Indoor Gardening and Vacations

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Indoor Gardening and Vacations

Indoor Gardening and Vacations

As many of my Twitter and Facebook followers know, my wife and I recently left the cold and snow in Minnesota and landed in the surf, sand and sun of southern Florida.  It was a glorious trip with beautiful weather, and even more importantly, it was a chance to get away right before the holidays and spend some time together.

My PRO TIP of the week: take your significant other on vacation; it is a great chance for you to reconnect!

Going on vacation can almost cause panic attacks for indoor gardeners, however.  Why?  Well, the answers are quite simple: who will dote on the indoor garden while you are away on vacation?   Who will make sure the lights are on?  Most importantly: who will make sure to water the plants?

Well, friends, this is where the Indoor Gardening Made Easy Method I described in last week’s article really shines.  If you recall, I set up a really simple system that consists of the containers from my Hybrid Rain Gutter Grow System.  The timer that controls the grow lights, and water wicks up into the soil automatically.  It is simple and hands off, and that is what makes this system so successful!

Indoor Garden Made Easy

Indoor Garden Made Easy – Bins, Lights, Containers with Soil and Water

 

Larry Hall’s Grow Bag Garden Systems

You can get a system like mine operational easily and relatively inexpensively.  There are folks that might not want or have time/skills to construct the elements for my simple system.  Perhaps you are not able to do the following:

  • Find Dollar Tree Laundry Baskets (my stores have been out of stock since the summer)
  • Cannot make homemade sleeves out of landscape fabric and hot glue
  • Do not have spare bins laying about your basement or garage

These are not insurmountable problems.  You can still have an indoor garden!

Larry Hall has a great system ready for this kind of application. Larry recently came out with the Gro-Matic Garden Planter System, and it is great.  The pictures below show just a couple of 12 systems available (water reservoir not included).  You can find all of the information at his Grow Bag Garden System site (including an introduction video).

Grow Bag Garden System - Green Gro-Matic Planter System

Grow Bag Garden System – Green Gro-Matic Planter System

Gro-Matic Garden Planter Systems

Grow Bag Garden System – Gro-Matic Garden Planter Systems

No tools are needed for assembly, and the system comes with your choice of root pouches (one gallon to 10 gallon root pouches in a variety of colors).  The root pouches eliminate the need for laundry containers and landscape sleeves.  Since no net cups are needed, you simply place the root pouches in a half inch of water.  Simple!

Additionally, Gro-Matic Garden Planter System comes with a Kerick float system that allows a gardener to connect the planter to a water reservoir (like the one shown above), and that means this becomes an automatic watering system.  That allows gardeners to have even more flexibility to set this system up, and let the plants take as much water as they need.  This is the feature that has me very excited, and I will be getting some of these Kerick float systems to experiment over the long, cold Minnesota winter.

This whole system can serve your needs in the winter, and then you can relocate it outside this spring.  The Gro-Matic Garden Planter System is functional, flexible and fantastic!  I need one of these.

Indoor Gardening Results

As I mentioned at the start of the article: we were gone a week.  Did the indoor garden survive?  What were my results?  Did anything die?

I wondered the same thing, so as soon as I got home, I ran downstairs to the indoor garden to see what happened (or what didn’t happen).  I have to say: the lettuce and spinach simply exploded!  You can see the results in the picture below.

Indoor Gardening Results

Indoor Gardening Results – November 8, 2014 to December 10, 2014

I did have to move the garden from Julia’s Blooms (awesome) workbench to a new (less awesome) workbench (hence the different look of the picture above) to make way for a wedding.  Once I moved the containers, lights and timer to the new location, I decided to harvest some of the spinach and lettuce.  I was amazed at the results!

I picked lettuce and spinach and FILLED a two gallon bucket.  Some of the lettuce leaves were bigger than my hand!

Harvested Lettuce and Spinach - December 10, 2014

Harvested Lettuce and Spinach – December 10, 2014

 

Big Lettuce - December 10, 2014

Big Lettuce – December 10, 2014

I was shocked and impressed, and the beauty of this is: more lettuce and spinach are growing right now, in my basement, during the winter!

I am ready to try some basil and other herbs.  I have  lots of experimenting to do before I start seedlings for the 2015 season.  February is right around the corner, and I need to get moving.

Until next time, let’s grow this together!

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2 Comments on "Indoor Gardening and Vacations"

  1. Janiene Schultz | March 6, 2017 at 6:35 AM | Reply

    Just found out about you via freecycle.org. Someone was giving away 5 gallon buckets and suggested a google search about you. I’m in st. Paul, mn. Anxious to learn more and hope to try this at my apt. Building.

    • Thanks for the comments and welcome to Small Scale Gardening! I am actually doing a lot more blogging over at my new site Small Scale Life (smallscalelife.com). I have just started a Garden Planning Series, and I am starting my own seedlings this week (I am a bit behind).

      Gardening in small spaces is what it is all about. I am also a renter, and my gardens are completely changing in 2017. I am radically downsizing and trying some new self-watering garden beds that could be used in apartments or rental house (where everything needs to be mobile and moveable).

      There are lots of ways to come at gardening, and the beautiful thing is: if you have sun/light, water and soil, you can grow something.

      What are you looking to grow?

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