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Please, Help with Gardening for People Who Cannot!?

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posted on Feb, 1 2009 @ 07:35 PM
I have come to the Survival forum asking for help. I figured maybe this would be a great thing to ask about publicly, assuming I may not be the only one.

Gardening, growing food/other plants indoors. Or at least starting them there. I know I am not the only one on ATS who lives in an apartment, so must make due with what little space is available.

I have made three attempts at growing plants from seeds, and even thought that I found a serious advantage. I'd start out planting the seets in pots, with good soil and nutrients, spraying a mist of water everyday to keep the soil moist. And, then keep said plants on my computer monitor, which made them sprout REALLY quick (I assume from the heat).
But then as the little sprouts reach a couple of inches tall, they'd fall over and die, everytime. Even providing them light, water, nutrients, and the warmth of the computer monitor. lol This even happens when placed on a windowsill after sprouting, where they can get natural sunlight.
I have no experience growing anything, and give the people of the survival forum the OK to laugh if they like.

Anyone have any ideas or suggestions for someone who wants to grow food stuff indoors?

posted on Feb, 1 2009 @ 07:45 PM
Try seedlings if you're having problems with seeds.

Maybe keep them away from the computer and keep them in as much sunlight as possible while keeping the soil moist.

Also, if you buy a good quality seedling potting mix you shouldn't have to add anything else to help them grow until they get larger, then add some slow release fertiliser or something similar.

posted on Feb, 1 2009 @ 07:55 PM

posted on Feb, 1 2009 @ 08:16 PM
Young seedlings are easily drowned.The soil needs to be moist not saturated.Plenty of sunlight or a grow lamp.Make sure that in sunlight that the seedlings don't get to hot.75-80 degrees would be best. Seedlings are extremly tender and require nurturing.

posted on Feb, 1 2009 @ 08:29 PM
You might try looking around a bit on YouTube. I found good advice on how to plant apple trees. They have information on sprouting, too.

posted on Feb, 1 2009 @ 09:01 PM
I found out the best way is to get you an empty box big enough for your plants, cut the box about 2-3 inches above the size of the plants you wish to grow, take a clear plastic wrap and seal the seeds inside (of course this is after you water the seeds), place in the sun light and let them grow.

You must also remember that plants need their space, the bigger the more space they need. I'm not sure if that is your problem with the plants dying or not but when they get about 2-3 inches high, you need to make more room to grow.

Hope this helps.....

posted on Feb, 1 2009 @ 09:04 PM
Oh man, this brings back memories of elementary school where our teachers would teach us how to grow corn and beans. Personally to get practice, I would relearn these childhood lessons.

My first few gardens i started were easy plants like corn and beans. After I got good at growing those, I went to lettuce and tomatos...which i have been stuck at suck mode ever since. I could use a few tips myself on what soil to use and how often to water!

posted on Feb, 1 2009 @ 09:06 PM
your seeds sprout and then elongate due to the fact that they are looking for natural sun light.
Plants live out doors and if you want to grow them inside you need grow lights.
you can first germinate them inside, but then they need sunlight to grow healthy.
Most peoples plants that die indoors is usually due to the fact that they are out door plants.
you can get indoor plants, but fruit and vegtables really require out doors.
Herbs can be grown near a window, but again you will see them stretch.

edit, Ihope this makes sense to you, if you need me to clarify a bit I will try to.
30+ years in horticultural experience

[edit on 1-2-2009 by munkey66]

posted on Feb, 1 2009 @ 09:25 PM
it is possible to do container gardening if you have a balcony, otherwise UV lights would be required and some serious drainage.

Also container gardening in a SHTF situation won't yield nearly enough to warrant the time and effort except for herbs lemon trees which can yield fruit even if stunted.

Indoors there is not enough light, no pollination, poor ventilation, high risk of mold and mildew and other fungus spores (which could put health of humans at risk) and attack from gnats, fruit flies etc. in poorly drained soil.

Also disease(s) from living indoors with high amounts of soil, fertilizers and other items needed to tend a garden of a size worthy of harvest, time and energy is really a bad idea.

herbs do well indoors and require little more than a sunny window ledge, good soil and drainage. A lemon tree will grow well indoors as well and as I said most citrus fruit trees can be stunted once fruit bearing age comes about (usually about three feet +-)

if you have a balcony or a patio...spuds, carrots, corn, berries (grow well in hanging baskets outdoors) can be grown in tubs but need to be at least 2 feet deep with VERY good drainage, corn has shallow roots and can be grown easily in a one foot deep pot or a big tub can hold about two to three stalks. Tomatoes are easy as well, as squash and pumpkin...however they are best suited for outdoors.

Big problem with gardening from seeds is that you must start far more seeds and seedlings than will actually mature. This requires space while they germinate and sprout and until they are thinned. they also require very good drainage and air flow, humidity and warmth so it's really not worth the effort, cost and headache in the end as the actual yield is so very low.

