Author Topic: Indoor Grow  (Read 9306 times)

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Offline Coatue

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Indoor Grow
« on: July 28, 2011, 01:24:49 pm »
I'm looking to create an indoor garden. Does anyone know where to go to get  information on how to do  this? Also  how to create an ideal soil?

CitrusHigh

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Re: Indoor Grow
« Reply #1 on: July 28, 2011, 08:48:38 pm »
here you go bud...

https://www.icmag.com/ic/forumdisplay.php?f=65605

The majority of the site is about cannabis but they have a section on general gardening that is mostly food plants and these people have the knowledge for indoor grow, the only thing is that it isn't necessarily organic or biodynamic. Still, lots of knowledge to be gleaned, and plus you get to interact like this forum. Enjoy and good luck, share photos. Also I have a fair amount of indoor growing experience so I could answer some questions about lighting and such. Cheers!

Offline Coatue

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Re: Indoor Grow
« Reply #2 on: July 28, 2011, 11:50:25 pm »
here you go bud...

https://www.icmag.com/ic/forumdisplay.php?f=65605

The majority of the site is about cannabis but they have a section on general gardening that is mostly food plants and these people have the knowledge for indoor grow, the only thing is that it isn't necessarily organic or biodynamic. Still, lots of knowledge to be gleaned, and plus you get to interact like this forum. Enjoy and good luck, share photos. Also I have a fair amount of indoor growing experience so I could answer some questions about lighting and such. Cheers!

thanks man. what is your take on the hydro vs soil debate for indoor grow?

Offline Haai

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Re: Indoor Grow
« Reply #3 on: July 29, 2011, 12:29:56 am »
Also I have a fair amount of indoor growing experience so I could answer some questions about lighting and such.

Im thinking of growing a weed plant indoors. Will any old uv lamp or cheap uv flourescent tube do the job? Got any idea how many hrs of light per day is best?
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Offline eveheart

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Re: Indoor Grow
« Reply #4 on: July 29, 2011, 02:18:59 am »
what is your take on the hydro vs soil debate for indoor grow?

I used hydroponics for growing food crops indoors because it's neater. In a container, both soil and hydroponics require added nutrients, so I don't consider one less "artificial" than the other. My strong preference is outdoor growing, though.
"I intend to live forever; so far, so good." -Steven Wright, comedian

CitrusHigh

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Re: Indoor Grow
« Reply #5 on: July 29, 2011, 08:58:20 am »
I wouldn't agree necessarily that indoor potted plants in soil need added nutrients. There are great soils that can be bought from hydroponic stores that need no amending what so ever and will produce lush, beautiful plants, including fruiting plants such as tomatoes. Plants get a ton of their biomass from the air, something like 70%+ Meaning they are pulling 30% and often less from the soil.

I do not have much faith in hydroponics, not for food stuffs, you want to grow ornamentals with it, fine, but to make nutrient dense food is soil's business thus far.

As for lighting, both high pressure sodium, metal halide, fluorescents and hybrids, as well as LED's have their strengths and weaknesses.

There are those that will tell you HPS is better all around and others that will claim metal halide are superior but really it is probably not worth comparing them, they are both pretty good and will do what you need them to. But they create a lot of heat and eat a lot of energy, so beware.

Fluorescents are great but they are typically not as powerful (not as many lumens per watt) and thus yield suffers, but they are usually cooler and so better for an enclosed space if you're not interested in venting a ton of heat out. There are High output Fluoro's like T5's, but they produce more heat than your standard variety. With fluoro's your bulbs should be the correct spectrum for each cycle of plant growth, vegetative and fruiting, depending on what you're growing.

Then there are LED's which produce very little heat, use very little energy and can have a decent output, but the technology for growing is still in it's infancy and thus pricey and not necessarily reliable. There are specific forums for LED lighting and I recommend if you choose to pursue this route, that you scour them and learn all you can. Don't be fooled by cheap LED getup's, they must be high output or they won't grow diddly. I think it's like 1 watt per diode, but that could be wrong, double check that.

Cheers!

