I've been busy planning an indoor hydroponic setup for a few plants. It won't be anything fancy or expensive, but I am trying a few ideas to find something workable. Right now, I have green onions in a jar and the jar is covered with a dark sock to keep out the light. I've also done the same with 2 jars of 10 basil cuttings. I am using a water-soluble all-purpose plant fertilizer (1/4 tsp. per gallon of water) to fertilize them. Other plants I'm going to bring inside now for this project are: dandelions, chives, plantain, impatiens and cuttings from my tomato plants. I also have 3 6-packs of basil outside which are now rootbound, so I want to take these out and wash off all the soil, and try growing them in a jar of water indoors. My tomato seeds are drying nicely, and I have pepper seeds drying as well, from a pepper I bought at the Farmer's market. There's a big cucumber ripening for seed as well.
Will let you all know how my frugal hydroponics turns out as things progress.
All of the plants I started in pots of soil outdoors a few weeks ago are doing well, except the dill, which I'll have to reseed.
The romaine lettuces and celery (centers) seem to be doing well, and are growing larger.
My plan for indoor winter gardening projects:
1. plants grown from cuttings in water
2. plants grown from roots in water
3. plants grown in potted soil
4. plants started in soil and grown in water tubs: lettuce, tomatoes (this is a rather ambitious plan; but I'd like to use my picnic hamper for the water container, and I have some styrofoam pieces that I can cut to fit the top of the hamper to keep out the light, and I can make a few circles in the styrofoam to hold the plants, with the roots extending down into the water. The tomato plants are the very small bush variety, and I'd like to try buttercrunch lettuce too. We'll see.
Oh, I love the aroma in my kitchen with the fresh basil and green onions.:lip:
I've decided not to use water-filled glass jars to hold the plants, due to a fire hazard risk from light refraction. I did some internet research today on the subject, and apparently, many fires have been caused by light refraction occurring through water-filled glass or plastic bottles (even dew forming inside thrown-away bottles).
So I won't be using them. Live and learn.
I've collected many plants in the last couple of days, and prepared them for an indoor kitchen garden. There is already some growth in the onions. I also have dandelions, basil, impatiens, 3 kinds of tomato cuttings with their developing florets, and some grapevine branches (for leaves for cooking).
Today, I got some wonderful deals at the Farmer's Market. I got there at the very end, and there weren't any other customers around, so the vendors wanted to unload their produce. I bought enough tomatoes to chop and freeze in plastic bags for the winter, a few large onions (some of which I will plant indoors in a pot), lots of cucumbers for salads @ 8 for $2.00, plus the vendor gave me a yellow seed cucumber for free, a zuccini for seed (only 50 cents), and 2 bags of carrots for only $2. My indoor onions in the water jar grew about 1 1/2 inches last night. The carrot tops in the water dish were rotting, so I threw them away; I guess the only way they've thrive is in soil. Tonight it's supposed to freeze, so I plan to pick off my garden for seed, and I will bring in some soil for sterilization, so I can plant up a few pots next week. I guess I'll have to harvest my potatoes too; I'm not sure if they will be edible, what with all the toxins in the air this summer...I harvested my basil leaves, but they made me sick, so I threw them away...I will plant only the top new growth into fresh pots of soil for my indoor garden. All of the old growth on all my garden plants is showing spots.
I bought a new men's terry/velour bathrobe at the thrift shop last week, never used...so I am saving that for a Christmas gift for one of my DS's. It was bag sale day...all you can fit into a plastic grocery bag, for only $3 per bag. So I got a pair of dress pants & 2 black tops for work, 2 large plant pots, wooden salt and pepper shakers, a fondue maker (for heating things with a candle), and the bathrobe. It was a tight fit, but I put things inside other things, and rolled and flat-folded other things, and got it all into 1 small plastic grocery bag with the plastic handles fitting snugly over the top of the bathrobe. (all this stuff was new...unused)
The grocery store has a few good deals this week...10 kg flour for $5.99 per bag, 18 eggs for $3.99, so I got a bag of flour, and hope to get another one today. I like to get these heavy sacks of food staples into my pantry well before winter, as it's a lot easier manoeuvering my walker when there isn't any snow to deal with.
Things have been so busy that I haven't had time to bake or do much cooking, but now is the time to make the most of the good deals out there, and when I'm housebound I can spend more time in the kitchen again.
