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Building and indoor garden

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Building and indoor garden

Post  MarcyG on 8/13/2010, 2:58 pm

I want to build a table top garden to put in my morning room for growing herbs and probably lettuce during the winter. I'm having trouble figuring out what materials to use to build it. I did find 3/4 inch birch that I think would hold up well for the bottom and for the side walls pvc trim board.

Any suggestion would be greatly appreciated

Marcy
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Re: Building and indoor garden

Post  boffer on 8/13/2010, 3:08 pm

What are the approximate dimensions you're considering? Being inside, it might be prudent to build it differently than an outside table top box-for containment of excess water etc.
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Re: Building and indoor garden

Post  Odd Duck on 8/13/2010, 7:45 pm

@boffer wrote:What are the approximate dimensions you're considering? Being inside, it might be prudent to build it differently than an outside table top box-for containment of excess water etc.

Just what I was thinking! Where's that post about the self-watering table-top box? Seems like that would be ideal!

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Re: Building and indoor garden

Post  El on 8/13/2010, 11:54 pm

You might want to think about putting together a few smaller boxes, depending on how you're going to light the garden - so that you can move them around more easily if you have plants that want more/less light.
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Re: Building and indoor garden

Post  MarcyG on 8/14/2010, 10:51 am

I was gonna do 4x2 but now that got me thinking maybe I should make 2 - 2x2 instead
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Re: Building and indoor garden

Post  boffer on 8/14/2010, 11:15 am

For an indoor box, I would start with a 'tub' and build around it. By 'tub' I mean a plastic container to prevent water and soil from leaking onto the floor. If the tub was deep enough, the six inches of soil could go right in. If it was shallow, you could build a box with 1x6 cedar fence boards, that fits inside the edges of the tub. Either way, build a pretty box and stand for it to sit in/on.

For growing greens and herbs, you probably wouldn't need 6 inches of soil.
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Re: Building and indoor garden

Post  El on 8/14/2010, 11:17 am

Boffer's right, lettuces can be grown successfully in a container that's only 4" deep, depending on variety.

It does depend on which herbs you are planting, to some extent, but most of them are likely to want more light than your lettuces once they start putting out true leaves.

Again, too, depending on which herbs, you may want deeper containers for some of them, and I would also suggest that you may even want two 1'x1' boxes if you have herbs with different water requirements, since that's harder to deal with in a shared container than in a raised bed. And, if you are interested in trying other things indoors, I found this list very helpful when planning the container sizes I needed for my indoor garden - this, in combination with some of the SFG rules for how much to plant in one spot, has worked out very well so far.
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Indoor garden

Post  GloriaG on 8/14/2010, 12:59 pm

I have an indoor lettuce garden now because it's so HOT in Texas that lettuce won't grow outside.

I went to our local Walmart and got two clear plastic Sterlite storage bins that are about 13" x 10" x 5" deep. They had blue swinging handles on the sides that I popped off. I drilled lots of holes in the bottom for drainage and turned the lip upside down as the trey. I filled them with Mels Mix and put them on a stand by my window and used a mix of various loose leaf lettuces to seed them. They're neat and clean looking and make nice house plants.

Now that they're mature we're beginning to enjoy the lettuce.

Hope this helps.
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Re: Building and indoor garden

Post  MarcyG on 8/16/2010, 9:52 am

@GloriaG wrote:I have an indoor lettuce garden now because it's so HOT in Texas that lettuce won't grow outside.

I went to our local Walmart and got two clear plastic Sterlite storage bins that are about 13" x 10" x 5" deep. They had blue swinging handles on the sides that I popped off. I drilled lots of holes in the bottom for drainage and turned the lip upside down as the trey. I filled them with Mels Mix and put them on a stand by my window and used a mix of various loose leaf lettuces to seed them. They're neat and clean looking and make nice house plants.

Now that they're mature we're beginning to enjoy the lettuce.

Hope this helps.
Gloria

thank you Gloria I think you just saved me alot of money and now my brain is really working
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Re: Building and indoor garden

Post  dstubbs on 8/16/2010, 10:16 am

Here's another idea for indoor vegetable / herb gardening taht I recently came across on the internet:

http://www.windowfarms.org/

It's called a "window farm" and it's essentially a vertical hydroponic system made from recycled water bottles that you install in an window. The sustainability / recycled factor seems to fit in well with the SFG philosophy.

I'm thinking about trying something like this myself and would be interested to hear from anyone on the forum who might have experience with this.
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Re: Building and indoor garden

Post  Wyldflower on 8/16/2010, 11:31 am

Ohhh.. you've got to check out Josh's Wall of Flowers!

He links to a 'how-to' as well....

Josh... what does the wall look like now?
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Re: Building and indoor garden

Post  dstubbs on 8/16/2010, 1:57 pm

Wow, Josh's project looks very cool. The difference with the Window Farm is that it's intended for indoor use, with no soil involved. Good for people with no access to outdoor space at all.
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Re: Building and indoor garden

Post  boffer on 8/16/2010, 2:28 pm

@dstubbs wrote:Here's another idea for indoor vegetable / herb gardening... The sustainability / recycled factor seems to fit in well with the SFG philosophy....I'm thinking about trying something like this myself and would be interested to hear from anyone on the forum who might have experience with this.

Here's a couple threads from earlier in the season

http://squarefoot.creatingforum.com/outside-the-box-f40/hydroponic-system-pics-t2759.htm

http://squarefoot.creatingforum.com/outside-the-box-f40/coffee-can-hydroponics-experiment-t1048.htm?highlight=hydroponics

You might look at all of bpbdrummer's posts.

Hydroponics has been around for decades, and the concept always sounds like the solution to many gardening problems. So I wonder: Why isn't it mainstream yet?
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Drainage?

Post  ander217 on 8/17/2010, 11:03 am

@boffer wrote:For an indoor box, I would start with a 'tub' and build around it. By 'tub' I mean a plastic container to prevent water and soil from leaking onto the floor. If the tub was deep enough, the six inches of soil could go right in. If it was shallow, you could build a box with 1x6 cedar fence boards, that fits inside the edges of the tub.

Boffer, what do you do about drainage with your setup?

GloriaG, I'm having trouble picturing how your drainage works. Do you have a photo you could share? I'd really like to grow lettuce here, too, during the hot summer as well as winter.

Will my growlight provide enough light in winter?
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Re: Building and indoor garden

Post  boffer on 8/17/2010, 11:33 am

@ander217 wrote:Boffer, what do you do about drainage with your setup?
Weedblock cloth over small drain rock.
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Re: Building and indoor garden

Post  GloriaG on 8/17/2010, 11:57 am

Hi ander217,

My indoor lettuce garden is VERY simple! I bought two plastic bins, turned them over and drilled lots of holes in the bottom so they would drain (just like a regular flower pot) then put the lid upside down on the bottom to catch any water that ran through when I watered.

Here's a photo. Hope it helps.
Gloria


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Re: Building and indoor garden

Post  Chopper on 8/17/2010, 12:40 pm

Very clever...

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Re: Building and indoor garden

Post  GloriaG on 8/17/2010, 1:15 pm

Thanks Chopper!

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I get it

Post  ander217 on 8/17/2010, 7:13 pm

Okay, I get it now Gloria, just like a regular potted plant except you use a plastic tub. I like Boffer's idea of putting rock in the bottom to help the drainage, too.

But where does the weedcloth go, Boffer? (Sorry I'm so dense about this.) :scratch:
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