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In an effort to follow through with this thread's proposal, I'm thinking about growing several plants in my basement. I seem to remember some nice self-contained grow boxes on the market years ago, but I'm having trouble finding one now.

 

I have quite a bit of room to work with, but only 2 electrical outlets (one of which is reserved-so one outlet). I'd like to grow some peppers, but I realize that I'll need some good lighting and some kind of contained setting. I'd like it to be as low maintenance and cheap as possible. Any recommendations?

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In an effort to follow through with this thread's proposal, I'm thinking about growing several plants in my basement. I seem to remember some nice self-contained grow boxes on the market years ago, but I'm having trouble finding one now.

 

I have quite a bit of room to work with, but only 2 electrical outlets (one of which is reserved-so one outlet). I'd like to grow some peppers, but I realize that I'll need some good lighting and some kind of contained setting. I'd like it to be as low maintenance and cheap as possible. Any recommendations?

Indoor gardens for legal plants arn't that popular or necessary in sunny Oz, so I'm not much help

 

A TV marketer was selling a nice little grwoing unit on TV for a mere $200. Enough to do a few plants It looked and sounded great, but way overpriced.

 

However, I am saving up to buy one of the wide spectrum LED lights that Hydrogen bond mentioned in the thread "How many plants do Hypographers' grow?" It is a link direct to the Chinese manufacturer.

 

Perhaps a Canadian may be able to help? I am told by my Canadian friend that indoor grown MJ is now Canada's biggest export to USA!

Come to think of it, some growing MJ links are very helpful and amazingly knowledgeable.:phones:

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  • 2 weeks later...

I have quite a bit of room to work with, but only 2 electrical outlets (one of which is reserved-so one outlet). I'd like to grow some peppers, but I realize that I'll need some good lighting and some kind of contained setting. I'd like it to be as low maintenance and cheap as possible. Any recommendations?

 

Sorry freeztar, just noticed this thread. As no one else has given specifics, I'll take a shot.

 

Growing sun-loving plants like tomatoes and peppers indoors is difficult and frustrating unless you really go all out with the lighting. I wouldn't suggest LEDs at all, as the light intensity and penetrating power is no where near high enough for the plant. Fluorescents can work, but you would need A LOT, and they aren't as energy efficient in the spectrum that plants need as high intensity discharge lights. Metal hallides are great, but the spectrum is wrong. You really only have one choice, and that is high pressure sodium. You can usually find 70-100w HPS security lights in hardware stores in the states, any larger and you'll likely have to get them from businesses that specialize in indoor gardening. You will need about 35-50 watts of HPS lighting per square foot of coverage. The higher the wattage, the deeper the penetrating power and the greater the distance required between plant and light. Heat generation will become a big concern as well as you get to 400w or larger.

 

All in all, I was unhappy with the cost of indoor growing of sun-loving plants. For the same price of a few decent HPS lights you can build yourself a small attached greenhouse onto a south facing window (obviously north facing in the southern hemisphere) to use natural sunlight and indoor heating. Unless you live too close to the poles, or you don't have 6 hours of direct sun daily, I'd recommend going this route.

 

As for the containers- try to stay away from the typical cylindrical pot. Plant roots hit the side and spin around the outside edge, making poor use of the volume of the pot. There are some specially designed nursery pots, Rootmaker is the brand I use, that are specially designed to direct the plant's roots back into the interior of the pot. For larger plants, like tomatoes, I prefer a heavy-duty rectangular plastic tote container rather than typical nursery containers, as it is easier to move around and allows for much more root volume. I think the brand I bought a lot of was tuff-box or something similar. Regular rubbermaid storage containers are not strong enough to hold up to the weight of the soil for long.

 

Look into pre-formed or do-it yourself shower pans or washing machine pans for a cheap solution to preventing over watering runoff from damaging floors. However, once you get good at judging the amount of water needed, you get to a point where you can water large containers without drain holes without over-watering (as long as you don't use synthetic fertilizers which must be periodically flushed from the soil).

 

Hope this gets you started.

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Thanks for the info!

 

I'd like to do the greenhouse idea, but alas, my southern exposure is shaded by trees. Actually, my whole lot is shady.

 

The individual HPS bulbs might work (50Wx4), but I'm concerned about energy costs. If it costs me $400 to grow 4 pepper plants, then I'm getting a terrible return on investment. Any idea how much the power would cost?

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Lettuce and other leafy greens can be grown in reflected light in a window sill with supplemental lighting from cheap fluorescents.

 

If you have an aquarium, you can rig up a little aquaponics setup with the lettuce too.

 

I actually prefer to grow lettuce indoors, as I hate having to wash away all the aphids that get on the leaves in my garden. Another bonus is that these plants have a quicker harvest time, don't require as much planting media, and produce a larger percentage of edible biomass than higher vegetables.

 

The key to using fluorescent lights for growing is to keep them CLOSE to the plant. The light itself is very low intensity, and the inverse square law means that even one foot away, the light is practically worthless.

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In an effort to follow through with this thread's proposal, I'm thinking about growing several plants in my basement. I seem to remember some nice self-contained grow boxes on the market years ago, but I'm having trouble finding one now.

