Growing an indoor veggie garden

Discussion in 'Fruit and Vegetable Gardening' started by tgplp, Jan 18, 2010.

  1. tgplp

    tgplp Active Member

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    Hello! Because of the odd weather in Seattle, I've decided to grow an indoor veggie garden. I have a fluorescent light, and another light that is good for growing plants, a bunch of containers, and some shelves. I also have a sunny window sill that is wide enough for some plants to sit on it. I thought I would try growing tomatoes and lettuce indoors. I will have other veggies growing outside, too, but I decided to see what grows better. I ordered red robin tomato seeds and yellow canary tomato seeds for the indoor garden. These two are dwarf varities, and only grow to be about a foot! I know this might not work out very well, but I'm just gonna try this, and see what happens!
    Any tips? Any ideas?
    Thanks!
    ~tgplp :)
     
  2. The Hollyberry Lady

    The Hollyberry Lady New Member

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    As long as you can provide warmth and sunshine, your success is already in the bag! Tomatoes and lettuce can grow wonderfully indoors over winter, and not a lot of special care is needed. Light and warmth are the key elements.

    Of course your yields won't be a bountiful as in summer, but if you're a diehard like me, you'll appreciate even a few red beauties on the vines.

    On dreary, sun-less days, you can use your supplemental lighting to compensate. I believe I mentioned to you before that "Patio" is a terrific tomato variety that performs well over the winter inside.

    Lettuce will love your cool winter window sills, as the summer heat makes it bolt (go to seed). It should perform well for you in an east or south window over the winter.

    Feel free to ask more questions as they come up...

    : )
     
    Last edited by a moderator: Jan 19, 2010
  3. tgplp

    tgplp Active Member

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    Thanks so much, Hollyberry Lady! I'm sure I will have many questions as time goes on... I've already started my lettuce - I'm growing mesclun- and they germinated. Some of them already have true leaves!
    I still haven't recieved my tomato seeds in the mail... waiting is soooo hard! :) I guess that's part of gardening, though. You wait for seeds to get to you, you wait for the seeds to germinate, then you wait for them to grow and then you wait for the harvest.
    ~tgplp :)
     
  4. The Hollyberry Lady

    The Hollyberry Lady New Member

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    You are very welcome!!

    I've grown Mesclun mix many times and it thrives in an east window. Harvest the outer leaves but leave the center of the plants to continue sprouting, and you'll harvest tender greens all winter long!

    : o
     
  5. tgplp

    tgplp Active Member

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    Oh, really? You're supposed to harvest the outer leaves? Thanks for telling me, I would have just harvested any leaves I felt like harvesting! I'm glad some people know what to do! :) I looooooove freshly grown lettuce!
    I've heard that you can put a tomato plant in a big pot, and put lettuce in the same pot with it. Is this true?
    Thanks!
    ~tgplp
     
  6. The Hollyberry Lady

    The Hollyberry Lady New Member

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    You can get pretty creative yes, adding 2 or 3 different things to one pot - although I don't know if I'd put lettuce with tomatoes ~ maybe in the garden though...

    I personally like to grow basil at the base of my tomato plants, or a trailing hot pepper plant. You can even add flowers to your veggie pots as well. You must make sure that the pot is quite large though...at least 5 gallons.

    However, I'm not one to tell others how to garden and if you like lettuce grown with your tomatoes, then I say...go for it! Gardening is a personal experience. It's also good to try new things and experiment, seeing what might work.

    Oh no, you can harvest whatever mesclun leaves you want...I'm just saying that if you leave the centers, they will continue to send up more leaves for you to keep eating. It's the same with lettuce, swiss chard, etc....if you leave the inner hearts, they will keep sending up new leaves and give you a 2nd harvest shortly.

    : )
     
    Last edited: Jan 19, 2010
  7. tgplp

    tgplp Active Member

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    I would like to get a second harvest out of my mesclun. There are two varieties of swiss chard in my mesclun mix! I could put some of that basil I bought with some tomatoes... how big of a pot do you put tomatoes that are dwarf varities? Like red robin, ( grows one foot high!) and yellow canary? ( yellow canary is the same kind as red robin, only it has yellow tomaotes.)
    Thanks!
    ~tgplp
     
  8. The Hollyberry Lady

    The Hollyberry Lady New Member

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    I usually grow my dwarf tomatoes in a 2 gallon pot...in a well draining medium.

    : )
     
  9. togata57

    togata57 Contributor 10 Years

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    tgplp, you have GOTTA have a look at H.L.'s photos of her indoor bounty! Unbelievable. Veritable TREES covered with veggies! Truly happy plants.
    Hey, H.L., on what thread were those photos...?
     
