Author Topic: Growing plants indoors  (Read 2806 times)

Offline Turnandshoot4

  • Prepper
  • **
  • Posts: 27
  • Karma: 2
  • New TSP Forum member
Growing plants indoors
« on: January 23, 2013, 11:07:51 PM »
First let me say I couldn't figure out where to put this so please move if need be.

I have a Washington Navel orange tree and it isn't doing so hot.  I live in Northern Indiana (4 degrees F outside right now) so there is no way this is getting enough light these winter months. 

Does anyone have any suggestions to help me get this plant healthy and actually blooming?  I hope to have fresh oranges next winter grown right here in Indiana!  First I have to get this thing healthy.

Thanks! :)

Offline Cedar

  • Autarkist Queen
  • TSP Ultimate Ant
  • ************
  • Posts: 20623
  • Karma: 670
  • Dont wait for the storm to pass, dance in the rain
Re: Growing plants indoors
« Reply #1 on: January 24, 2013, 12:08:44 AM »
Too wet? That is one of the usual mistakes. Don't water it too much and let it dry out a bit between waterings. Have it in a south window? Some plants sulk a bit in the winter too and start perking up again around March. Got pics?

Cedar
"Do not breathe simply to exist."

Offline fritz_monroe

  • The Defenestrator
  • Global Moderator
  • Survival Veteran
  • ******
  • Posts: 7000
  • Karma: 117
    • The Homestead Fritz
Re: Growing plants indoors
« Reply #2 on: January 24, 2013, 05:53:21 AM »
You can also hook up a shop light over it.  You will need to keep the light pretty close to the leaves.

But I agree with Cedar that many people over water their indoor plants.  Most plants need to dry out a bit between waterings.
F_M
Check out my blogs at The Homestead Fritz and Camping With Fritz

Offline Jeremy Downing

  • Prepper
  • **
  • Posts: 69
  • Karma: 1
  • New TSP MSB member
    • Jeremy Downing's Blog
Re: Growing plants indoors
« Reply #3 on: January 24, 2013, 06:34:26 AM »
I have currently made the overwatering mistake with my key lime tree, although I am fortunate to have a bunch of limes on it right now.  I was trying to make them fat!  :D  I have a sodium grow light with a timer on my tree and a couple other plants.  Got a nice staghorn sumac growing up as well (from seed!  I'm pumped about that one).  The light has allowed for just an obnoxious amount of flowering and fruit development.  Oh, yes!  Also, in a fit of inspiration I took a handful of dutch clover seeds I had set aside for my yard next spring and threw them in my pots.  I wanted some way to fertilize without chemicals.  This has turned out kind of awesome.  I highly recommend.

“When governments fear the people, there is liberty.
When the people fear the government, there is tyranny.
The strongest reason for the people to retain the right to keep and bear arms is, as a last resort, to protect themselves against tyranny in government.”
- Thomas Jefferson (1743-1826), US Founding Father, drafted the Declaration of Independence, 3rd US President

Offline rikkrack

  • Dedicated Contributor
  • ******
  • Posts: 1191
  • Karma: 36
  • Permaculture Entrepreneur
    • Wolf-Beach Farms
Re: Growing plants indoors
« Reply #4 on: January 24, 2013, 07:13:23 AM »
 :popcorn:
www.wolfbeachfarms.com

Co-Founder and Educator at www.midwestsustainable.org

Aquaponics/Permaculture Entrepreneur

"You have a moral obligation to screw the government every chance you can." G-pa Wolf

Offline Turnandshoot4

  • Prepper
  • **
  • Posts: 27
  • Karma: 2
  • New TSP Forum member
Re: Growing plants indoors
« Reply #5 on: January 24, 2013, 10:41:21 AM »
Here it is!



The windows are so bright because of the snow.  I have a shop light (silver circle) with a fluorescent bulb within 2 feet of tree.

Another question, what wattage should I use for the fluorescent bulb?  The bulb I am using now is 6500k, is that good?

I water once a week right now.  This might be weird but I like to use ice.  The ice waters the plants/trees slowly over the course of a day.  I've had over watering problems in the past.

