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Indoor Vegetable Farming

One of the things that attracts me to indoor vegetable farming, is the ability to protect the plants from mother nature’s undesirable elements. Growing indoors allows me to control the temperature, insects, lighting and nutrient levels of each type of plant. Although there are several vegetables that grow best in the summer, some have different nutrient requirements. Some plants have different maturation lengths which may be better served by using different colored lights to help them along for best results. If you are in a region that is going through a drought such as the west coast is now, you can also control the amount of water the plants consume by growing in containers such as 5 gallon buckets or vertical towers. When growing lettuce, using a floating raft is extremely popular and successful around the world, and allows one to circulate the water so it can be filtered and reused again and again, allowing even a small backyard grower to save gallons upon gallons of water that would otherwise be lost to the ground. Occasionally you have to add fresh water, but not to the extent of having to water every day or even 4 times a week. I grow some vegetables and fruit in buckets, adding an air hose for aeration. I only have to add more water 1 or 2 times through the lifetime of the plant.

This photo to the  shows lettuce being grown with the floating raft system.  I’ll get into the details at a later time, but in short, plants that don’t flower, such as spinach and lettuce do well with their roots totally immersed in water at all times. The second photo demonstrates the zip grow tower developed by Dr. Nate Storey at the University of Wyoming. He has since created his own farm and business around this product called Bright Agrotech. Both of these systems can be used indoors or outdoors, but as I said before, you would have much more control over the health and growth of your plants inside. The zip grow towers are best for any plant that doesn’t have a heavy hanging fruit. In other words, you would be most successful growing herbs or leafy vegetables.

lettuce raftzip grow towers

There are many indoor hydroponics systems available, many different types of nutrients, depending on whether you want to go with organic or manufactured chemicals, and many places and web stores to buy entire systems, or just parts to create your own ideas with. So if you’re looking for a challenging hobby or to take control of your own nutrition, indoor vegetable farming might be for you.

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8 Comments

  1. I always wanted a green house and never got around to learning how to grow inside. My brother-in-law used to put green houses together around the state, and he and his father also grew fruits and veggies all their lives, so I even had the opportunity to learn from some experienced people. Unfotunately, they moved up North and I still haven’t tried it yet. I keep saying one day, lol. Happy Planting!
    ~ Melinda

  2. I love gardening and a few years ago my husband built me a huge glass greenhouse using double glazed cedar wood windows. This year though I’m not having much luck when it comes to growing anything,maybe I need to do something with the soil? Last year was fantastic.I like the idea of the zip grow tower, it would utilise loads of space inside. So interesting, keep writing – Gill

    • Hey Gillian,
      Thanks for the comment. In the zip grow tower you eliminate soil altogether. Plants just need certain nutrients and the aren’t real fussy about how they get them. Vertical farming of any sort
      really does give you much more space. I’ll be writing more about vertical gardening soon.

      • I agree, it isn’t hard. All we need are the right tools and we can be just as successful as a famerr growing acres. When I needed some solid information and direction I turned to The Garden Master. I searched him on the web and found out he was a man of? many talents.

        • Yeah, the Garden Master is Ted Hallet. Someone else mentioned him recently. He says in a video I just watched he isn’t interested in eating tomatoes, cantaloupe. He only wants to eat lettuce and chard. Great-but not for me. Everything he grows can be grown in a bucket with just water and some soluble nutrients. There would be no reason to limit yourself. I’ve grown lettuce, watermelon, cucumber, sugar snap peas and sweet peppers successfully and I have only been at it for 2 yrs. I’m slowly figuring out which nutrients are best for each plant, and it won’t take me 40 yrs. I’m not putting him down-he has some good info, but all these systems work. There is no need to bad mouth the efforts of anyone out there looking for better nutrition and trying to save natural resources at the same time. Thanks for the comment-keep them coming.

  3. I think it is hard to determine how much water is too much or too liltte, that is why I am grateful for a watering system, I have a? Bucket Garden which was created by a man named Ted Hallett, he has over 30 years of experience in Organic Gardening. His system makes gardening not only successful but simple.

    • I’ve never heard of him but I’ll check him out. In my buckets how much water is determined by whether the roots have found their way to it. With the lid on the bucket, there is very little evaporation, so at least 90% of the water is used by the plants. I add water usually twice throughout the life of the plant. I think container gardening can go a long way toward alleviating drought conditions. Thanks for commenting.

  4. It’s a shame you don’t have a donate button! I’d without a
    doubt donate to this fantastic blog! I suppose for now i’ll settle for bookmarking
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