  10. tgplp

    tgplp Active Member

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    I'd love to see Hollyberry Lady's photos!
    Hollyberry Lady, how deep does a container have to be to grow mesclun in? I have some containers that are about 3 or 4 inches deep, would these work?
    Also, does anyone know of a good website selling terra cotta containers that I could order online? The garden store nearby doesn't have a very big selection.

    ~tgplp :)
     
  11. The Hollyberry Lady

    The Hollyberry Lady New Member

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    Thanks, Togata!


    Here's a few shots of some veggies I grew & harvested over 2009...


    : )


    P.S. I would use a 4-6 inch deep pot for the mesclun mix.

    1. Swiss Chard
    2. "Gypsy" sweet pepper
    3. "Red Currant" heirloom cherry tomato
    4. Bay Laurel tree with "Fire Cracker" seedlings around it
    5. "Masquerade" hot pepper
     

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  12. tgplp

    tgplp Active Member

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    Oh, wow! Those peppers are beautiful. I wish I could grow peppers, but I don't think they'd do well around here! Love your tomatoes, Hollyberry Lady! Great pics. I'll just try the mesclun in my container, and see what happens.
    ~tgplp :)
     
  13. The Hollyberry Lady

    The Hollyberry Lady New Member

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    Thank you, Tgplp!


    I am sure you are going to do just great with everything. Good luck and keep us posted...


    : )
     
  14. emandeli

    emandeli Member

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    I'm soo new at gardening some things and especially in pots...can you tell me what you use for the dirt? Do you feed them? I love the pics!
     
  15. The Hollyberry Lady

    The Hollyberry Lady New Member

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    Get yourself some soil-less mix at your local greenhouse/garden center. Be sure to buy soil that is sterile, so you won't have to contend with bugs and their eggs. Make sure it's a good quality mix that's light and well draining. Dont go cheap on the soil or you'll regret it later.

    You won't need to fertilize until the seedlings are up and the first set of true leaves has formed, following the cotyledon leaves.

    I would use a good starter formula - but if you want to grow organically, mix some 'blood & bonemeal' into the soil. Be sure to follow directions on box, or you could burn the roots though.

    Glad you like the pics. Thank you.

    Welcome to UBC gardening forum, Emandeli!

    : )
     
  16. tgplp

    tgplp Active Member

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    Help! My tomato seedlings haven't grown in a long time. Their true leaves look exactly the same as they did about a week ago. The true leaves are pretty small, and the cotyledon leaves are still pretty dark. Is something wrong with these guys? I've been watering with warm water, should I stick to room temp. water? I water whenever the soil looks dry, usually about once every two-three days. Is this to much? To little? They get about 14-16 hours of time under the fluorescent light. They are about three inches from the light. Am I doing something wrong?! I don't think they're ready to transplant into bigger containers, they barely have their true leaves! Do tomatoes just grow really slow, or is there something wrong with them?
    Thanks!
    ~Tgplp
    P.S. I heard you can put eggshells around the plants to give them calcium. Is this true? Should I try this? Or should I wait until the seedlings are bigger?
     
  17. The Hollyberry Lady

    The Hollyberry Lady New Member

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    Nevermind adding any eggshells right now, until we figure out what's wrong...

    If you can show me a picture of the seedlings and the pots they're in, I could answer your questions much better...

    Using room temperature water is best.

    : )
     
  18. JanR

    JanR Active Member

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    It doesn't sound like your obviously doing something wrong. Pictures would really help.
     
  19. tgplp

    tgplp Active Member

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    Um... I feel really dumb right now, but how do you put a picture on the post? :) I don't know much about computers.
    In the meantime, I'll describe what the tomato seeds look like. (I doubt that will help any, but It's all I can do until I figure out how to put a picture on!)
    The seedlings have dark purple stems with white hairs on them. The cotyledon leaves are dark green with tiny, purple spots on them. I don't really think that is normal, but I'm not sure. The vains on the cotyledon leaves are purple, as well. The undersides of these leaves are purple. Also, the leaves are all pointing up towards the light. The baby true leaves forming are dark green, ruffly at the edges, and some do and some do not have purple spots like the cotyledon leaves do. Some seedlings don't have baby true leaves. The true leaves that some seedlings have are less then a centimeter long. The type of tomato that has the most purple spots are some red cherry tomatoes. Is this a disease? Or maybe just what some types of tomato plants look like? Or is this normal, I just haven't noticed it before?

    I hope this helps a little.
    ~Tgplp :)
     

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