Author Topic: The Chronicles of Firetoadia: Winter Basement Gardening  (Read 22175 times)

Offline firetoad

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Re: The Chronicles of Firetoadia: Winter Basement Gardening
« Reply #30 on: January 19, 2009, 11:22:03 PM »
Jack,

I thought about that, but just couldn't fork over the cash for one just yet.  I know when I purchased my Jiffy "flats", I saw that Harris Seeds had them. 

I even thought about taking one of my little space heaters down there and setting the thermostat on low to just give me a few more degrees.  However, I have a thing against unattended space heaters inside of my house. 

Offline Mr. Blank

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Re: The Chronicles of Firetoadia: Winter Basement Gardening
« Reply #31 on: January 20, 2009, 11:36:39 AM »
FT,
Are you using full spectrum grow bulbs or just regular flourecents? I found that the "grow bulbs" work really well. The plants don't get long a nd spindly.

Great setup.

Offline firetoad

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Re: The Chronicles of Firetoadia: Winter Basement Gardening
« Reply #32 on: January 20, 2009, 01:43:20 PM »
Triox,

I am using full spectrums in the fixtures.  Trust me, I know they were (or they better be!) for the the price I paid for them!   ;)

Offline Mr. Blank

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Re: The Chronicles of Firetoadia: Winter Basement Gardening
« Reply #33 on: January 20, 2009, 10:17:34 PM »
Sweet deal. I wish I had some extra indoor space to get something like that going. I feel all empty inside when I can't garden for 3 months...  :'(

Offline firetoad

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Day 17
« Reply #34 on: January 21, 2009, 07:46:58 PM »
The dill is growing fine, but is such a thin seedling that I opted to not photograph it today because it looks just like the previous pics.  Also, I think I need to add some heat or the Yarrow won't sprout.  Oh well, live and learn!

America Spinach - Day 17


Flat Leaf Parsley - Day 17

Note:  The leaves are not yellow as they appear in the photo.  They are actually a light green, but I was too lazy to adjust the levels on the image.  So, just imagine them being all green!   ;)
« Last Edit: August 07, 2018, 06:59:14 PM by firetoad »

Offline firetoad

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Re: The Chronicles of Firetoadia: Winter Basement Gardening
« Reply #35 on: February 04, 2009, 06:01:47 PM »
America Spinach - Day 31


Dill - Day 31


Parsley - Day 31


In addition to the basement garden, something easy to grow is sprouts!  Sprouts can be grown any time throughout the year and is great for "greens" in the winter.  The growth rate is quick, the yield is large and they are a piece of cake to grow.  The sprouts below are an alfalfa/clover blend and sproutpeople.com's French Garden.

Sprout Jar with a dish towel to prevent light exposure -


Sprouts - Day 3


French Garden Harvested - Day 7
« Last Edit: August 07, 2018, 07:01:18 PM by firetoad »

Offline 19kilo

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Re: The Chronicles of Firetoadia: Winter Basement Gardening
« Reply #36 on: February 04, 2009, 06:55:47 PM »
Are they sprouted from wheat berries?

Offline firetoad

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Re: The Chronicles of Firetoadia: Winter Basement Gardening
« Reply #37 on: February 04, 2009, 07:20:01 PM »
The sprouts in the jar are Alfalfa and Clover.

The loose, harvested sprouts are a mix known as French Garden which contains Clover, Arugula, Cress, Radish, Fenugreek, Dill.

Example of wheat berry sprouts:


Offline Roswell

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Re: The Chronicles of Firetoadia: Winter Basement Gardening
« Reply #38 on: February 04, 2009, 07:54:50 PM »
great documentation. keep it up.

I didn't know sprouts could be grown year round. that is good to know. They look super easy too

Offline smittymojoe

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Re: The Chronicles of Firetoadia: Winter Basement Gardening
« Reply #39 on: February 16, 2009, 04:41:31 PM »
Nice thread Firetoad +1...... you have inspired me. I started some spinach, chard, and lettuce last night in my basement. Tonight I'm going to do another container of lettuce.

smitty

Offline firetoad

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Re: The Chronicles of Firetoadia: Winter Basement Gardening
« Reply #40 on: February 18, 2009, 05:23:12 PM »
Spinach - Day 45

Dill - Day 45

Parsley - Day 45

I have a few questions for everyone since this is my first time starting seeds:

  • I am having some mushrooms popping up, as well as some white "powdery looking" fungus in one of my planters.  Anyone have any recommendations/suggestions?  Am I just too wet?  [See the two Spinach pictures.]
  • The original sprouting leaves on the spinach (the two long slender leaves) seem to be browning/dieing out.  I am noticing something similar with the original dill and parsley leaves that sprouted first.  Is this normal?
  • I am currently running my lights about 3" from the top of the plants.  OK or not OK?

