Tuesday, December 23, 2014

Indoor Greens Container Update

So here are the results so far of my indoor greens container.

Things are growing. At first I didn't put in the aluminum foil because I wanted to see if it would work without it. But, as you can see, things got leggy. They improved when I put in the foil so, yes, you definitely do need the foil in this project.

As you can see below, some of the leaves have gotten singed. That is because I had the lights hanging straight down and the leaves touched them. Even though cfl bulbs don't get hot like regular incandescent bulbs, they are still too hot to touch with hands or leaves.

So I've changed the bulbs to a horizontal orientation.

 Since this brings the bulbs just a little farther away from the bulbs, I've put aluminum foil on the underside of the lid to direct as much light back down to the plants as possible. I didn't take a picture of that though.

Early on I also noticed that the plants seemed a little limp even though they had plenty of water. I don't know if that was because of extra heat being held in by the lid (it's not air tight but it does snap on at each end where the handles are) or if they weren't getting enough air current or just air itself. So I drilled some holes in the top for ventilation. This seemed to solve that problem as the leaves perked up pretty well.

My next step is to either harvest all the plants I've got in there now and start over, or just harvest the most leggy ones and leave anything that looks ok. So far the pac choi (bottom right in the top picture) seems to be doing the best. But I put in the foil shortly after they sprouted. So that might be why. The red russian kale is the most leggy because it sprouted first and was my indicator that I needed more light. There are a couple spinach sprouts but they're kind of small and weak looking. I think the seeds were a little old. But I'll try them again in case it was because of the lights or ventilation.

I also plan on starting some purslane in here. I think these conditions will be just about right for them. Not yet sure what else I want to try. I'll have to look through my seed stash. But if anybody has any ideas or suggestions. Bring 'em on! I'm always open to suggestions and ideas. The sharing of ideas is one of the best ways we expand our knowledge and learn new things.

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