Offline Turnandshoot4

  • Prepper
  • **
  • Posts: 27
  • Karma: 2
  • New TSP Forum member
Re: Growing plants indoors
« Reply #6 on: January 24, 2013, 10:42:39 AM »
One of our goals for next year is to do indoor winter tomatoes.  I have NO IDEA how to do this so I'll be doing some searching.  If I can get the proper grow light wattage I figure it will help with indoor plants next year.

Offline fritz_monroe

  • The Defenestrator
  • Global Moderator
  • Survival Veteran
  • ******
  • Posts: 7000
  • Karma: 117
    • The Homestead Fritz
Re: Growing plants indoors
« Reply #7 on: January 24, 2013, 11:01:23 AM »
One of our goals for next year is to do indoor winter tomatoes.
I would think that you would want to start them in the Fall to have Winter tomatoes.  But I haven't done it.


Edit to remove the part about tomatoes being Annual.  I was wrong about that.
Edit to correct my earlier edit
« Last Edit: January 24, 2013, 01:07:16 PM by fritz_monroe »
F_M
Check out my blogs at The Homestead Fritz and Camping With Fritz

Offline Turnandshoot4

  • Prepper
  • **
  • Posts: 27
  • Karma: 2
  • New TSP Forum member
Re: Growing plants indoors
« Reply #8 on: January 24, 2013, 11:35:45 AM »
We have a ton of information to gather before we grow the tomatoes in the winter.

One big issue is what light to use when growing plants indoors.  I've seen the expensive options on amazon but there has to be a DIY way to get it done. 

The benefits of tomatoes in the winter just seems so great!  I can have fresh tomatoes, grow it myself, and reduce my carbon footprint!  Besides, those tomatoes that spend a week in a shipping container don't taste as good either.

Offline Cedar

  • Autarkist Queen
  • TSP Ultimate Ant
  • ************
  • Posts: 20623
  • Karma: 670
  • Dont wait for the storm to pass, dance in the rain
Re: Growing plants indoors
« Reply #9 on: January 24, 2013, 11:50:00 AM »
Edit to remove the part about tomatoes being perrenial.  I was wrong about that.

"..being annual"
... they are perrenial  ;)

Cedar
"Do not breathe simply to exist."

Offline livinitup0

  • Survivalist Mentor
  • *****
  • Posts: 449
  • Karma: 34
  • confrontational by design
Re: Growing plants indoors
« Reply #10 on: January 24, 2013, 12:33:40 PM »
its not getting nearly enough sun... id throw it in a closet with a LED grow light kit in there until its warm enough to take it outside. You could use HID or other types of grow lights but LED wont cost you a bunch of money on your power bill and you can put it a lot closer to your plant without running the risk of damaging it. Theres also a lot less risk of a fire, as LEDs dont put off nearly as much heat as other ballast lights.

Offline Skunkeye

  • Dedicated Contributor
  • ******
  • Posts: 1400
  • Karma: 78
Re: Growing plants indoors
« Reply #11 on: January 24, 2013, 09:58:52 PM »
Another question, what wattage should I use for the fluorescent bulb?  The bulb I am using now is 6500k, is that good?

The 6500K number isn't the wattage, it's the "color temperature".  A higher number indicates a light closer to the blue end of the spectrum.  Blue-green light is good for green, leafy growth phase of plants, but if you want it to produce blossoms and fruit, you'll want a light that's more toward the orange-red end of the spectrum, which means a lower number.  Look for a bulb in the 2500K-2700K range or labelled "warm".

As for wattage, you'll probably want the brightest you can find.  It takes a lot of energy to make fruit.

I agree with the others who suggested overwatering as a possible problem, too.  Citrus like to dry out a bit between waterings.  My citrus trees always seem happiest if I let the soil almost completely dry out once in a while.

