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Indoor Grow System

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posted on Aug, 2 2007 @ 09:10 AM
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(My apologies if this ends up being the wrong forum. My thought process was that this project is for herbs and smaller plants for, well, cooking.
)

So, the idea is to set up a grow garden for herbs, a few pepper plants (bushy, grows well in pots), and some beans up a trellis. (If I get adventurous, I'm gonna try sunflowers and tomatoes...) I didn't get a serious chance to garden over the summer, and I'm intrigued by the idea of gardening throughout the winter. Grow lights aren't *that* expensive, considering the adventure of getting stuff to grow in the NE winters.


Problem is -- I've no idea how to start. I looked online, and so far have figured out that people are charging waaaay too much for something that looks relatively simple to make. I've got extra pots, I've got an extra lamp (can I just put a grow light in a regular lamp socket? ...will it blow up or something?), and I've got space, time and dirt. (Seeds coming shortly
)

Anyone have any ideas and/or experience?




posted on Aug, 2 2007 @ 04:21 PM
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I am anxious to hear if anyone has any suggestions as well. My girlfriend and I have been growing peppers, tomatoes and mint outside, but the winters at 5280 are not the most hospitable for growing veggies outside.

Hopefully there is a knowledgeable horticulturalist in the halls of A/B/PTS somehwere.



posted on Aug, 2 2007 @ 06:43 PM
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Okay, tidbit of info I found today...

For the purposes of growing herbs, florescent lights is the best. (least amount of heat)
For growing taller plants, higher wattage florescent, or 'compact' bulbs. (heat levels rising...)
For growing mass quantities, the high pressure sodium lights work the best. (high heat)

Check out this guide for further wattage and some further explanation. And if you find a better one, post it!!! Inquiring minds want to know!!!


Apparently terrarium lights (for lizards and the like) will work for growing plants. If I understand it right, the terrarium lights give off the same spectrum of colors (blue/cold(er) for short, bushy plants, read/hot(er) for tall plants, or mass quantities) as required by plants.

We're going to Home Depot tomorrow, and I'll check the prices of the terrarium lights. (They *have* to be cheaper than the 'official' grow lights.... on average $60-$150 and up, depending on the site. And that's not including shipping or extra bulbs!
)



Good luck with the tomatoes & 'taters!!!

BTW: Did you know that you can grow potatoes in a trash bin using sawdust instead of dirt?


Edited for clarification & missspelling.


[edit on 2-8-2007 by Diseria]

[edit on 2-8-2007 by Diseria]



posted on Aug, 2 2007 @ 07:02 PM
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well i know how to grow some things in doors but im not sure if thats going to be much help to you guys



posted on Aug, 2 2007 @ 07:26 PM
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Here is something I've seen advertised quite a bit.

I view it with some skepticism, only because I haven't tried it.
..but You might want to research it further.

aerogarden



posted on Aug, 10 2007 @ 10:43 AM
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The only problem with this method of growning- in the UK/Europe anyway - is that you might well get your house raided by the cops.

Why? Because over here thats how people grow pot. The police can see an indoor growing set up when they tail criminals with a helicopter. The infra red given off by growing lights sticks out like a sore thumb to them. The cops won't assume that you're growing a bit of basil, they'll come knocking your front door down with the drug squad and ask questions/apologise later.



posted on Aug, 10 2007 @ 07:20 PM
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Hey, if the po-pos didn't stop to question the tomato plants I had in the front windows like the neighbors did (didn't know tomato plants looked like weed plants -- learn somethin' new every day!), then I'm not worried about them pitching a fit over a grow light. ((However, to assuage their worries, I'll keep the set up near a window. I'm just tryin' to get more light to the plants that my windows aren't providing.))



Anyhow, I checked out the Aerogarden -- I'm trying to make something like that, but without spending $100-150. I *know* I can do it for cheaper...

In theory (and take this with a grain of salt), regular fluorescent bulbs will do the trick. The "daylight" kind are supposed to work better than a regular bulb, but will suck up more power. There are more impressive and expensive bulbs (which I'm sure will be picked up by the nosy choppers), but those are for serious growers trying to cover lots of space.

There's also something with the length of time the bulb is used. I didn't understand it all, but after a few months of semi-regular usage, the bulb should be replaced. It won't be burned out, but it gives diminishing returns.

Also, for reflectors (if anyone's interested): White paint will reflect about 80% of the light, tin foil 90% (I think?), and mylar will reflect almost all the light.


Has anyone found anything else?

....or am I the only one checking this stuff out?

