Newbie Gardener! (Indoor Container)

Aysling(5)January 9, 2014

I've had a few strawberry plants before, but I've never put any time or research into gardening, and my results have been less than spectacular. I've never had the space for any kind of garden before, but with our current larger living space I decided to give indoor container gardening a try.

I'm starting with 20 plants (including the strawberries!), just under 40 square feet. I've read a few books and most suggest starting with under 50 square feet.

Unfortunately, I haven't been able to get answers to all of my questions, which is why I opened an account here!

1) If I'm growing indoors, I should be able to harvest any plant year round, as long as I can provide the correct temperature, sunlight and nutrients, correct?

2) I've been using SmartGardener to help plan my garden and it gives a temperature range for most plants, eg. carrots with a outdoor growing temp of 45- 75 F. Should I try to keep their temperature at 60 degrees? Are there any plants that need a range of temperatures in order to grow properly?

3) Final question: how can I provide separate temperatures within the same room? Would heating and cooling mats be sufficient? Since it's currently winter, could I place the cool temp plants closer to the window, partially close the vent, and put greenhouse-type covers on the warmer plants?

I'm trying to keep the overall garden as cost-effective as possible, especially this first season, and I'm not afraid of a little DIY to make that happen! I'm already planning on making my own planters and light fixtures.

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You are attempting to grow full sun plants inside your structure, and in my opinion the amount of light will be your major problem. A light meter is available for around $25, and would be a good investment before you spend too much time and money on your desire for a fruiting garden indoors. Al

    Bookmark   January 9, 2014 at 9:16AM
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I'm planning on making my own lights, with a bit of help from my dad, who's an EE. I found a calculator online that approximated how many bulbs I would need for a given square footage, the watts per square foot, and the watts per bulb. I then reduced that a bit as I have a window in the room, and I'm planning on using a lot of reflectors to increase light in the room as well.

I'm planning on getting a light meter once I expand a bit, but for this first setup I'll either borrow one, or eyeball it to keep costs down.

Current list of plants:
Blueberry, Sunshine Blue
Carrot, Little Finger
Lettuce, Garden Babies
Lettuce, Garden Fern
Lettuce, Sea of Red
Microgreens (blends) x2
Spinach, Summer Perfection
Basil, Genovese
Onion, Walla Walla
Oregano, Greek
Pepper, Habanero
Pepper, Jalapeno
Pepper, Orange and Red Suave
Summer Squash, Black Beauty (Zucchini)
Sweet Potato, Bradshaw
Thyme, Creeping

This post was edited by Aysling on Fri, Jan 10, 14 at 7:29

    Bookmark   January 10, 2014 at 7:10AM
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