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Old 12-08-2008, 11:57 PM   #1
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Indoor Gardening

What sort of vegetables or herbs can be grown indoors? I live in the Chicago area so have a cold climate which nothing too much lives outdoors this time of year, at least regarding vegetation. I typically keep my house in the 60's and have both north and south facing windows.

Any suggestions?

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Old 12-09-2008, 12:14 AM   #2
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Being in the Chicago area, and with a wife that is a professional gardener, she had this to say: For herbs: Chives, with really good lighting perhaps Thyme and Parsley, Rosemary, and Alphalpha Sprouts for salads. That's about it.
As for keeping the house in the 60's, she says that will probably be OK, and that it is more about the light so make sure they get plenty of it.

Edit: Humidity is important as well, don't let it get too dry inside.
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Old 12-09-2008, 12:16 AM   #3
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I use the AeroGarden. Right now I'm growing cherry tomatoes. Before it was herbs and I may try peppers in the future.

You could probably grow herbs on your window sills, but I doubt if you would achieve the conditions needed to grow and serious vegetables without specialized lighting and a hydroponics system.
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Old 12-09-2008, 12:19 AM   #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Maverick2272 View Post
Being in the Chicago area, and with a wife that is a professional gardener, she had this to say: For herbs: Chives, with really good lighting perhaps Thyme and Parsley, Rosemary, and Alphalpha Sprouts for salads. That's about it.
As for keeping the house in the 60's, she says that will probably be OK, and that it is more about the light so make sure they get plenty of it.

Edit: Humidity is important as well, don't let it get too dry inside.
The light shouldn't be a problem. I have a sliding window that is a southern exposure, so it gets a lot of light. As a matter of fact, it may have been too much light as my Dieffenbachia seemed to get burned by the light. The humidity would be the hard part. My place does tend to be slightly dryer. This is my first winter in this house, so still figuring out the humidity during the winter. It is fickle.
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Old 12-09-2008, 12:25 AM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by mcnerd View Post
I use the AeroGarden. Right now I'm growing cherry tomatoes. Before it was herbs and I may try peppers in the future.

You could probably grow herbs on your window sills, but I doubt if you would achieve the conditions needed to grow and serious vegetables without specialized lighting and a hydroponics system.
The AeroGarden does open up your options somewhat, but it seems the humidity is still going to be you major concern here.

McNerd, let us know how it goes with the peppers if you try it in the near future. Fresh peppers year round would be way cool.
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Old 12-09-2008, 01:04 AM   #6
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All this talk of gardening has me hankering for the summer already. I have nothing against winter, but I have fond memories of gardens growing up. I am now living alone so I intend to grow a few plants on my balcony. The summer is great for so many reasons, but my yearning this year is driven by gardening.

I may take a stab at chives. If they don't work, they don't work.
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Old 12-09-2008, 07:06 AM   #7
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Peppers and cherry tomatoes year round sounds nice.

If you don't have forced air with a humidifier on the furnace, you can always set a pot of water somewhere to evaporate, preferably on a heat source, like a radiator. Somewhere to get good evaporation. That will add humidity to the air.
Or start cooking and eating lots of pasta ;^)
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Old 01-05-2009, 10:46 PM   #8
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I agree with the Aerogarden. I purchased one about a year ago and havent stopped using it. I started with the herbs which I later transplanted into pots. Next was the lettuce mixture which grew for months. Now I am onto the tomatoes which are almost ready. I cant wait!!
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Old 01-06-2009, 02:24 AM   #9
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Plant some potatoes in a stack of tires.

There are a lot of sites that will give you better particulars about it, but basically you just cut a knobby growth on a potato left in your cubbard too long, make sure it's at least an inch long and looks pretty healthy, white at the tip and green at the base not withered and flimsy (doesn't matter what the parent potato looks like). Set up the first two tires on a clay planting dish at least two inches in diameter bigger than your tires (I used go-cart tires and an extra-large dish and fit three potato plants in it).

Fill the tires with good gardening soil, keeping the mix loose, dig a small hole for each plant (about 3") and cover to level with soil. When the shoots sprout up 6-8" high, add another tire and cover with dirt, leaving 2" of the leaves to bring in sunlight. Repeat until plant is roughly 2' from where it started from bottom to surface or you run out of tires.

Bonus: potato flowers are pretty. :D

To harvest, after admiring the flowers and mourning their passing (about 2-3 weeks' worth of mourning), gently loosen the dirt around the edges of the plant, trying not to disturb it terribly, snip off the baby potatoes. For bigger tubers, wait longer. Leave potatoes on top of the dirt for a day to dry out and there ya go!

I've grown several varieties they offer at the local supermarket with only one case of genetically engineered non-producing potatoes (not as prevelant as people make it out to be) and no cases of potato pests or disease... then again, I did grow them entirely inside (mostly because the first crop I was going to transplant, but the tires were too heavy to move and then they did so well, I kept the next batch inside).

Whew... that was a lot more long-winded than I thought it would be.

VIVA LA REVOLUCION DE LA PATATA!
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Old 01-06-2009, 08:20 AM   #10
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I have never tried growing any type of eatable vegetation in door. As far as potatoes go, I would not grow them. Too many bad memories of my grandfather waking me up early on a Saturday morning and saying “We have to pick potatoes today.” We would pick about 20 100lbs sacks, then go a give them away. My grandfather had a 2 acre garden that he grew because old men in the South are suppose to have a garden, and his businesses were being run by other people. We had this garden, along with cattle and horses. NOTHING SMELLS WORSE THAN A ROTTEN POTATO! Takes days to get that smell out of your nose. I have an uncle that grows them, and I get them from him. On the other hand, nothing is better than fresh potatoes that you only need a brush and running water to get the skins off of. Fresh potatoes and fresh French cut Green Beans that have been cooked down with bacon drippings. I save bacon drippings only to cook my Green Beans, and twice cooked baked potatoes. My mother’s cousin has a business that grows tomatoes commercially in green houses all year long. If there is one blemish on a tomato, you cannot sell them to commercial customers. It is great having fresh tomatoes a Christmas time. I really have gotten spoiled with that.
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