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The Benefits Of Indoor Gardening

I’m sitting here in the house after a pretty intense thunderstorm. The thunder started around 4 o’clock, the severe warning came over the television at 4:15, and the bottom fell out at 4:26. This isn’t meant to be a scathing review of the weather service, it’s just a normal event in this part of the country. The same thing happened yesterday, but about an hour earlier. Two weeks ago, it wasn’t raining around here at all. Every day I checked the thermometer on the deck and every day it read at least 101 degrees by 2:00 pm. It had become so dry, I could fix a stare on a green blade of grass, and watch it slowly fade to brown from the very tip down to the ground where it emerged. There were actually lizards panting on the deck posts with their tongues hanging out. I mean dry.drought faucet tongue

A few months ago I planted some seeds for some herbs and lettuce. When the seedlings come up, I usually put some pretty intense light over them for a week or two, and them I transplant each one into a bucket filled with water and nutrients specifically for that plant and off it goes. Just for the heck of it, I planted the basil in a small pot of compost and potting soil. Every morning before I went to work I put it outside to see if it would grow any better under the sunlight as opposed to the ones inside under artificial light. Some time within the next week we had a blistering downpour before I got home from my daily grind, and the basil was destroyed. There was so much water in the pot (it had holes in the bottom for drainage to no avail) and the plants themselves were beat down to nothing. They were just not going to stand again and were pretty much drowned anyway.

Lettuce and spinach would probably have had to be watered every day when it was so hot. My point being, mother nature can be cruel. Indoor vegetable gardening can, with some exceptions, eliminate those problems. The electricity went off 3 times yesterday during the storm, briefly, but off never the less. Unless you’re doing aquaponics, however, where your fish are depending on the aeration and constant exchange of water and filtering, it shouldn’t cause you any problems. Plants live a significant part of their life in the dark anyway, and according to some experts, such as  Kratky, aeration of the buckets, if buckets are your method, is a personal choice. They don’t absolutely have to be aerated at all.

aquaponics-with-fish-tank-10

However, if it does bother you that the light is off for too long, a small solar array can be assembled that will enable you to do your gardening without depending on your local utility company. You can also grow in a greenhouse, but round here is considered hurricane country and it would have to be a mighty greenhouse indeed to withstand the winds of a major storm. Winds today were supposedly up to 60 mph and that is just an ordinary, everyday storm.small solar array

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11 Comments

  1. Wow, I LOVE the idea of the fish/garden combo! That looks awesome.
    We try to grow a few herbs on our windowsill, basil seemed to do well, but parsley did not. Do you have any suggestions?

    • Hi Emily,
      It’s difficult to say why your parsley didn’t work. Sometimes you might just get bad seeds, or if you bought plants already growing from a store, perhaps they used different plant food from what you used.
      Both parsley and basil grow in similar temps and conditions, so I guess you’d have o go over everything you did. They both need lots of sun, and moist soil with a ph of 5.5-.67. It’s good to put a bit of mulch
      at the base of the plant to keep the roots cool. Outside of that, I’m not sure. Make sure you start with quality seeds though, from a place like Johnny’s, or Jung, or Bonnies.

    • compost in just over 2 minutes. Composting is for eneryove so watch and learn how to compost now. This is a how to video on composting by Clean Air Gardening which shows you step by step instructio =videos&app=youtube_gdata&showsearch=0&rel=0″ type=”application/x-shockwave-flash”

  2. Cool post! I got an aquaponics set up for christmas last year and it works great! I juice my own home grown what grass courtesy of my beta fish Herman. How would you recommend setting up a bigger operation indoors? I live in a condo so space is at a premium.

    • Hey Krysten,
      Not having seen your apt. that is a hard question to answer. I really don’t know how much room you have to use. Generally, though, one can set up a decent system with a 20 or 30 gal. aquarium or tank. I haven’t written anything
      on aquaponics yet and it’s a pretty big subject. AquaponicsSource.com is a good place to start, though.

  3. Hi, I love the fish tank with the plants on top! That is a genius way! I never thought we can do that. I have a fish tank too. Maybe I am gonna try this way. Good sharing.

    • Hi Yishan,
      That style of gardening can be a very attractive addition to one’s kitchen or dining room. Thanks for the comment.

  4. As far as I am concerned, herbs make the difcfrenee between a good meal and a great meal. However, purchasing herbs has gotten to be an expensive proposition. Just find them is the first issue, then find Fresh herbs is the next hurtle and finally finding fresh herbs that you can afford is always difficult. Obviously, the answer is to grow your own herbs.Well as good as that sounds, I have tried it before with little or no success. But after reading Growing Herbs Indoors, I can see the mistakes I have made in the past. The author takes you by the hand and give you the vital information to have an herb garden right in your own home. That way you have a constant source of inexpensive, fresh herbs right at your finger tips. She provides relevant information that will make your growing pains a lot less.All in all, this guide provides details how anyone can grow their own herbs successfully.

    • Hey, growing herbs indoors looks like a post at Bonnie’s Plants.Very smart folks. Good place to get advice. You’re right though, herbs are very expensive when you consider you may not use one more than once a month or even every 2 weeks. It’s much nicer to be able to reach up to your window sill and pluck off just enough for tonight’s dinner. Hope it works out for you.

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