Also, I can't tell from the picture, but check the tape holding the trunk to the metal stake, and make sure it's not constricting the stem at all.  If it's been on there for a while, the trunk can grow and get pinched by the tape.  If it's tight, take it off and either get rid of the stake or re-attach it loosely with some velcro or something.
"The Constitution is not an instrument for the government to restrain the people; it is an instrument for the people to restrain the government - lest it come to dominate our lives and interests.” - Patrick Henry

Offline CopperKnight

  • Survivor
  • ***
  • Posts: 175
  • Karma: 5
  • A protective shell is sometimes open space.
    • Survival WWYD
Re: Growing plants indoors
« Reply #12 on: January 25, 2013, 11:46:08 AM »
Couple thoughts:

-Can you put a box under it and lift it up a couple feet so all the leaves are right in the window?  That could be a help.
-I don't know specifics about that plant, but the ice could be part of the problem.  If you are shocking the roots every week with freezing water I can't see that as helpful, especially for a warm climate plant.  If you want to water more slowly, do the inverted bottle trick.
eschew obfuscation

The only thing that stops bad guys with guns is good guys with guns.

A friend and my blog: http://survivalwwyd.blogspot.com/


Offline fritz_monroe

  • The Defenestrator
  • Global Moderator
  • Survival Veteran
  • ******
  • Posts: 7000
  • Karma: 117
    • The Homestead Fritz
Re: Growing plants indoors
« Reply #13 on: January 25, 2013, 02:56:38 PM »
I didn't notice the comment about using ice to water it.  That's probably a bad idea for a sub-tropical plant.

F_M
Check out my blogs at The Homestead Fritz and Camping With Fritz

Offline Turnandshoot4

  • Prepper
  • **
  • Posts: 27
  • Karma: 2
  • New TSP Forum member
Re: Growing plants indoors
« Reply #14 on: January 25, 2013, 03:16:56 PM »
Great ideas!

I am going to adjust accordingly.  I don't expect fruit this year,but I do want to get some growth. My inital fear was I am losing many leaves so something has to be wrong.

Offline Skunkeye

  • Dedicated Contributor
  • ******
  • Posts: 1400
  • Karma: 78
Re: Growing plants indoors
« Reply #15 on: January 25, 2013, 03:31:11 PM »
Leaf drop on citrus isn't necessarily abnormal, especially if the plant is in a cooler area.  I have a dozen or so various citrus trees in containers (outdoors, though, since I'm in Texas), and they will drop the older leaves every year in winter.  They don't lose all their leaves, of course, but the older growth leaves can drop off and will sprout new leaves in the spring.  So it just may be normal, especially if it's kind of chilly right next to your window. 
"The Constitution is not an instrument for the government to restrain the people; it is an instrument for the people to restrain the government - lest it come to dominate our lives and interests.” - Patrick Henry

Offline Turnandshoot4

  • Prepper
  • **
  • Posts: 27
  • Karma: 2
  • New TSP Forum member
Re: Growing plants indoors
« Reply #16 on: January 26, 2013, 10:23:30 AM »
That is good to know about the leaves.  I wonder if this tree would be different though, as it is a S. American tree?  It is in our basement, which is cooler. 

Update:
Tree is now sitting on a 40mm grenade box, right in the window.
The band is cut and the tree is standing independently.
I haven't watered in 4 days.
I turn the light on every night and let it run from 0200-0800 (wife turns it off).
No new leaves are falling off.


Offline Black November

  • Survivalist Mentor
  • *****
  • Posts: 331
  • Karma: 41
  • Lifetime MSB Member
Re: Growing plants indoors
« Reply #17 on: February 06, 2013, 01:05:42 PM »
Someone already touched on this, but:

6500K is the color spectrum for Daylight. You want to get a bulbs that are labeled 6500K with the most wattage you can afford.

I use 200 watt compact fluorescent bulbs that are labeled "6500k or Daylight." They are only $16 at our local Safeway grocery store. For the last few years, I've been growing tomatoes, lettuce, and basil year round in a converted closet/grow room with these bulbs.










Offline Hootie

  • Written Word Wrangler
  • Dedicated Contributor
  • ******
  • Posts: 1060
  • Karma: 32
  • Just another day gardening in zone 5a.
    • Frozen Gardener
Re: Growing plants indoors
« Reply #18 on: February 06, 2013, 02:39:23 PM »
Great setup!
"Don't be afraid, just be informed"
"If you live your life around what your neighbors think, you'll do nothing except mow your lawn." -Steven Harris Ep726

Offline Black November

  • Survivalist Mentor
  • *****
  • Posts: 331
  • Karma: 41
  • Lifetime MSB Member
Re: Growing plants indoors
« Reply #19 on: February 06, 2013, 03:25:50 PM »
We converted the closet in a guest bedroom. It was an easy weekend project. With a $4 timer and the doors closed, you can't even tell its there:

Before:



After:


P.s. The lighting fixtures are on chain to raise or lower. The Lamp is made out of HVAC duct and lamp parts. The whole thing including rack was maybe $130.There is a Youtube video on it somewhere.

