Totally Indoor Garden

Say I wanted to have a vegetable garden in my basement. I’m reasonably sure I could grow the stuff that doesn’t require pollenation–lettuce, radishes, carrots, potatoes, onions, herbs … But how about other stuff like tomatoes, cucumbers, pumpkins, strawberries, beans & peas? What about grains like maize or barley?

Those ones that need pollenating, do I have to use bugs or can I diddle them with a little brush? Or are there other less abusive methods?

You could probably grow virtually any food crop in your basement, provided the ceiling is high enough, the light intense enough and you provide sufficient cooling to make up for heat from the lights.

You need to ask yourself, though, if it’s worth it in order to grow a $200 pumpkin.

There are mini-vegetables that are a bit more practical for indoor growing in a confined space. For instance I got “Micro-Tom” tomatoes to fruit in a 6-inch pot. The plants grew only about 5 inches high. Didn’t taste like much, though.

This likely would be necessary for some crops, for example cucumbers. What you describe might be illegal in some states, however. :dubious:

Here is a page that talks about some good vegetables to grow indoors: http://gardengal.net/page44.html

and see http://www.ext.vt.edu/pubs/envirohort/426-336/426-336.html

http://www.megagro.com/indoor-vegetable-gardening.htm

Happy diddling.

But if you do, I wonder how long it will be before you get flagged as a suspect in growing $200 pump…errrr, plants of a different variety.

Florescent lights are best, as far as lighting indoor plantings go. They’ll hardly add any additional heat to the room whatsoever. When growing seedlings for transplants, we generally use the “cool” CFLs with more blue light, which are best for the vegetative stage of growth, but if you’re planning on keeping them indoors for flowering then the addition of “warm” CFLs (with more red light) will be needed. Most plants won’t flower well indoors otherwise, but they won’t grow very well purely under the “warm” lights. Cite.

Hand fertilization of flowers is simple and done regularly, so insects would not be required. I’d recommend using dwarfed cultivars, though, to better use the space. They’re far more efficient in general, but especially for indoor growth.

A greenhouse would be best, since you wouldn’t have to provide all of the light, but there’s nothing to make the proposed basement garden impossible, only somewhat less convenient.

Thank you for this!

You might get away with using just fluorescents for a few vegetables (for instance, lettuce), but will have a hard time with tomatoes and many other crops.

People with hydroponic setups generally will use something like HPS or metal halide lamps which do give off a lot of heat.

There’s a big difference between starting vegetable seedling indoors (fluorescents work fine for this) and bringing mature plants to flower and fruit.

Hmm, is it just a coincidence that right now this thread appears directly after thisone?