.........am I the only one seriously interested?



posted on Aug, 10 2007 @ 07:38 PM
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Originally posted by Diseria
Hey, if the po-pos didn't stop to question the tomato plants I had in the front windows like the neighbors did (didn't know tomato plants looked like weed plants -- learn somethin' new every day!), then I'm not worried about them pitching a fit over a grow light. ((However, to assuage their worries, I'll keep the set up near a window. I'm just tryin' to get more light to the plants that my windows aren't providing.))


A variety of contributing factors could send the police knocking at your door: a jump in electricity usage, a very warm room due to lighting, or visible lights that are on all hours of the night. I know this because my friend is a botanist and got the cops called on her because of no good nosey neighbors. :shk: Of course the cops apologized, but they didn't tell her which neighbors complained. If you know your neighbors, and have been growing things before, it shouldn't be a problem.

I think flouresant lighting will work just fine, and it won't run up your electrical bills either. Aluminum foil will do the trick for reflecting light.



posted on Aug, 11 2007 @ 03:43 AM
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Your best bet is to probably stick with the herbs. Peppers, and beans take way more light, and the investment simply won't be worth what you produce. Other than Herbs you could grow salad greens, they take very little light, need cooler temps, and are perfect for a "perpetual harvest" type system, similar to herbs.

You are correct though about the systems like aerogarden and what not, they are rediculously overpriced, and honestly don't work that well to begin with. If you look at most systems similar to this you will find that they are made of commonly available items that can be found at your local hardware store.

If you just stick with herbs, then a four foot 2 tube flourescent should be enough light, these can be found at Home Depot for roughly 15 dollars. You can buy expensive "grow" tubes, which will have a better spectrum, but I have found that one warm tube, and one cool tube works almost as well, and these are much cheaper.

FYI-Not all herbs do well grown indoors. The "woodier" plants like Rosemary, Tyme, and Mint don't have as strong a flavour as compared to when they're grown outside.



posted on Aug, 11 2007 @ 01:15 PM
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It's a shame to hear about the beans... I had a really cool idea for making a window of leaves. Dang!

And it's a shame to hear about people getting 'popped' for growing food. :shk: Fortunately, the neighborhood is used to us being up late, and the only neighbor who might have a problem is the lady downstairs. (Of course, she's got a problem with everything... one of those 'isn't happy unless she's complaining' people.)



Originally posted by phoenixhasrisin
If you just stick with herbs, then a four foot 2 tube flourescent should be enough light, these can be found at Home Depot for roughly 15 dollars. You can buy expensive "grow" tubes, which will have a better spectrum, but I have found that one warm tube, and one cool tube works almost as well, and these are much cheaper.


Would two bulbs of different wattage work for the hot/cool tubes? Any recommendations?

Is there a big difference between using 2 regular light bulbs, rather than the fluorescent bulbs? Is it simply a difference of the area covered by the light? or an actual difference in the light?



FYI-Not all herbs do well grown indoors. The "woodier" plants like Rosemary, Tyme, and Mint don't have as strong a flavour as compared to when they're grown outside.


Double Dang!!!

I wonder why...


Thank you guys for the helpful info!!!


I'm gonna go play in the dirt!



posted on Aug, 11 2007 @ 08:43 PM
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Originally posted by Diseria

Would two bulbs of different wattage work for the hot/cool tubes? Any recommendations?

I'm not quite following you as you can place whatever kind of tubes you want in the fixture. Most 2 tube fixtures take 40 watt tubes. The difference comes in the spectrum of light that is emitted by the various bulbs (tubes). "Grow" tubes do emit a wider spectrum of light which is ultimately healthier for plant growth, however, when dealing with such low light levels it doesn't really matter.


Is there a big difference between using 2 regular light bulbs, rather than the fluorescent bulbs? Is it simply a difference of the area covered by the light? or an actual difference in the light?

It's a matter of both actually. Fluorescents are cool, even to the touch, so growing with them will not produce vrey much excesss heat as opposed to incandescent bulbs. Another thing, two incandescent bulbs placed closely can burn almost any foliage, whilst fluorescents can almost touch plants with no problems.Besides the heat factor, Fluorescents emit more light per "wattage" than incandescents, so you end up saving money on your electricity bill in the long run with them




I wonder why...


Mainly because the flavour of herbs is contained in the oils that the plants produce as a natural reaction to increased light, and heat levels. For example, if you pick a pepper on a cloudy day it will not be as spicy as if you were to pick it at high noon on a hot day.

To be honest, none of your indoor herbs will taste anywhere near as good as some grown outside in the full sun, they will be comparable and better than nothing though, especially in the winter months when most can't grow outside


[edit on 11-8-2007 by phoenixhasrisin]




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