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Starting Garden Indoors ?


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#1 speedyg OFFLINE  

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Posted March 31, 2012 - 11:04 PM

Hi all, I have been reading the threads due to the fact that I also have the itch!!!! I am sure that this has been covered before but I would be greatful if you all would entertain me anyway. :) So I would like to get started on my garden as early as possible and keep reading about you guys starting seeds indoors, or getting veggies ready for pots. I want to play also!! any advise on how you all cheat mother nature in the spring?

#2 Amigatec OFFLINE  

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Posted April 01, 2012 - 05:51 AM

I do hydroponics in the wintertime, so I have a lot of equipment to keep and grow plants inside. If I'm starting from seed, I like to use peat pellets. Seeds don't need light until after they germinate, I like to use a small thin pan or small dish to sit them in. After the plants are up you can use a fluorescent light to provide light to the plants. With fluorescent lights you can place the lights as close to the plants as possible. When the seedings as small I start with plain water and slowly add fertilizer, starting with 1/4 strength and slowly increasing. I use a fertilizer made for hydroponics because it's a complete mixture. Most fertilizers made for dirt also have 3 or 4 elements in them.

As the plants get bigger just repot until youre ready to plant. I like to use seed starting mix to repot with.

Edited by Amigatec, April 01, 2012 - 05:53 AM.

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#3 mjodrey OFFLINE  

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Posted April 01, 2012 - 06:23 AM

That's about what I would have to do if I wanted a garden this time of year.We had a big frost here this morning.

#4 grnspot110 ONLINE  

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Posted April 01, 2012 - 06:50 AM

I have a 10' x 10' greenhouse to start mine, but an enclosed porch or basement will work fine. As stated, florescent lights, "grow lights are available, but not required (regular tubes will work fine, I use "cool white"). I use 72-pack flats, then repot my tomatoes into 3" pots later. I start seeds in a commercial potting mix (i.e.- Miracle Grow), covering seed with a dusting of milled sphagnum moss, dampen the moss with warm water mist & soak the flats from the bottom. Once soaked, they are watered from the top. I use a heat mat to start, but it was warm enough this ear the mat made little difference!

HPIM2378 (Custom).JPG

For smaller projects, most anything will work; foam or paper cups, meat trays, peat pots, etc., just make sure you have drainage holes in the pots.If you transplant the small seedlings, handle them by the leaves, not the stems.

My starts are one flat of tomatoes & seven flats of Marigolds. ~~ Lowell
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#5 Amigatec OFFLINE  

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Posted April 01, 2012 - 07:54 AM

In my grow room I use different lights for different things. I have a 125 watt 6500K CFL I use for growing lettuce and spinach. For growing bigger plants I use a 400 watt Phillps MasterColor CMH, and for light down low I use 4' fluorescent lights that are overdriven, they use T8 6500K tube in them.
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#6 daytime dave OFFLINE  

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Posted April 01, 2012 - 10:06 AM

speedyg

I started last year. My father, member nyabc, has started plants indoors for decades.

I got a florescent light, two flat carriers, and some peat pots. I planted tomato, peppers and some flowers. The flowers never came up. This year I planted herbs, and fewer tomatoes and peppers. I keep the light just one inch over them and on at all times. I used left over plastic plant containers from last year.

I prefer to purchase most of my plants from a stand in my area. I plant my few plants next to them. Keeps the doldrums at bay during late winter.

Good luck with yours.
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#7 Alc ONLINE  

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Posted April 04, 2012 - 07:40 AM

I'm sure if you read the Gardening threads you saw this one but I'll add that we've been picking some of the lettuce started last Sept. and moved some of the lettuce that was started inside this year into the covered area. I'll be moving the plastic to the unplanted area when I move some tomato plants outside , just to see how early I can get them in the ground . I have about 20 different types growing inside the house , I'll get pictures and dates for you when I get home tonight , Al
http://gardentractor...ady-for-winter/
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#8 speedyg OFFLINE  

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Posted April 04, 2012 - 11:43 PM

It appears that you guys are going space cowboy on me!! :) You all are really set up. All I am trying to do is get a head start on spring. Can that be accomplished without all of the high tec gear. Or is what I am trying not even really worth it. I guess I am thinking kitchen window growing and you guys are thinking garden???????????. Am I thinking to small?

