Saturday, January 12, 2008

Gardening Indoors - Update

Ok, it is not nearly as easy as it should be.

Another little experiment I have running this winter is trying to grow some vegetables indoors. It would be nice to have some fresh greens through the cold season while living off dried food store.

Over the past few months I started some tomatoes, green beans, broccoli, green peppers and onions. The broccoli is doing nicely but just about everything else is painfully stunted or dead. I have three decent tomato plants about fifteen inches high and one nice green bean bush about the same. Nothing has produced.

Everything is growing in southern windows but I am not sure they are getting warm enough. The rooms where the plants are kept stays in the sixties or low seventies during the day but can get chilly at night. I live in an old drafty house. My guess is that the plants are not staying warm enough over time to really get a good foothold. And since the cabin will not be any warmer during the winter I really can't see these vegetables doing well in cold weather.

On the other hand the broccoli is doing fairly well, but it is a colder weather plant. I am going to start some lettuce, cabbage and cauliflower for the rest of the winter. They should all grow under cooler conditions.

I will let you know if the tomatoes start producing and keep you updated on the cool weather plants.


theotherryan said...

For long term sustainability indoor gardening (excluding starts, etc) is somewhat impractical off grid. You need a realtively warm place with lots of light.

BigBear said...

I am working on a couple of greenhouses (one attached to the south side of the cabin the other free standing) that will address the light issue, heating is another question entirely.

The neighbor claims that I can provided enough heat with a few black fifty five gallon drums filled with water for thermal mass. I have played with it a little bit but not enough to state it as fact.

Alpine Acres said...

Just a recommendation - I'd get the seeds from

and take 1 or 2 plant(s) that matures to use strictly for more seeds.

They are high altitude seeds for growing in the mountains. I've used this company several times and have only good things to say about them!

You will need to caulk around the windows, use weather stripping where needed and keep a warm fire in the wood stove too.

Hope this helps,

BigBear said...

Alpine Acres,

Thanks that does help, Glad to see you back.

The Hermit said...

If the tomatoes bloom, don't forget that you get to play pollinator since they're indoors... easiest way is to spray distilled water on the blossoms, and the pollen will transport itself to where it needs to go.... I'm having good luck with my seedlings of peas, spinach, swiss chard, and broccoli, but none are anywhere close to old enough to produce...

BigBear said...

The seedlings grow really well but after I transplant them the start to decline.