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Growing vegetables indoors

i have recently moved house where there is a shared garden, i have always wanted to grow my own vegtables, mostly because it's cheaper than buying them. i've heard it's possible to grow certain veg indoors, as outdoors isn't possible,and the new house has a cellar which is perfect for the job. what i want to know is how to grow veg with grow lamps, as i know that growing with lamps needs a specific cycle of light and dark at different stages of growth and is different for different plants. what i most want to grow is- tomatoes, potatoes, onions and garlic, peppers and possibly aubergine. thanks for any help you can offer

When growing vegetables indoors, the key is strong light, consistent moisture, and a good root system.  Be sure to place the plants in either a southeast-facing window or under fluorescent lighting. The plants will need a minimum of 8 hours of light per day. If you do use fluorescent lighting, make sure they are no further than 3" from the lights.  

Do not over water. Most plants only need 1.5" of water per week. When growing indoors, the soil should be moist, not drenched. It is best to water deeply once or twice per week rather than small amounts daily. Shallow watering causes the roots to reach for the surface rather than down. The result is always a weak and spindly plant. Therefore, always water deeply to the point you have seepage from the bottom of the pot.  

Next, you should fertilize the plant once every two weeks. For indoor plants, use a solution that is diluted to 1/2 the recommended amount on the package. Any water-soluble fertilizer will suffice.   

Finally, be sure to transplant the plant every 2 months to a slightly larger pot. This will keep the plant from becoming root-bound. Plants left in the same container while still growing will become stunted. That is why you should increase the size of the pot by 2" each time you transplant.  

Just in case you've never started seeds indoors, I am also attaching my guide to seed starting. I hope this proves beneficial.

Seed Starting Tips

Starting seeds indoors is actually an easy process, but success only comes through many years of trial and error. I have been starting seeds indoors for the last eight years and thoroughly enjoy it.  Since I start over 500 seedlings, including annuals, vegetables, and herbs, it does become a full-time hobby.  The obvious advantages are the cost savings and the variety as opposed to purchasing seedlings at the garden center.

Most vegetable and annual flower seeds need to be started 6-8 weeks prior to your last expected frost.  The exact timing can be found on the seed packets, but 6 weeks is usually a good rule of thumb.  Never sow seeds deeper than twice their diameter.  For small seeds, place them on the surface of the growing medium, and then lightly sprinkle the mix over the seed until it is barely covered.  Water from the bottom to avoid disturbing the seed.

Seedlings need to be in simulated sunshine for at least 14 hours per day.  They also need 8 hours of dormancy for good growth.  You either need to invest in fluorescent bulbs called gro-lights which are as close to natural light as anything sold on the market, or substitute these with less expensive bulbs. By using one cool and one warm white fluorescent in combination, you will achieve the same effect.

If given the correct conditions, namely adequate moisture, strong light, and healthy soil, the seeds will germinate and grow to maturity with few or any problems. I grow my seedlings in seed trays with individual cell packs.  After sowing, I cover with a pre-fitted plastic dome.  But once the first seedlings sprout, it is important to remove the cover to avoid damping-off disease.  This is a fatal fungus disease which only attacks young seedlings, and is caused by inadequate air circulation and non-sterile soil.  That is why I advise all those who start seeds indoors to only use sterile, soilless mixes composed of vermiculite, perlite, and sphagnum moss.  These mixes can be purchased at any reputable garden center.

Once the seedlings develop their second set of leaves, you can begin supplementing the plants with a diluted solution of fertilizer.  Since you want to keep the nitrogen and salt levels low at this stage of growth, I highly recommend staying away from the chemical mixes.  Rather, use a seaweed/fish emulsion formula at ?the recommended level.  This will help the plants?development and also help ward off disease.  You can purchase these organic formulas at most garden centers or through online websites such as Gardens Alive.

Finally, be sure to keep your fluorescent lights no higher than 3?above the seedlings at all times.  This is critical to prevent the plants from becoming weak and spindly.  As I mentioned earlier, they should be left on 14 hours per day.  If fluorescent lighting is not possible, put them in a southwest window and turn them every three days to avoid leaning.

I am attaching a few websites that should prove helpful.  I would also advise you to purchase 揟he New Seed-Starters Handbook?by Nancy Bubel. It has many good ideas and techniques that benefit even experienced gardeners.


Supplies Needed for Seed Starting
1.   Seed Trays
2.   Seedling cell packs
3.   Peat Pots for Transplant Sensitive Seedlings
4.   Clear Plastic Domes
5.   Soilless Starting Mix Containing Vermiculite, Perlite, and Sphagnum Moss
6.   Heat Mat
7.   48?Lighting System; Single or Double Tier
8.   Nest Trays
9.   Gro-Lux Fluorescent Bulbs
10.   Hand Seeder
11.   Plant Markers; 4?br> 12.   Permanent Ink Markers; Sharpie Fine
13.   Fish Emulsion Fertilizer
14.   Misting Bottle

I hope this information helps. Please write again if you need additional information.



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