Offline Turnandshoot4

  • Prepper
  • **
  • Posts: 27
  • Karma: 2
  • New TSP Forum member
Re: Growing plants indoors
« Reply #20 on: February 06, 2013, 10:16:45 PM »
That is a great setup!

My tree is doing better.  I am opening the blinds during the day and turning on the light at night.  This seems to be enough light to keep the plant healthy. 

Offline CopperKnight

  • Survivor
  • ***
  • Posts: 175
  • Karma: 5
  • A protective shell is sometimes open space.
    • Survival WWYD
Re: Growing plants indoors
« Reply #21 on: February 09, 2013, 02:21:56 AM »
Very glad to hear it.
eschew obfuscation

The only thing that stops bad guys with guns is good guys with guns.

A friend and my blog: http://survivalwwyd.blogspot.com/


Offline Turnandshoot4

  • Prepper
  • **
  • Posts: 27
  • Karma: 2
  • New TSP Forum member
Re: Growing plants indoors
« Reply #22 on: February 15, 2013, 08:45:08 PM »
Update:

The tree has new leaves and blossoms forming!

Offline Skunkeye

  • Dedicated Contributor
  • ******
  • Posts: 1400
  • Karma: 78
Re: Growing plants indoors
« Reply #23 on: February 15, 2013, 09:22:56 PM »
Are you planning on hand-pollinating the flowers?
"The Constitution is not an instrument for the government to restrain the people; it is an instrument for the people to restrain the government - lest it come to dominate our lives and interests.” - Patrick Henry

Offline Turnandshoot4

  • Prepper
  • **
  • Posts: 27
  • Karma: 2
  • New TSP Forum member
Re: Growing plants indoors
« Reply #24 on: February 16, 2013, 03:21:47 PM »
I had planned on using a Qtip to pollenate. I was told that a feather was better but I'll have to get one from thethe nieghbors chickens.

Offline fishman1113

  • Prepper
  • **
  • Posts: 96
  • Karma: 4
Re: Growing plants indoors
« Reply #25 on: February 17, 2013, 06:59:03 AM »
Nice set up Black November!

Turnandshoot4  Glad to hear your tree is doing better.  Just curious, are you still watering with snow/ice?  I would expect that you are not, but I just had to ask.

Offline Turnandshoot4

  • Prepper
  • **
  • Posts: 27
  • Karma: 2
  • New TSP Forum member
Re: Growing plants indoors
« Reply #26 on: February 17, 2013, 10:34:23 PM »
I now mist a couple of times a week and get the dirt moist once a week.

Offline Turnandshoot4

  • Prepper
  • **
  • Posts: 27
  • Karma: 2
  • New TSP Forum member
Re: Growing plants indoors
« Reply #27 on: February 23, 2013, 11:52:05 AM »
We have blossoms!


Offline CopperKnight

  • Survivor
  • ***
  • Posts: 175
  • Karma: 5
  • A protective shell is sometimes open space.
    • Survival WWYD
Re: Growing plants indoors
« Reply #28 on: February 23, 2013, 12:24:39 PM »
Most excellent!
eschew obfuscation

The only thing that stops bad guys with guns is good guys with guns.

A friend and my blog: http://survivalwwyd.blogspot.com/


Offline svr

  • Fledgling Prepper
  • *
  • Posts: 3
  • Karma: 0
Re: Growing plants indoors
« Reply #29 on: February 23, 2013, 04:31:29 PM »
Looks like you're doing fine now.
I have never done Citrus, but I know from past experience that some trees need wind to strengthen them.
I have used a fan in the past that made a marked improvement on some plants, no difference that I could tell in others.

Good Luck,

Sean