Author Topic: Indoor gardening?  (Read 851 times)

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Offline Nan D.

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Indoor gardening?
« on: January 29, 2018, 10:01:28 AM »
Ok, I'm setting up my little indoor garden. Light is in place and has been serving as an ICU for some peaky houseplants, with very good success.  Next stage is in the readying phase:  I need to pick out my veg.  I am somewhat at a loss about the tomatoes.

In the States I had Black from Tula, Rutgers Space Select (seeds went to space and back), and San Marzano tomatoes. All did very well in 5 gallon buckets, but were more "viney" than I have room for here.  Is there a variety of tomato that does well here that is determinate (more bushy) and a smaller sized plant that anyone can recommend from experience growing it? We prefer the darker or stronger-flavored tomatoes, not the sweet ones. The size (or lack thereof) of the fruit is not an issue, flavor and size-of-plant are the priorities.

I do have some seeds for a dwarf pea plant, more ornamental than anything else (but the hamster will probably enjoy any pods).  So far the basil is thrilled with the light, as are the cilantro and parsley. The hot peppers are growing towards it, and the Ring-o-Fire and Jalepenos have not come up yet. The rest is probably going to be flowers and herbs, as space permits. But I really should get the tomatoes sorted soon.



Offline phatbeetle

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Re: Indoor gardening?
« Reply #1 on: January 29, 2018, 10:48:16 AM »
Definitely look for 'bush' tomatoes if you're not wanting lots of vines.  Most bush tomatoes though are smaller, but not all.   

You can also look for 'Semi-determinate' tomatoes which are a vine, but grow shorter.

Are you interested in heirloom or F1 Hybrid seeds?

I grew heirloom tomatoes last year from the Victorian Nursery - and best tomatoes I have ever gotten. Very tasty.
https://www.victoriananursery.co.uk/Tomatoes/


 
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Offline eatoomey

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Re: Indoor gardening?
« Reply #2 on: January 29, 2018, 10:53:20 AM »
Ok, I'm setting up my little indoor garden. Light is in place and has been serving as an ICU for some peaky houseplants, with very good success.  Next stage is in the readying phase:  I need to pick out my veg.  I am somewhat at a loss about the tomatoes.

In the States I had Black from Tula, Rutgers Space Select (seeds went to space and back), and San Marzano tomatoes. All did very well in 5 gallon buckets, but were more "viney" than I have room for here.  Is there a variety of tomato that does well here that is determinate (more bushy) and a smaller sized plant that anyone can recommend from experience growing it? We prefer the darker or stronger-flavored tomatoes, not the sweet ones. The size (or lack thereof) of the fruit is not an issue, flavor and size-of-plant are the priorities.

I do have some seeds for a dwarf pea plant, more ornamental than anything else (but the hamster will probably enjoy any pods).  So far the basil is thrilled with the light, as are the cilantro and parsley. The hot peppers are growing towards it, and the Ring-o-Fire and Jalepenos have not come up yet. The rest is probably going to be flowers and herbs, as space permits. But I really should get the tomatoes sorted soon.

I get most of my seeds for home and work from a company called Real Seeds. Can recommend.
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Offline Nan D.

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Re: Indoor gardening?
« Reply #3 on: January 29, 2018, 12:37:03 PM »
Thanks, will try both. I know there are lots of seeds that cannot be imported, or we would have brought some in.

I prefer to go with heritage varieties, as opposed to modified or F1. On principle, if for no other reason. (I don't want to see them die out.)   I think we can manage two five-foot plants, if I am careful about pinching them back. They will be trained up a macrame lattice, if possible, on either side of a central column of space that the light will be shining down through. They'll also get a lot of indirect light as the days lengthen.

Do you have a favorite variety?

Offline jfkimberly

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Re: Indoor gardening?
« Reply #4 on: January 29, 2018, 12:50:43 PM »
Nan, are you able to post photos?  I am curious to see the overall size and configuration of your indoor gardening space.
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Offline Nan D.