It's been busy this week...getting the indoor kitchen garden in order. Much got done except possibly digging up 2 or 3 cucumber plants, and 2 or 3 scarlet runner bean plants...I think it could be done with the smaller cucs intact, and by just cutting off the first 3 feet of the beans, and letting them branch out again, both kinds of plants curling around 2 tomato cages indoors. The 3 tomato plants have transplanted well so far, and there are many tiny tomatoes starting up on them. The rest of the plants are in the kitchen, and a few are 'wallflowers' in my studio. I found that the plants I started in a jar of water and plant food tended to 'slime off', except for my impatiens and grapevine, so I dumped the 'slimed', and the cuttings are doing better in water alone. Most of my kitchen garden plants are now planted in soil, and so far, so good. The onions and chives are doing very well, and I trim them off every couple of days for cooking. I saved some more tomato seeds...Roma and some large tomato seeds from some Farmer's Market tomatoes.
The worst part of all of this was sterilizing my garden soil in my oven...smelled just like cooked weiners...and no, I don't think I cooked any earthworms in the process, though I may be wrong, and I kept hearing high-pitched queals throughout the process. I'll have to cook up a few more batches of garden soil to bag up for the winter, to start my seeds in next year.
People may wonder why I'm doing all of this.
Answer: I felt deprived of my garden after CPR wrecked it, so my 'necessity is the mother of invention' mental-motivator kicked in, plus...I just got so disgusted at having my plans wrecked, I figured I would find a way to make it work anyway, if at all possible! Might as well let my anger give me energy to work out a different solution.:tom:
What with all this activity, I haven't had time to do anything else except for my studio work...needed milk, so I'm getting the downtown errands done today.
I've been reading up on the 'B. A. Kratky Hydroponic Method'.
This looks like the easiest and least expensive way to do things.
Will post the best videos on this source asap.
I'd like to try growing lettuce in large Folger's coffee tubs...he sure makes it look easy!:clover:
It sounds like your garden is thriving. finding how to do things differently to make them work is a challenge, but can be fun. I hope the hydroponics works for you. It always sounded like the easiest way to me.
Here's another one of my mistakes you can learn from:
Do not put plants in garden soil for indoor use...the soil will stink after a few days, and it's very heavy for the plant roots to handle the transplanting shock.
I bought rough peat moss, and spent several days this week transplanting all my plants into it, and wet the peat moss with a plant food/water solution. So far, so good with the new transplanting experience for these plants. My...they have been put through a lot, haven't they? But I've learned quite a bit too.
My lettuce seeds sprouted on the second day, and I've transplanted them into a round pot to develop their first leaves, then I'll transplant them into the hydroponic containers in the Kratky method.
Just lately I've filled my fridge with produce from the Farmer's Market wind-up, and also got some freebies at yard sales. The onion greens in my kitchen garden are yielding well, so I've saved about $10 so far just on onion greens (they just don't quit growing). Some of the other plants are doing ok, but some of them have been slowly declining...maybe not enough light, so I'll have to move them to a bright window (bought a $2 wire shelf-unit at the yard sales which will be perfect for this). Have now collected many packets of seeds from them and from the remainder of my garden.:tom:
What with all these carrots and beets from the Farmer's Market, I've been very busy storing, baking and cooking...baked a lovely beet cake and lots of carrot muffins, made beet soup, and lots of snacking foods. So, hopefully there will be no waste.
Have felt more strength and energy lately, so did some cleaning.:va:
This week I had a real blessing regarding a turkey for Thanksgiving. I had bought a turkey last Christmas which had many pinfeathers left in it, so I had phoned the company to let the quality control department know about it. They very kindly sent me a $10 promotional coupon for their products. Well, I've been looking in the stores here and in the city, but have been unable to find their products anywhere for the past year. This week, I happened to go to my corner store to buy milk, when I asked the clerk if they had any of this company's product in stock, and they had 1 turkey left...which was priced at about $22.00, and after the coupon discount of $10, I bought it for only about $12.00!
The other store had turkeys priced at about $35, and the customer had to buy $100 worth of groceries first, and then could use their $10 in-store coupon to discount the $35 turkey to $25...so I feel very delighted about the turkey deal I got at the other store.:yippee:
I haven't spent much money this month...a couple of essential foods, that's all. And 2 sweet potatoes to make sweet potato pie for Thanksgiving!
And I've cut out tv viewing, except for 2-3 programs once a week, and am spending my time reading and studying my Bible, Halley's Bible Handbook and Unger's Bible Dictionary. Strength and protection for the journey!
A forum community dedicated to the frugal lifestyle and the enthusiasts. Come join the discussion about simple and green living, cost effective tips, life hacks, debt reduction, recycling, gardening, other homesteading techniques, and more!