Offline eveheart

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Re: Indoor Grow
« Reply #6 on: July 29, 2011, 09:51:25 am »
I was thinking more of soil depletion when using the same soil for successive crops. Yes, good soils can be made or purchased, but I wouldn't reuse them for successive plantings.
"I intend to live forever; so far, so good." -Steven Wright, comedian

CitrusHigh

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Re: Indoor Grow
« Reply #7 on: July 30, 2011, 01:07:24 am »
I agree with you eveheart but soil depletion is a problem anytime you're not rebuilding the soil you're using, whether it is indoor or outdoor.

Offline HIT_it_RAW

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Re: Indoor Grow
« Reply #8 on: August 05, 2011, 06:39:47 pm »
I think nowadays most plants get 70% of their nutrient from the air. But in very good bioactive nutrient dense living soil. Plants probably get way more from the soil than just 30%. This spring I used the eaxact same soil as the previous years for my potted herbs/veggies with the exception that I added compost, lime, bentonite and basalt rock dust. I did this very early spring and fed the ground a diluted sollution of fermented blended sprouts to boost soil enzyme an bacteria levels. I also gathered some worm infested soil and mixed it in. This combination really made the soil come alive! I had some fungal activity in the beginning but this was gone very quick. The fungi broke the compost down very quickly making it available to the soil. This year all my plants did much better than ever before. Lots of growth, lots of flowers, lots of fruits.

When I water the soil I add a very small amount of keltic sea salt. I dont feed my plants instead I feed the soil. If the soil is healthy and living it in turn feeds the plant. Plants can absort nutrients in two ways. They can absorb water with trace minerals in solution but they can also absort entire pieces (very small off course) of soil by inclusion. Basicly the root grows around the soil an than absorbs it. This only happens of course when the soil is healthy. Modern synthetic npk fed plants only absorb water(+some soluble nutrients) whereas biodynamic grown plants get much more nutrients from the soil itself.
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Offline raw-al

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Re: Indoor Grow
« Reply #9 on: August 11, 2011, 01:28:36 am »
I was into that for awhile. Enjoyed it. I had a tomato plant that produced huge tomatoes summer and winter from a little 2" square baggy of nutrients and seeds I got in the mail (before the internet) for 2 dollars.

I had spotty luck afterwards when I bought the big lights and all the paraphernalia.

However I had a book which I have since jettisoned that explained it in excellent detail.

Essentially it said that plants need air and light and nutrients. Everything else just gets in the way. The soil prevents the roots from getting air and slows their growth in search of water and food. The soil also harbours bacteria which the plant has to expend energy fighting.  Also the short daylight cycle impedes their growth.

Hydroponics solves all that.

However Ayurveda says that you consume the immune system of that which you eat, so if the plant didn't need an immune system then you are deprived of that.

How much difference that makes... Idunno

If you buy veges at the grocery store odds are that it was grown hydroponically depending on what it is.
Cheers
Al

Offline raw-al

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Re: Indoor Grow
« Reply #10 on: August 11, 2011, 01:58:30 am »
Tumbleweed  ;D

There is a company that makes these containers for growing plants. I couldn't find it but here you get the idea. The plants are placed on the inside of a drum and affixed solidly somehow. Then the drum rotates around a bulb of some sort. As it slowly rotates the bottom of the drum passes through water.

This is the penultimate growup as it
takes little space,
the plants get maximized metered amounts of water/nutrient without being drowned in it,
air exposure for the roots,
maximized light for metered periods of time,
maximized temperature
no bacteria,
it uses limited space, so you could have a warehouse full of these stacked on top of each other,
the plants can be force fed whatever mixture of CO2 you wish to introduce,
because the plants are rotating, they have to strengthen their stems because of course they will be sideways a lot and the sap can flow very easily when they are upside down

So it looks goofy but it supposedly works.

However be advised that if you decide to do a "tumbleweed op" bear in mind that electric companies notice when someone's electric bill suddenly goes ballistic.

Not only that but growing hydroponics is an art and requires a certain learning period as with a regular garden so I am not sure you get one, plug it in, throw in a few twigs and seeds  ;D

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=TEI_EioK4ek
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=yzdLUU7jRx4&feature=related

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=onv0BvnmZoQ
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=xK5eUogDISw&feature=related
« Last Edit: August 11, 2011, 06:05:48 am by raw-al »
Cheers
Al

Offline Dorothy

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Re: Indoor Grow
« Reply #11 on: August 11, 2011, 04:20:35 am »
Are you familiar with aquaponics? The fish waste feeds the plants and the ecosystem uses 1/10 of the water that hydroponics does. This way you not only grow organic plants but also the freshest fish you can get to eat raw. I am planning one for outdoors but they are also used indoors. If you are interested I could go into more detail.