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Re: Indoor gardening?
« Reply #5 on: January 29, 2018, 02:21:10 PM »
When we're totally up and running I will. :)  I will get the Daughter to show me how to do it.

Right now we're on a small-scale - a multi-tiered wire shelving unit against the kitchen wall. It is due to be replaced with either a 6' similar construction shelving unit or, possibly, a clothes rack from which I can drape hanging plants. The tomatoes will, of course, be in 5 gallon buckets (or similar) on the floor underneath.  Haven't decided which way I want to go. I'm thinking the light distribution would be better for the 'maters if I used the hanging plant system. But there's something nice about wire shelving - you put the sun hogs up higher and the things that prefer shade lower....

The light I got is said to cover an area 3' x 2' from the appropriate distance from the floor. I will be draping a mylar film (reflective) over the front to reflect light back, and the white wall does that now for the back.  I do have an ICU box - a cardboard box lined with aluminum foil - on one end of the shelves now, so that no light is wasted. It's brought a few plants back from the edge, for sure!

Offline jfkimberly

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Re: Indoor gardening?
« Reply #6 on: January 29, 2018, 02:28:46 PM »
When we're totally up and running I will. :)  I will get the Daughter to show me how to do it.

Right now we're on a small-scale - a multi-tiered wire shelving unit against the kitchen wall. It is due to be replaced with either a 6' similar construction shelving unit or, possibly, a clothes rack from which I can drape hanging plants. The tomatoes will, of course, be in 5 gallon buckets (or similar) on the floor underneath.  Haven't decided which way I want to go. I'm thinking the light distribution would be better for the 'maters if I used the hanging plant system. But there's something nice about wire shelving - you put the sun hogs up higher and the things that prefer shade lower....

The light I got is said to cover an area 3' x 2' from the appropriate distance from the floor. I will be draping a mylar film (reflective) over the front to reflect light back, and the white wall does that now for the back.  I do have an ICU box - a cardboard box lined with aluminum foil - on one end of the shelves now, so that no light is wasted. It's brought a few plants back from the edge, for sure!

So a wall garden (not to be confused with a "walled garden")... now I'm considering our plans for our house.  I think once the utility room is no longer our kitchen, I might be able to do something back there.  Our future kitchen is already going to be a bit small, so I couldn't do anymore more than windowbox herbs in there.
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Offline phatbeetle

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Re: Indoor gardening?
« Reply #7 on: January 29, 2018, 02:35:22 PM »
Sounds interesting Nan. 

How are you going to combat pest control?  I always struggle with aphids and other pests when I try and grow herbs ,peppers, and tomatoes indoors. In the greenhouse, I use a combination of marigolds everywhere, ladybirds and SB Invigorator, which is fab, but in the house, the insects seems to take over quickly and I can't release the ladybirds. 
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Offline jfkimberly

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Re: Indoor gardening?
« Reply #8 on: January 29, 2018, 02:37:38 PM »
Sounds interesting Nan. 

How are you going to combat pest control?  I always struggle with aphids and other pests when I try and grow herbs ,peppers, and tomatoes indoors. In the greenhouse, I use a combination of marigolds everywhere, ladybirds and SB Invigorator, which is fab, but in the house, the insects seems to take over quickly and I can't release the ladybirds.

Geez.  I'm such a novice... I didn't realize ladybirds were pest controllers.  I thought they nommed plants.
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Offline Nan D.

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Re: Indoor gardening?
« Reply #9 on: January 29, 2018, 03:07:07 PM »
Used to use ladybirds back in California. "Must climb, must climb!" Loved' em.

We have had some problems with aphids already - came in on a plant bought from Dobbies and wreaked havoc. I have never had as bad an aphid problem on plants indoors as I've had here.  The one plant left from that batch gets washed under the sink regularly, but I think I'm going to lose it. It's in ICU now, but was in pretty bad shape when the light arrived.  I did get a sort of a pitcher plant [named Jamie], and whatever the wanna-be aphids metamorphosized into and flew away tend to fly straight to Jamie. The pitcher plant seems very healthy.

