Takeing up some gardening

Discussion in 'Small Space Gardening' started by rogerab22, Nov 15, 2009.

  1. rogerab22

    rogerab22 Member

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    Location:
    Midwest, USA
    Hello,

    This is my first post here, and some of my first steps into gardening, or so I hope. I've wanted to garden for a long time now, but have never had the yard for it. aside from one or two herbs planted in pots in the kitchen I haven't had much experience.

    But now I still may not have a yard, but I have a basement!! I've done some research and have seen many set-ups in a basement for growing, using fluorescent white light for grow lights, and some times some added heat source.

    So this all gave me an idea, why not take my unused basement and literately build a green house in the middle of my basement, with grow lights, plastic walls and all to hold in humidity and heat.

    A few, mostly basic questions comes to my mind while I await some greenhouse gardening books I ordered, to come in.

    1. Can I grow and produce crop year-round with this method, i.e. a constantly producing tomato plant?

    2. Will plastic walls to hold in humidity help? Alot of basements set-ups I've seen don't have any plastic, just grow lights.

    3. Will all plants thrive well in a high humidity 70f degree environment, or should I plant plants that prefer cooler dryer temperature outside the enclosed green house. I only ask cause it seems like every plant I ever see is in some sort of greenhouse.

    4. Soil? I'm pretty sure this will be covered in some depth in the books coming, but if there is anything special I should consider given the environment im looking at.

    And of course any other thoughts that you feel may be helpful.

    Thanks,
    Roger B.
     
  2. 1950Greg

    1950Greg Active Member

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    Location:
    Langley, B.C. Stones throw from old HBC farm.
    There are a lot of indoor operations in B.C. so I'am sure you will get some good advice here.
     
  3. JanR

    JanR Active Member

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    Location:
    Lakeland, Manitoba
    If you want to grow plants to produce fruit like tomatoes and peppers you will probably need better grow lights than fluorescent ones. Probably Metal Halide or something along that line. They have been discussed in previous post here. If you do a search you may find them.

    Good luck!
     
  4. The Hollyberry Lady

    The Hollyberry Lady New Member

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    Location:
    London, Ontario, Canada (Zone 5b)
    Rogerab22:


    If you want to produce some serious vegetables and you have a basement available - a 1000 watt hp sodium or metal halide light system will do wonders. I use a 400 watt halide myself and can produce many things over winter - even strawberries and sweet peppers.

    Get yourself a good quality soil-less mix but make certain it's sterile. Don't go cheap on the soil, or you'll regret it later when you're infested with bugs!

    Cooler and dryer is always better conditions when operating HID (high intensity discharge) lamps. Low intensity lamps, like fluorescents don't give off much heat, if any, and won't require as much air circulation, but they don't produce as good a yield - if any at all - better for herbs, lettuce, etc. With my halide, I operate a fan 18 hours a day, to keep the heat neutralized.

    Yes, plastic walls should be ok. Humidity is good yes, so long as it's not overdone - you don't want mold growing.

    Yes, you can grow an all year round producing tomato plant, but if you have a basement, than you likely have access to the outdoors I assume, and so outdoor gardening might become an option in summer. I don't operate my halide in the warmer months, although you could, if this best suited your needs, certainly. However, you'd need some real good air circulation to counteract the excess heat.

    Although my system will not be operating until December, here is my 400 watt metal halide bulb with a parabolic reflector, set up in a corner of a room.

    Showed the bulb box as well to indicate the type I use. It supports germination, vegetative growth, as well as flowering, all in one, with excellent full spectrum light output...

    : )
     

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  5. Charles Richard

    Charles Richard Active Member

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    Location:
    Vancouver Island, B.C. Canada
    Hello Hollyberrylady,
    I have been following this forum and I am wondering where you purchased such a light?
    Does it use alot of power and how much space would the one that you have contribute enought to support the plants?
    I have never used indoor lighting to grow with.
    Thank you for any information.
     
  6. The Hollyberry Lady

    The Hollyberry Lady New Member

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    Location:
    London, Ontario, Canada (Zone 5b)
    I bought my lamp brand new at a store that specializes in HID plant lighting. You need about a 5' by 5' area to set up the 400 W halide.

    : )
     
  7. Dana09

    Dana09 Active Member

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    Location:
    Vancouver Island BC
    And sunglasses for eye protection too?
    I am wondering.
    Will it give 'sunburn'?
    D
     
  8. plant fairy

    plant fairy Member

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    Location:
    tallahassee florida usa
    400 watt metal halide is very hot (be careful can be fire hazard)will also make your meter spin use regular office flurescense (4 feet long ) and use halide on timer about 4 hours a day also reflective material mirrors, aluminum foil etc will give more bang for the buck
     

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