Offline raw-al

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Re: Indoor Grow
« Reply #12 on: August 11, 2011, 06:07:02 am »
Do tell.
Cheers
Al

Offline Dorothy

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Re: Indoor Grow
« Reply #13 on: August 11, 2011, 12:01:25 pm »
Here's a link with a good blurb on a way to use aquaponics to grow many different vegetables.

There are lots of companies that sell pre-made tanks and growing stations for the plants completely done for you and there are many different sites on how to make your own aquaponic system.

The fish must be fresh water and aquaponics systems are exceedingly good for the fish and there is little to no problems with disease. Some people use worm composting as a conjunct to the system. There are many kinds of fish that can be used and often several different species of fish can be used in the same tank as long as the fish are not carnivorous (so they don't eat the other fish of course).

The size of the systems vary widely. If you are planning enough room to grow much food at all, you will have room for aquaponics. Often the fish tank is below the vegetables where the fresh water is pumped up to the plants.

Often times people will use black soldier fly composters to make the bugs to feed the fish. This way you are turning your garbage into fish and your fish poo into plants. People then take the leftovers from the vegetables to compost to become the food for the fish... and the soil for the plants.

Many take some of the things that accumulate at the lowest point of the fish tanks to compost as well. Some will use red wigglers to compost this to make compost tea - which is an excellent organic fertilizer.

It's not a completely closed ecosystem of course, but it is highly efficient and a great long-term use of resources. If you are good at building such things a system could be made for very little - especially in States where we have Freecycle and Craig's list where we can often get free -re-used materials. The pre-made systems can be quite expensive for the initial setup - but if the cost of the fish is distributed across the life of the system - and the vegetables - and the water costs etc. the systems are still a good bargain.

That should be enough to wet your whistle a bit more. I have done only limited research but will research these systems in great depth as I build one later on.


Offline raw-al

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Re: Indoor Grow
« Reply #14 on: August 11, 2011, 06:21:22 pm »
Well who knew? What a great idea. How much space are we talking about?

(BTW you forgot the link)
Cheers
Al

Offline Dorothy

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Re: Indoor Grow
« Reply #15 on: August 12, 2011, 12:55:37 am »
Oh Darn - and now I can't find that same link again. Sorry about that. When I finally do come across it I will come back and post it or send it to you directly.

But here - this you might like even more. It's a youtube video of a small shelving unit that someone used to make an quite small indoor aquaponics system in.

The size is completely contingent on how much room you have and the size of the fish you want to have. You could use prawns as they take up very little space - or even goldfish that will only grow to the size they have available (they both are extremely hardy). I don't know how goldfish taste though. The fish you choose are dependent on the temperatures. There are lots of choices.

HERE IS THE LINK:
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=DgbucjrxLVg

Some people never eat the fish and raise expensive and beautiful koi - but many do and for a RAF it would be half the crop!  ;)

My outside system will be hundreds of times larger than the one in the video. The flexibility is the beauty of the thing. The more space you have the more you can grow of course. But even if you just have a small corner you can grow something.

There are big factories where they have the systems set up and people do it on tiny scales in their homes. Neat huh?

Offline raw-al

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Re: Indoor Grow
« Reply #16 on: August 12, 2011, 11:04:37 pm »
Oh Darn - and now I can't find that same link again. Sorry about that. When I finally do come across it I will come back and post it or send it to you directly.
Lost links are usually easy to find.
Most browsers (if not all) store your recent activity.
Just open up the browser. (It's open now or you wouldn't be reading this.  ;D )
Go to the top of the computer where you see the name of the browser (Internet Explorer, Chrome, Safari, or whatever)
There will be a pull down menu entitled something like "History". Click on this and a list will come down which will include some sort of reference to previous days of surfing. Somewhere in there will be the site/page you visited on the day you visited it.

