Indoor Gardening

What skills to learn, what tools to get
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Post by B »

I rent an apartment and do not have access to any land on which to build a garden. Do any of you have experience with indoor gardening? Is it possible to do cheaply? (as in, without high-wattage lighting or other expensive equipment)
I'd be satisfied with simple crops like garlic or even just a herb garden to start with.
A bit off topic, but related: I do have access to a small rickety balcony. What kinds of crops are possible in above-ground planters? I live in Kansas with cold winters and hot summers.

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Post by DW »

You should be able to do herb inside. Green onions and garlic also. I grow tomato's, cucumbers, strawberries, onions, hot peppers and squash in planters. If you get a hard frost after you plant them in the spring, just make sure you cover the plants with something (like a paper bag). I am currently trying lettuce and spinach for baby greens in the pots. There are some books out there (Jacob probably remembers the names) that suggest how to do balcony container gardens, you can grow multiple plants in one pot (tall and short, ect..) to save space.

George the original one
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Post by George the original one »

Root crops (garlic, onions, carrots, potatoes, beets, rutabaga, parsnip, etc.) are generally not considered a good container crop, especially if you have a rickety balcony as you need a fair amount of soil to grow them well.
Just about anything else is fair game. Tomatoes are very popular indoor crops as you'll be able to harvest them when they're expensive in the store. Some seeds like a chilling period before they sprout, so a cold outdoor location means you wouldn't have to use the refrigerator.

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Post by aquadump »

I tried garlic, peas, strawberries, tomatoes, eggplant, and a thing that started growing from the kitchen sink* in an indoor aquaponics eco-system. I couldn't get any to grow with natural light (indoors). I remember the peas could not get past the flowering stage so I set my hypothesis that the system needed pollinating. I also had them in the northwest corner, perhaps south facing would've be better.
Any ideas why my indoor plants failed?
*My last apartment was not well kept.
Instead of aquaponics, I now fertilize (outdoor) plants with my fish tank water when I clean it.

George the original one
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Post by George the original one »

Peas are a cool weather plant (at least in Oregon, otherwise a virus affects them) and do need pollenization.
Tomatoes need pollenization.
I don't like eggplant, so have never tried growing it, but as I recall they love heat.
South facing windows would work best, otherwise you're only getting indirect sunlight. Just have to make sure the little lants aren't getting cooked.

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