 

I have quite a bit of room to work with, but only 2 electrical outlets (one of which is reserved-so one outlet). I'd like to grow some peppers, but I realize that I'll need some good lighting and some kind of contained setting. I'd like it to be as low maintenance and cheap as possible. Any recommendations?

 

Sorry I missed this for some reason. I don't know much about hydroponics beyond my little dabbling here and there. JMJones covers that pretty dang well. But if you aren't going to go the hydroponic route, using an amended soil with char, mycorrhizae, vermicompost, etc. will definitely help boost productivity under less-than-desirable conditions.

 

I might even recommend growing edible mushrooms, like those you can get from Paul Stamets's site (Fungi Perfecti), since 'shrooms don't need no stinkin' light. ;)

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I might even recommend growing edible mushrooms, like those you can get from Paul Stamets's site (Fungi Perfecti), since 'shrooms don't need no stinkin' light. ;)

Great suggestion!

I drool at Paul Stamets's catalogue.

Fascinating stuff.

All banned i would think by our feral customs (some ajoining States can't even "import" some plant material from a sister State).

 

PS added later

Sadly, I cannot even keep a cactus alive indoors. At least the outdoor plants can count on some rainwater every now and again, and that's probably why they have a much better survival rate than the ones that depend solely on me.

I don't think it would be possible to keep a cactus alive indoors. Maybe in a tanning-bed perhaps-or short visits indoors say for the peyote ceremony.

ISTM they are deigned for searing 18 hour sun and low low, low humidty

There are lots of things like lower light-like rainforest understory plants. I like cymbiduium orchids. Very hardy here, when they finish flowering you toss 'em outside until they get the urge again.

 

Getting a reputation as a "good gardener" comes from killing fewer plants than you buy or propagate or steal. Everyone -and most live things- kills plants! Heck plants even kill plants!

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Great suggestion!

I drool at Paul Stamets's catalogue.

Fascinating stuff.

All banned i would think by our feral customs (some ajoining States can't even "import" some plant material from a sister State).

 

PS added later

 

I don't think it would be possible to keep a cactus alive indoors. Maybe in a tanning-bed perhaps-or short visits indoors say for the peyote ceremony.

ISTM they are deigned for searing 18 hour sun and low low, low humidty

There are lots of things like lower light-like rainforest understory plants. I like cymbiduium orchids. Very hardy here, when they finish flowering you toss 'em outside until they get the urge again.

 

Getting a reputation as a "good gardener" comes from killing fewer plants than you buy or propagate or steal. Everyone -and most live things- kills plants! Heck plants even kill plants!

 

It's not even possible to buy edible mushroom kits in Australia? :oh_really:

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I don't think it would be possible to keep a cactus alive indoors. Maybe in a tanning-bed perhaps-or short visits indoors say for the peyote ceremony.

ISTM they are deigned for searing 18 hour sun and low low, low humidty

 

Actually if you have a relatively sunny window or a well lit sun room many cacti can indeed live indoors. Some do better than others and indoor humidity suits cacti quite well. Indoor growth is largely slow and spindly compared to growth in full sun. Now for the record Peyote is a rather special type of cacti and has unusual needs in light, humidity, and soil composition but we are just talking about cacti in general... right?

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agreed, many cacti will grow indoors, especialyl epiphytes and tropical species. even peyote will grow well indoors but sepcies like that are from different cliamtes and will grow tall and skinny adn tend to rot easier than normal.

 

if you want easy to grow indoor cacti try christmas cacti, orchid cacti and others along those lines. they do quite well indoors by windows, even in northern countries. If your looking to hold a peyote ceremony, best be thinking about a greenhouse lol.

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Thanks for the cactus advice, Michaelangelica, Moontanman and Ganoderma! Maybe I just had the wrong type of cactus. It gets very hot where I live, so the climate shouldn't be a problem.

 

Have you ever tried growing cacti from seeds? I recently got some cactus seeds, but I wonder how long they'll take to grow and how successful the endeavour will be.

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It's not even possible to buy edible mushroom kits in Australia?

I have only ever sen two varieties of fungi-in kits- sold.

Our import/customs rules are very strict.

 

Have you ever tried growing cacti from seeds? I recently got some cactus seeds, but I wonder how long they'll take to grow and how successful the endeavour will be.

No, i imagine it could be difficult.. Then again if you convince the seed that the 'good times' are here (water) they may sprout- like 'hairs on a rats back' as the OTs say. . I would imagine seed might have a hard coat. This might need filing

I did purchase some peyote seeds from ebay (or the Lucifer-the-light-bearer, side of my personalty did).

The Michaelanglica side, promptly lost them.

BUGGER!!!

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i dont think they would ever make it into Aus. your best bet would be local, or try to hide a spore print in a package.

 

many cacti seeds are really easy to grow. some not, most yes. Light helps germination. surface sowing and keeping moist without things that attract mold will increase chaces. Try seeds of these genera, tehy are all very easy to germinate.

Hylocereus,

Cereus

Astrophytum

Lophophora

Echinopsis/Trichocereus

Ariocarpus

 

for starters ;)

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