If this is a bit difficult for you, tell us what browser and operating system (Apple or Microsoft Windoze ;D ) and someone here can tell you how to find it.
Cheers
Al

Offline Dorothy

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Re: Indoor Grow
« Reply #17 on: August 13, 2011, 12:28:38 am »
Hey Raw-al....... Thanks!  ;D  I'm so glad I know how to do that now.

I don't even use an operating system - I have an e-book that has this instant startup thing and didn't even think that I could do what you suggested - but after going through the mountains of research that I was doing on other things after finding that link - I found it again for you!

What I like about it is that it talks a little about how you don't have to use ONLY the fish poo for feeding the plants which would drastically reduce your choices regarding what kinds of plants to grow. It's just a quick blurb of an intro.

Here Tis

http://www.growingpower.org/aquaponics.htm

Offline raw-al

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Re: Indoor Grow
« Reply #18 on: August 13, 2011, 12:37:43 am »
So hey, you could have a true "weed n feed" grow op  ;D ;D ;D

Thanks Dorothy, Appreciate the info
Cheers
Al

Offline djr_81

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Re: Indoor Grow
« Reply #19 on: August 13, 2011, 02:11:07 am »
I set up one of my outdoor ponds similar to that Dorothy. It's a ~3,000 gallon bottom basin fed from a 3800gph pump into a two-stage filtration system. There's a top basin holding ~400 gallons of water which is set up with lily pads and free-floating highly efficient plants (water lettuce & water hyacinth) that gets ~1000gph. There is a middle basin as well which is fed from piping below up through pea gravel which gets the other 28ppgph. The pea gravel provides some mechanical filtration of any larger solids that might come through and there are plants planted in the pea gravel which take up the nutrients. I've got lots of aquatics planted in the pea gravel (Louisiana Iris, Cattails, Rushes) but have other edible plants growing as well. Mint grows incredibly well in water but is even more invasive than on land. I planted a scallion from the farmer's market almost a year and a half ago and it's stayed very healthy the whole time. I also went against "conventional" wisdom online and tried strawberries this year and they grew fine but once the fruit touches water it spoils quickly.

I have koi, goldfish, minnows (mostly fatheads), creek chub, trout, and darters in the lower pond. We've also got a bunch of resident turtles and frogs so sometimes there's an increased bioload from these guys on the "filter".

Links on the general idea for filters like this:
http://www.bogfiltration.com/bogfiltration.html
http://stillwatergardensnw.com/BogFilter.aspx
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Offline Dorothy

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Re: Indoor Grow
« Reply #20 on: August 13, 2011, 05:30:27 am »
Dan, that sounds awesome! That must not only be productive, great for the native wildlife, but also just really pretty.  :D  Would you ever think of having any ducks or would that overwhelm it or damage it in some way? I really want a few Indian Runners for the eggs (we all love duck eggs here) and was hoping to be able to build a really small pond that would be able to accommodate them and stay clean enough.

How often do you harvest the fish (if you do)? Good eating? One day maybe we could see a picture???

Thanks for the links. Great info.

Offline djr_81

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Re: Indoor Grow
« Reply #21 on: August 13, 2011, 05:45:54 am »
We had three ducks which we raised from ducklings this past spring. We're in a fairly rural area though and foxes took two of them even though we had them cooped up at night. We only managed to raise the last guy to adulthood by bringing him into the house at night and crating him. He lives with a group of geese and ducks now who have taken up residence on the brook which runs behind our house and he is doing very nicely. I wouldn't advocate keeping any waterfowl in a volume of water that size especially if you enjoy seeing the fish as they make a ton more waste than you could expect until you raise one. They would work well for fertilizing the crop water though. :)

We don't harvest the fish. I built the pond as I enjoy raising fish in aquariums and my wife finally said if I wanted any more they had to be outside. Now I get to enjoy them on a much grander scale and watch them grow, breed, and just live happy fishy lives. The turtles have gone the same way; we have 17ish (it's been a while since I counted) turtles with most being outside. Two we found as babies right on the property but everyone else has been a rescue from pet shops who didn't keep them in good conditions or people who couldn't care for them any longer. I haven't gotten any complaints from the turtles on their "new" digs yet. ;)

I will gladly post pictures. Maybe I'll find the time tomorrow to get some good ones.
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Offline Dorothy

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Re: Indoor Grow
« Reply #22 on: August 13, 2011, 07:33:25 am »
Part of the reason why I want Indian Runners is that they barely need water. I guess an easy to clean kiddie pool will have to suffice then.  ;)  One of the reasons that ducks are still not a definite is because people have told me how incredibly messy they are. The 5 feral cats we have are our chicken poo janitor squad. They clean up every bit of it on our walkways. I wonder what it is about the stuff that they like eating.  :o  If duck poo tastes as good as chicken poo we should be ok.

