Thursday, November 20, 2014

Growing Greens Indoors

So remember those projects I promised to update you on? Well, this isn't those. I'm still working on those to get them to work the way I want. Also, I've been distracted by something that might bring big changes for our family. But I'll say nothing further because I don't want to jinx things. I'm not usually a superstitious person. But, like I said, this is a big change and I don't want to take any chances.

Anyway, you might be asking what is this blog about then? (Or maybe not if you read the title.) This blog is about salad. More specifically, growing salad greens indoors. I've tried growing greens in windows, I've tried growing greens in windows with cfl bulbs for added light. Neither turned out as well as I would have liked and the bottles hanging in the windows looked a bit unsightly and the lights were a bit bright shining out my windows.

So I got an idea inspired by something I'd seen in some videos. The people took cardboard boxes and lined them with tin foil or mylar. Inside they put a daylight bulb and some plants. The foil helped to bounce as much light as possible around the plants. I didn't have any cardboard boxes but I do have these big 30 gal containers.

I drilled a hole in the top and then three more around it, spaced evenly. I stuck the sharp part of my little pruners in the middle hole and turned. This broke the plastic between the middle hole and the ones around it. (I didn't have a big enough drill bit to make a big enough hole.) I then took the wire at the top of the lamp and looped it over and stuck it through the enlarged hole.

The thing I have holding the wire is just the clip that attaches the lamp to the clamp.

Here's an inside view at the lamps. They're hanging close to the lids because I'm holding the lid up. They hang directly down when the lid is closed. You can also see some of the little pots. I used butter tubs, large yogurt containers and cottage cheese containers.

Here's another picture of the inside with the lid almost closed. The daughter and I planted four pots of pak choi, four pots of Bloomsdale long standing spinach, and six pots of red Russian kale.

Anyway, this project was really easy and I threw it together in one afternoon. I will probably do the tin foil tomorrow. I won't take a pic of that though because it will probably be too bright and end up as a white blur. I didn't take a picture of the inside of the other container because I just have my succulents and a tropical in it for now. If things go really well in the first container, I may find some place else for the tropical and succulents and put more greens in the second container.

And that's it for now. I will update you all when I have more info on this and other various projects. And hopefully a big announcement! Have a good day/night!

Wednesday, November 12, 2014

What I'm Doing

Nothing really much going on right now. I did build a sort of greenhouse thing to protect my more tender plants. It's not the best built contraption in the world and I think I need to do a bit more work to it. But that will have to wait until next week. After I get it more stable I will post some pics and maybe even a video.

I'm also working on an idea for an aquaponics system. Right now I'm working on some of the plumbing details before I start filling up containers with soil. Yes, I said soil. I'm going to attempt an aquaponics setup with soil. I know. Soil is supposed to be a big no no in aquaponics. But I think my ideas for my setup are pretty sound. Most of that is going to have to wait until next spring. I don't want to deal with working the kinks out of the system and getting the nitrogen cycle locked in while having to deal with possible freezing in the winter weather. So spring it is.

But that's basically what I've been up to. Just working on projects in my spare time. But nothing really to show yet. Once I have things worked out that I can show, I'll post it here.