#9 Amigatec OFFLINE  

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Posted April 05, 2012 - 03:50 AM

Yes you can, but probably the most misunderstood part of growing indoors is the light source. Windows don't provide enough light, that's why extra lighting is needed. Light bulbs will have a color temperature in the Kelvin scale, a bulb with a rating of 3000K provides more Red light. Red light is best for plants in the flowering and fruiting stage. Lights with a rating of 5000K are considered "Full Spectum", meaning they provide the full spectrum from red to blue. Lights with a rating of 6500K provide more blue light and are better for seedlings. Plants only use red and blue light, they need more red than blue. If you start plants with to much red light, they will get leggy, they are reaching for the blue light. The sun is more blue in the spring and more red in the fall.

On tube lights the smaller the bulb the brighter the light, also the less wattage they use. T12 bulbs are 1 1/2 inch in diameter and are rated at 40 watts. 12=12 8ths of an inch. T8 bulbs are brighter and are 1 inch in diameter, they are rated at 32 watts. In my grow room I use shop lights that I modified. I have replaced the ballasts with ballasts that are made to drive 4 bulbs but have wired for just 2 bulbs. The light is about 50% brighter this way. Tube lights are only good for growing to about 6 inches, after that the light drops off very quickly. The a 400 watt Philips MasterColor Ceramic Metal Halide bulb I use in my grow room provide light down to about 2 feet into the plant. I use the overdriven bulbs down low to provide extra light for my plants.

For starting plants indoors I use some on those cheap WalMart shop lights with T8 6500K bulbs. Make sure the lights are made for T8 bulbs.
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#10 Alc ONLINE  

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Posted April 05, 2012 - 06:01 AM

I was having some problems getting some seeds to sprout , peppers where one . I bought one of those 18' or so rope lights that you put up at xmass , plugged it on until warm and fexible attachet it to a peice of heavy plastic ( old storage lid ) and that was a cheap " grow mat" once they sprout I can move them under a grow light or in front of the sliding glass door , ,if you not sure when to start them here's a neat web site that I use, it might open to my frost dates so you might need to change them , Al

http://www.chestnut-...om/growform.htm
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#11 daytime dave OFFLINE  

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Posted April 05, 2012 - 08:44 AM

Al, thanks for that link.

#12 JD DANNELS OFFLINE  

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Posted April 05, 2012 - 08:58 AM

Yes, We are starting plants this spring on a shoestring. The wife got the starter pellet trays from Walmart. They are on one of those Rubbermaid 5 shelf storage shelves in the sun room on the eastside of the house. As was said with sunlight from the windows the plants got spindly trying o reach the light. So we put grow lights(also picked up at Walmart) on the bottom of each shelf.
And they have developed enough strength they have been repotted. Jo said the other day she has 80 Roma Tomatoes started beside all the rest of the plants she has started. While we had record breaking temperatures through March. Our temeratures are back down to normal for the first week of April. I won't be putting out ant plants for another 3 weeks. But plan to plant the potatoes and the salad vegetables that will be planted as seed tomorrow.
Speedy, If I remember right your at a pretty high altitude(in Colorado?) and have a short growing season. So getting a headstart would be important, but you will still need to take precautions to protect plants from frost damage even in months where most of us would consider it unthinkable.
But back to your original question, you definately can get started on a shoestring!

#13 speedyg OFFLINE  

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Posted April 06, 2012 - 01:15 AM

JD, Yes you do remember right. Last year I got started to late due to the year before a snow storm destroyed most of my garden. So this year I am trying to get some plants started inside. It sounds like it would be wise for me to get some lights though. Thanks for all the information guys it really helps!! Do you all think that potatoes or onions could go in the ground, say two weeks earlier than the rest of the garden?

#14 Alc ONLINE  

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Posted April 06, 2012 - 06:05 AM

speedyg do you have good sun at your garden site ? Also wondering what your last and first frost dates are in your area. The last few years I've been trying different things and plants to get somthing out of the garden all year . Last year in Sept -Oct planted lettuce and spinich in a cold frame , some lettuce didn't make it and the spinich not so hot either but I've been picking a little lettuce from it and the raised bed under the hoops has some to pick there too.

#15 mjodrey OFFLINE  

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Posted April 06, 2012 - 06:16 AM

Thanks for the link,Al,interesting.




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