I hear that people rescue tortoises a great deal because people have no idea of what they will grow into. It doesn't surprise me that turtles also need rescuing. It seems like the best fish tank in the world and maybe like your wife did you a bit of a favor maybe? 

I can't wait to see your pictures.

Offline raw-al

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Re: Indoor Grow
« Reply #23 on: August 13, 2011, 07:38:18 am »
Dan,
Could you give a dimension for your tank?
Cheers
Al

Offline djr_81

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Re: Indoor Grow
« Reply #24 on: August 14, 2011, 06:20:06 am »
I hear that people rescue tortoises a great deal because people have no idea of what they will grow into. It doesn't surprise me that turtles also need rescuing.
Sulcata tortoises seem to be the biggest issue there. They easily grow to 100 pounds and need LOTS of room and a warm place to overwinter if in a colder climate. They're adorable as babies but start to get too large for most people in 5-10 years.
On the turtle front Red-Earred Sliders are the most abandoned. They start out the size of quarters but females grow to be 10"+ and males aren't much smaller. As a turtle needs roughly 10 gallons of water per inch of shell you can see the commitment the little baby hatchling will need when he/she is fully grown.

Quote
It seems like the best fish tank in the world and maybe like your wife did you a bit of a favor maybe? 
That's debatable but I personally agree. They get to live as they would in the wild including full sunlight but have less predators. You do have to conscious of raccoons and herons though.

Dan,
Could you give a dimension for your tank?
Indoors we have a 40 gallon utility tub set up with a 6'x4' land enclosure for some semi-terrestrial turtles (a Reeves and two Wood), a 40 breeder for an African Sideneck, and a 55 gallon for our indoor fish (4 goldfish, some cory cats, another catfish (I'm not sure of the species but he's a forager-downward facing mouth), some otocinclus, and some apple snails).

The ponds outdoors are roughly:

Upper Setup:
Topmost retention basin-6'l x 6'w x ~18" average
Middle "bog"-12'l x ~5'w x average of 4" water over pea gravel
Lower pond-12'l x ~11'w x maybe 3' average depth (42" maximum, sharp slopes to the edges to deter herons

Lower setup:
Upper section-~12'l x ~5'w x ~12" average water depth
Lower section-~18'l x ~12'w x ~3' average depth (48" maximum, large shelf at 2')

New Frog pond:
~7'l x ~3'w x ~12" deep
I just built this today as the previous design for the total setup didn't work out and I was leaking in the stream connecting top to bottom. I couldn't locate where it was leaking so finally gave up and moved this piece of liner to give the frogs a better place to lay their eggs.

Note: I haven't finished this yet and it shows. This is definitely a work in progress (I did a fair share of this this summer) so keep this in mind.

On to the pictures:

View out of our door-


Closeup on the Copper Rose since my wife adores it so much-


Another angle from the corner of our sidewalk-


Same spot but looking toward the ponds-


Overall shot of the upper pond-


And a shot from the other side-


The top retention basin which filters water through floating plants-


Close up on some of those plants-


The middle "bog"-


Close up-


The bottom pond-


Shot of the waterfall-


Some of the fish-


Here's "Crackers" (our second turtle, who we rescued after our little gal "Soup") clearly visible at the bottom of the pond 3 1/2 feet deep. Crackers runs the show outside-


Onto the lower set of ponds. Here's a shot from uphill-


The upper piece flowing into the lower-


And the lower basin (this is where most of the turtles hang out and I'm letting it stay green to protect them and the fish as it has more shallow areas)-


"Cooter", our rescued Red-Bellied Cooter, was curious what I was doing-


The new frog pond I made today with the moved liner. Still have lots of work to do on this one-


Hope you enjoyed the tour. :D
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