors and spending hte money on a setup, i owuld suggest an aquaponics system because you can pull out freshwater fish/lobsters and mussels as well as what you grow, also less mess if spilled(though i suppose thats argueable) and plants grow at twice the rate of soil, aquaponics is the organic version of hydroponics and doesnt involve buying expensive nutes or dumping toxic chemicals every few months
there is quite a bit out there about growing plants indoors and you can come on quite the wealth of information if youre not paranoid about the source(pot growers know TONS about growing indoors and googling some of their setups can give you an endless list of examples to base your edible/medicinal garden off of)

i would set up an ebb and flow aquaponics system with some T5's set on an 18/6 light cycle
you will find that some plants dont flower unless the hours of light are reduced, the most common flowering cycle ive heard of is the 12/12 cycle with 12 hrs on and 12 hrs off

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Sara Fletcher

Joined: May 02, 2012
Posts: 5
I think aquaponics may be a little too complicated for me! Not really looking to care for fish and lobsters, and I think my landlord would not appreciate the whole water system in my apt But if I move out, then I'm definitely considering it! Thanks for your tips on the bulbs though
Mary James

Joined: Mar 18, 2011
Posts: 140
Location: NW MT Zones 4/5 Rollins Mt
what are you wanting to grow That makes a big difference...Certain plants need certain types of lighting certain light bulbs give off more or less.Flowering crops that produce fruit typically need the red spectrum to produce,, greens and such to keep this simple need the green to blue end of the spectrum..We have used many types of light systems but when you get into depth with the ones for vegetable/fruit production(tomatoes) you end up using lights that tend to get really warm and usually run with an air cooled system along with other aspects that bring the cost up tremendously.You really have to want the produce to handle some of the power bills that can come from these things..If your just wanting to grow green crops like lettuces etc,, plain old florescent work great.. I am not a fan of these but the areogardens systems have a small hydroponic set up and lights that cover full spectrum they are small and work in small living space..Have you checked out that type of system yet??
Shawn Harper

Joined: Mar 01, 2012
Posts: 230
Location: Portlandia, Oregon
Consider shade loving plants, just saying.

She changes everything She touches, and everything She touches changes.
Sara Fletcher

Joined: May 02, 2012
Posts: 5
Mary James wrote:Sara, what are you wanting to grow?

I wanted to grow a small vegetable garden, maybe lettuce, beets .... but I haven't really given it much thought I think your tips give me good perspective though, I don't want to bring up my electricity cost soo much. Based on your advice, I may grow more leafy green veggies.

Shawn Harper wrote:Consider shade loving plants, just saying.

That's my last resort!
Burra Maluca
Mother Tree

Joined: Apr 03, 2010
Posts: 5253
Location: Portugal Zone 9 Mediterranean Climate
What about mushrooms? No light needed.

How works

What is a Mother Tree ?
Sara Fletcher

Joined: May 02, 2012
Posts: 5
Burra Maluca wrote:What about mushrooms? No light needed.

O.O I've never considered mushrooms before, are they hard to grow?
Devon Olsen

Joined: Nov 28, 2011
Posts: 1003
Location: SE Wyoming -zone 4
^not particularly, there are a lot of differents teks that are quite simple if you have the spores
if doing soil sound easier(which im sure it is otherwise id have a huge aquaponics system going myself lol) then you could maybe do a few mushrooms in the middle of a ring of pots planted with vegetables/herbs
culinary herbs are a great houseplant to have as you can harvest the freshest herbs possible right before cooking with them, so maybe some basil, cilantro, green onions, whatever else you can think of in a few pots surrounding a little container with soem mushrooms going

the mushrooms not only require very little light(just enought to see which way is up) but they take the oxygen produced by the plants and produce CO2 which feeds the plants, making them grow with more vigor and health...
plus it looks really cool to have mushrooms growing right next to your plants...
Sara Fletcher

Joined: May 02, 2012
Posts: 5
Interesting, I'm going to have to try this. Mushrooms are so tasty...
subject: Indoor gardening question
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