On the onset of winter, the interest to have fresh greens is unending. At the same time, those who understand the importance of plants know they are useful in keeping the air fresh, improving the aesthetics of the indoor space while at the same time provide the family with a variety of sweet organic foods. Those living in the city find that growing indoors is helpful since they have limited lands. Additionally, the indoor garden can be a starter for outdoor plants come spring.
The vastness of the space is dependent on your interest and space available. Growing various types of plants can be easily down on a table or a windowsill. Those that have space or can economize on the much they have can set the table dedicated for the garden. This is achieved by setting the table in a small space that gets hold of inevitable drops of water or set a tap below the table. Shelves can also be used, but with the provision of availability of glow lighting for each shelf.
Lighting is important for plants for photosynthesis to take place. The inadequate light, the plants grow spindly and tall. With little energy, the leaves do not expand. Additionally, there are no hopes to see flowers and fruits with little light.
Things to Consider when Buying Glow Lights
- The photoreceptors in plants trap particular wavelengths of light. The source of the light should have the same wavelength as that of the sun. Therefore, the regular light bulb is ruled out.
- The source of light should be as close as possible to the plant.
- With mist vegetables requiring 14-16 hours of simulated light, it is important to check the color and size of the plant and leaves.
- Take into consideration of the florigen hormone responsible for budding and flowering. Therefore, take into consideration of the long day and short day plants for the health of the plant and volume of expected production.
It is important to know what types of lights to take and not take from the ones available.
- Fluorescent lights- are ideal for herbs growing and the growing plants that do not require lots of light.
- Incandescent lights- are available in nurseries or hardware stores and are expensive. Despite being suitable for the growth of houseplants, they are not for an indoor garden.
- Compact fluorescent systems-these are new types of fluorescents that are smaller in size but more efficient since they are built for plants. They are brighter and more efficient somehow more than the high-intensity discharge (HID) lights, and they give less heat than the HID lights.
- High-intensity discharge lights are expensive but the brightest, making them the most reliable ones. One the it that is glowing with 1, 000-watts gives the same amount of light with fifty 40-watt fluorescent bulbs.
- The hortilux HPS lights are simply the best. They fine-tune the lighting system to give spectral energy that is at optimum levels of 2100K that favor vigorous growth of the plant and optimum yields. They give an addition of 17 percent spectral energy while the additional violet energy is at 25 percent, green and blue spectrum over the standard sodium.
There are several varieties of HID bulbs that are viable in the market. However, the most preferable for indoor gardening is the metal halide bulbs and high-pressure sodium bulbs. The HPS bulbs give out light that is red-orange, which is essential for flowering. Having a two-times lifespans that the metal halides ones, they are economical. It is not reliable as such since it doesn’t give blue light relevant for leafy growth. On the other hand, the metal halide bulbs produce blue-white light that is needed for leafy growth. It is essential to use these bulbs to start out the plants then switch to high-pressure sodium bulb for flowering.
Plants do well at temperatures of 65-75°F for most of them. A variation of plus or minus 10°F is still OK for the plants to have normal growth. Temperatures beyond optimum result in smaller and weak plants while very cold temperatures result in yellow leaves that fall off easily. It is advisable to have an autopilot cooling thermostat that regulates the temperatures of the growing environment. The inbuilt photocell in the device automatically maintains the day and night temperature chosen.
Low humidity hinders plant growth. Heating the house during summer worsens the situation. Tips of leaves turning brown, leave loss, and puckered leaves is a sign of low humidity in the house. To reverse, it is important to mist the plants regularly, having a tray of water near the garden, placing the plants close together, running a humidifier or buying an environment controller that dehumidify of humidifying depending on demand.
Most plants can be grown indoors so longs the plant does not get too big for the space available. However, it is imperative to consider having plants that require the same amount of light, watering needs and humidity.
Vegetables like salad greens, kale, chard, onions, beans, bush and carrots are among the ones that have similar requirements. When it comes to herbs, one can consider catmint, lavender, parsley, basil, rosemary among others. Flowers can be like marigold, begonia, roses, candytuft, pansy, alyssum, petunia, geranium among others. Fruits that are closely related regarding requirements are like citrus, blueberries, apples of dwarf varieties and strawberries.
When winter is setting in, one might consider having the plants that were outside to continue growing from the inside. They are put in pots first if the were not and then given some time for acclimation.
Now that the indoor garden is set and all the equipment sent, maintenance is needed. One can do the maintenance for themselves or hire professionals to help. Maintenance is all about staking, watering, pruning and the general care for the plants.
Additionally, indoor plants require nutrient boost obtained from fertilizers. The reason is due to the fact that the nutrients in the soil are used exhaustively by the pan or at times leached out when watering the plant.
Troubleshooting of plants entails having and understanding the effect of the interior environment to the growth of the pants. At the same time, it comprises understanding the difference between indoor and outdoor gardening. Extensive research comes in handy to give a deeper understanding that makes one a successful indoor gardener.