[edit on 2/1/2009 by justgeneric]

posted on Feb, 1 2009 @ 10:04 PM
reply to post by daddyroo45

Everything I would have suggested was in your post, particularly the part about how easy seedlings drown. They need well drained potting soil, outside dirt wont work for pots as it clumps easily and its harder for roots to penetrate. If you are looking to grow large vegetables like tomatoes, corn, or heavy feeding crops of the sort I suggest searching for building plans for whats called an EarthTainer or other self-watering containers.

posted on Feb, 1 2009 @ 10:07 PM
I'm not an expert but started growing my own stuff last year.

How I do it is sow the seeds in a tray of moist compost (I don't use the expensive stuff) Put the tray into a plastic bag and leave them in a dark, warm place until they germinate. This takes anywhere from 5 days to a couple of weeks depending on the plant (peppers in particular take a couple of weeks usually)

The plastic bag should keep enough moisture in the soil until the seeds have germinated. If they do dry out, its better to gently pour some water on rather than spray. I usually just let tap water run on my hand then hold my fingers over the tray and let the water drip on. That way you don't wash the seed further down into the soil. The reason a spray isn't any good is it forms a crust on the top of the soil and the water doesn't penetrate properly.

Once the seedlings appear, you need to remove the plastic bag and sit the tray on a sunny window sill, its a good idea to put some aluminium foil at the back of the tray to reflect the sunlight back onto the plants.

Once the plants grow a 'true' set of leaves (the first little leaves are seed leaves) you can then transplant them into individual 3" (ish) pots and grow them on.

Before you water them, place your finger on the soil, when you remove it, if there is soil stuck to your finger then it probably doesn't need watering yet, its better to water a little regularly than soak them once per week.

Feeding isn't generally done until the plant is mature and flower/fruit has set but you would need to read up on each individual plant you are growing, personally I feed mine all the same.

As for the next step, I don't know how to advise you, I plant mine out in the allotment as soon as there is no risk of frost. Growing indoors you would need growlamps and probably a fan. I did grow peppers on my window ledge once but they didn't get enough hours of sunshine to fruit.

Hope you find a way to grow your own, it is really rewarding and the taste and quality are far superior to the supermarket stuff.

Best of luck

posted on Feb, 1 2009 @ 11:18 PM
you could always opt for grow lights and an indoor hydroponic system which is a little work but will give very good results if you follow instructions.
Just look up indoor hydroponics in your area and take it from there.
there are a few books on the subject as well.

posted on Feb, 1 2009 @ 11:33 PM
I'm sure a good google search and possibly a trip to your local gardining center would do the trick, not sure why you chose ATS to pose this question, there are a multitude of resources out there for this subject.

posted on Feb, 2 2009 @ 01:14 AM
in a SHTF situation how many people will have electricity to run grow lights? Most apartment dwellers will be hooped unless they fit their building with solar panels or windmills.

If you're wanting to garden indoors now then sure grow lights will work...but when the power is gone so is your crop.

Oh and a generator requires venting and fuel...better to team up with some neighbors and get a community garden going. Check with your local home Depot they will often supply a lot of stuff free or at extremely low prices for a community coop garden (at least they do here in Vancouver where space is at a premium, the biggest challenge is finding a place with reasonable lease to set up)

[edit on 2/2/2009 by justgeneric]

posted on Feb, 3 2009 @ 04:23 AM
Research on the web is how I learned. The common store bought little plastic greenhouse with the peat pellets seems to do the trick for me, but you will need a window with a southern exposure or grow lights. I would think that the EM field of your computer might be bad for seedlings.

posted on Feb, 6 2009 @ 07:04 PM
I am a gardener, or to put it more professionally, a horticulturist, I am well prepared to tell you of your mistakes. It is in fact very complicated to grow plants from seed.

1. Not all plants need the same amount of moisture and light to thrive. Some need a lot of light and moisture, some need very little, some need a combination of the two. Some need to be incubated in cold (refrigerated) to germinate, some need to be left alone.

You should read the instructions of the seeds you are trying to germinate very carefully. Sowing at different parts of the year and in different seasons is important. Most spring growing plants require a period of low temperatures to germinate properly. Summer plants prefer a period of drought. Make sure you check carefully the specific growing conditions of the seeds.

If growing in pots/containers, the plants you intend to grow will almost always need different growing environments. Pot plants dry out quicker than other plants, so almost always they will need watering more frequently. Also pots have less soil-rich minerals, you will need to feed them more often then garden grown plants.

If your plants are drooping from seedlings then there are almost always two causes, too much water or too little. Experiment with your seedlings. Divide them into three, water one normally, one less often, one more often, you will soon see if watering habits have to do with "crop failure". If you see this you can adjust your watering to what your plants need to survive. Remember, too much water is often as bad as too little to new plants.

Make sure you pot new seeds or plants in the right kind of compost, potting new seeds in mature plant compost is like overloading a diabetic with sugar, they will have so much nutrient that they will overdose and die.

I hope this helps. With a bit of trial and error, you should be able to get a good balance going with your plants.

[edit on 6/2/09 by AngelInterceptor]

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