Indoor garden tips?

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Maxwellol

Tenderfoot
Feb 10, 2013
90
0
Manchester
Hi all

So I want to start being a little more self-sufficient, so I'm tempted to give potted vegetable/herb growing a chance.

The rub? Living in an enclosed flat in a city centre with no outdoor space makes that very difficult :/

So does anybody have any tips or starting points about what kind of things it would be possible to grow indoors in pots or mini-"greenhouses" to get me started? Herbs are an obvious choice as I already know you can grow these on windowsills and such, but I was looking to be a little more adventurous than that.

Also if anybody can suggest any good reading to help me along, maybe a beginner's book or something I could get from the library, that would be great :D

Cheers

Ps. Space is a limiting factor. We have floor to ceiling windows in the livingroom, but they're only about 1.5 metres wide. It gets a decent amount of light (good enough to burn the leaves on our lillies in summer anyway!) as it's south-facing but the block of flats opposite cuts out any direct sunlight during midday. We also have narrow windowsills in other rooms. Also, because we're only first floor, windowbaskets hanging on the outside is out of the question as they'd be smashed to bits by drunken members of "civilization" in a flash.
 

Goatboy

Full Member
Jan 31, 2005
14,956
11
Scotland
You can grow a surprising crop of potatoes in bins like this and slightly larger. Go too big and it may look out of place in the house. But potatoe plants look quite nice indoors.Things like cucumbers can be nice trained around a window. Try not to go for marrows though as the leaves are huge. You could also try troughs bigpots of double croping plants like Strawberry spinach you get foliage you can eat like spinach (also makes a nice pesto) and you get the strange sweet fruits too. And again looks nice indoors.
 

Baelfore

Settler
Jan 22, 2013
556
0
Ireland
Hello!

I got into the gardening melarky about 3 years ago, so while I wouldn't claim to be an expert in any sense of the word,
I can give you some of the info i pciked up in this time. i do a lot of veg gardening in a small back garden using mainly grow bags collapsable plastic greenhouses and one raised bed. but thats not really applicable.

I do grow several herbs and pepers and chillis inside however.

I plant seeds in seeding trays in propegators (plastic covers for seeding trays, sort o mini greenhouses) to start them off. these are planted in a 8:2 ration of seeding compost and agricultural sand. (the sand makes the soils abit loser and easier for seedlings to sprout through.)

These go on the window sills around the house. Its important to remember to water regularly as the soils can dry out in the relfectied heat of the sun. during warmer weather (or colder weather where the house is heated for half the day) I water in the morning and the evening.

Once the seedlings start to pop up, thin them out until their is only one shoot per slot on the tray.

When the root system is established, (I judge this by when I can see it in the little hole at th the bottom of the slot), translpant them ino small pots, with fresh compost. I ussually give them a hlf dose of diluted feed at this point. (vegtable feed for the herbs, tomato feed for the peppers and chillis.) with some plants this will need to be done again later in the season. tomtoes and chillis need a bigger deep pot so the soil can hold the support pole i place for when they star to fruit.

The big thing to watch out for is that the don't "cook" in the sun or the heat of the house like the lillies. I lost two cayenne pepper plants to this over the winter period.

Its important to note that you may have some success with some plants and terrible luck with others. For me there was a lot of trial and error as i tend to just jump into things without too much research.

The other possibility is looking at allotments in your area. These are often relitively cheap out my way its €120 for a year. This would give you a decent outdoor area to grow to your hearts content. On top of this you would be growing in an area where other experianced gardeners are working and are often more than willing to chat about the subject or give advice.

I know its an irish site but www.giyireland.com has lots of useful tips on it and currently has an article on groing basil in ten steps. (not affiliated)
Their is probably a similar site in the Uk.

sorry for the long winded reply but its nice to givning an answer for a change instead of jsut asking questions!! :dancer:

Regards,
Baelfore
 
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Maxwellol

Tenderfoot
Feb 10, 2013
90
0
Manchester
Thanks for the replies guys

Goatboy, I did think about potatoes straight away - we eat a lot of them, so if we could grow our own that'd be great sustainable living. How big roughly is the kind of tub you're talking about?

Baelfore, don't apologise I appreciate every detail :D Peppers are a really good idea.

How about things like onions/shallots, can they be grown indoors?
 

Goatboy

Full Member
Jan 31, 2005
14,956
11
Scotland
Maxwellol, tubs about 20-30 litres in size will produce a good crop especially if you use a good compost rather than soil. Would tend to have one well tended plant in there. Onions and shallots could be grown inside but the scent of onions all through the house tends to put folk off. Like was said peppers and chillis tend to do well, same as tomatoes.

Have a wee look at these.


You can also do things like sprouting beans and pulses in jars, these are quick and have a very high nutrition rate. (Used to do this on expedition in a nalgene bottle to suppliment the lightweight food and add extra vitamins to the diet.
 

Lister

Settler
Apr 3, 2012
991
0
33
Runcorn, Cheshire
1t merchant sacks are great if you have a patio wit either no grass or aren't allowed to dig up the garden, we've got 4 of them and 2 reclaimed bathtubs, along with a polytunnel :eek: If you've got a decent size shed, get down the tip and get an old bathtub, they work wonders :D and for pots etc, cut the tops of pt/2pt/4pt/6pt milk cartons and you've got cheapo pots. the trays ding-dinners (microwave meals) come in are handy for herbs. vertical planters are also handy, either the hanging types or, if you're adveturous, get some large bore PVC downpipe, drill some holes and angle in some plantpots.