Will try one of the oil-based spray-ons, I think (Neem oil or insecticidal soap, probably the soap) as I had some luck with that in SoCal. I have also been encouraging the house spider to visit the plants. Haven't seen him in a while, but there also seem to be fewer bugs. And there are always marigolds. :)  We typically like to have them in the house, so there'll be some in with the plants this time, too.

Yep, it'll be small. We have a spare bedroom that is basically a wall-o-windows on a southern exposure, and if it was not already consigned to be the Daughter's sewing room it would be the indoor garden. But we need the sewing room, so... small garden in the kitchen. With some things on the windowsill in the sewing room.  :)

It's all a grand experiment, after all. Keeps me out of mischief.

Offline jfkimberly

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Re: Indoor gardening?
« Reply #10 on: January 29, 2018, 03:19:58 PM »
I have also been encouraging the house spider to visit the plants. Haven't seen him in a while, but there also seem to be fewer bugs.

You only have one spider?  We have them in every room.  We don't have much else with more than 4 legs, and our house is pretty open to the outside world (mice come and go as they please!), so I think our spiders are doing their jobs.

Quote
Yep, it'll be small. We have a spare bedroom that is basically a wall-o-windows on a southern exposure, and if it was not already consigned to be the Daughter's sewing room it would be the indoor garden. But we need the sewing room, so... small garden in the kitchen. With some things on the windowsill in the sewing room.  :)

It's all a grand experiment, after all. Keeps me out of mischief.

I like the idea of the indoor garden, because the stuff is right there... you don't have go out to the garden to tend to it (it makes it sound like so much more work when you have to go out to it).  But I don't think I could do it tidily in this house... I might stick with my greenhouse plan.  There's a section of the stable yard that we don't use at all.  It's just land that we own.  And it gets great sunlight most of the year.... it's just over there.
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Offline margo

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Re: Indoor gardening?
« Reply #11 on: January 29, 2018, 03:34:25 PM »
Definitely look for 'bush' tomatoes if you're not wanting lots of vines.  Most bush tomatoes though are smaller, but not all.   

You can also look for 'Semi-determinate' tomatoes which are a vine, but grow shorter.

Are you interested in heirloom or F1 Hybrid seeds?

I grew heirloom tomatoes last year from the Victorian Nursery - and best tomatoes I have ever gotten. Very tasty.
https://www.victoriananursery.co.uk/Tomatoes/
Ooh. We are going to have a garden to ourselves and I was thinking of trying a small container garden if it gets enough sun. Would these work in containers? (both sides have a protected garden... Can't wait!


Which light are you using indoors? I've always wanted a year round herb garden :)

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Offline phatbeetle

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Re: Indoor gardening?
« Reply #12 on: January 29, 2018, 03:38:22 PM »
Tomatoes are perfect in containers.    :)
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Offline Nan D.

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Re: Indoor gardening?
« Reply #13 on: January 29, 2018, 05:33:10 PM »
You only have one spider?  We have them in every room.  We don't have much else with more than 4 legs, and our house is pretty open to the outside world (mice come and go as they please!), so I think our spiders are doing their jobs.

I like the idea of the indoor garden, because the stuff is right there... you don't have go out to the garden to tend to it (it makes it sound like so much more work when you have to go out to it).  But I don't think I could do it tidily in this house... I might stick with my greenhouse plan.  There's a section of the stable yard that we don't use at all.  It's just land that we own.  And it gets great sunlight most of the year.... it's just over there.

That space sounds lovely. If I had the ground, I'd be outside digging in it. We normally don't grow much indoors - just culinary herbs and flowers.  ;D

Offline KFdancer

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Re: Indoor gardening?
« Reply #14 on: January 29, 2018, 05:34:47 PM »
JF, you NEED a cat.  Maybe one of those hairless ones would be okay....