Thanks in advance!
« Last Edit: August 09, 2018, 07:57:07 PM by firetoad »

Offline Spamity Calamity

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Re: The Chronicles of Firetoadia: Winter Basement Gardening
« Reply #41 on: February 18, 2009, 06:19:39 PM »
I have a few questions for everyone since this is my first time starting seeds:

  • I am having some mushrooms popping up, as well as some white "powdery looking" fungus in one of my planters.  Anyone have any recommendations/suggestions?  Am I just too wet?  [See the two Spinach pictures.]
  • The original sprouting leaves on the spinach (the two long slender leaves) seem to be browning/dieing out.  I am noticing something similar with the original dill and parsley leaves that sprouted first.  Is this normal?
  • I am currently running my lights about 3" from the top of the plants.  OK or not OK?

Thanks in advance!

Yes if you see mushrooms and fungus popping up you are waaaaaaay too wet. The hardest thing to figure out for the beginning indoor gardeners is how much to water. They almost always water too much ( I did the same thing myself so I know).

The orignal sprouting leaves die, they are just supposed to get your plants going.

Since you arent using a real grow light, 3 inches is ok, 2 would be better its almost impossible to burn anything with cheap home depot flourescents. I kick myself for losing a really good agricultural study of floourescent lights for gardening but they came to the conclusion to get any real useful light the leaves had to be within 2 inches to have the best effect.

Offline firetoad

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Re: The Chronicles of Firetoadia: Winter Basement Gardening
« Reply #42 on: February 18, 2009, 06:27:20 PM »
Thanks Spamity! 

As far as the mushrooms, I am assuming that I just need to let the planter dry out and it will remedy itself?  Or, do I need to try to extract the mushrooms and affected soil.  I know with fungus it is difficult to extract it all and can easily spread it.  Any suggestions there?

Thanks!

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Re: The Chronicles of Firetoadia: Winter Basement Gardening
« Reply #43 on: February 19, 2009, 06:05:40 PM »
Thanks for the great posts.  I live in a small apartment, but I'm planning on using a baker's racks to get a similar setup going.  Also, thanks to the folks that posted the info. on sprouts.  I can't wait to give them a try.

Offline Spamity Calamity

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Re: The Chronicles of Firetoadia: Winter Basement Gardening
« Reply #44 on: February 19, 2009, 06:15:44 PM »
Thanks Spamity! 

As far as the mushrooms, I am assuming that I just need to let the planter dry out and it will remedy itself?  Or, do I need to try to extract the mushrooms and affected soil.  I know with fungus it is difficult to extract it all and can easily spread it.  Any suggestions there?

Thanks!

Yeah just stop the watering for a little while and let the soil dry out and it will take care of itself. I usually remove the mushrooms and any fungus that I can see just because you know its gross. I also usually remove maybe an inch or two of soil that was touching the mushroom and fungus to try to get rid of the mycelium thats in the soil that made the mushroom to begin with it seems to help cut down on reocurrences.

Offline firetoad

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Re: The Chronicles of Firetoadia: Winter Basement Gardening
« Reply #45 on: February 22, 2009, 10:34:18 AM »
Time to start thinning!

Spinach - Day 49
« Last Edit: August 09, 2018, 08:10:31 PM by firetoad »

Offline BerserkerPrime

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Re: The Chronicles of Firetoadia: Winter Basement Gardening
« Reply #46 on: February 22, 2009, 12:56:20 PM »
FireToad,

Your spinach picks aren't visible :-\.  How long did your spinach take to sprout?  Most everything, of mine is sprouting already after 7 days except the peppers and spinach.  Just curious.....

BP

Offline firetoad

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Re: The Chronicles of Firetoadia: Winter Basement Gardening
« Reply #47 on: February 22, 2009, 01:28:20 PM »
BP,

They should be viewable now.  My host was up and down a few times earlier.  As far as the spinach sprouting, I saw the first signs at seven days:

http://thesurvivalpodcast.com/forum/index.php?topic=1993.msg20761#msg20761

Offline Louisiana Suvivor

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Re: The Chronicles of Firetoadia: Winter Basement Gardening
« Reply #48 on: February 22, 2009, 02:14:30 PM »
you could hang some sort of insulator around them....ie space blanket, if you need to up the temp. i don't know if it would get too hot though. just throwing out ideas

Offline firetoad

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Re: The Chronicles of Firetoadia: Winter Basement Gardening
« Reply #49 on: March 10, 2009, 07:34:20 PM »
OK, a few weeks have passed since my last post.  Honestly, the veggies and herbs did not really like the soil and the deeper planters they were in (at least not as a starting place).  So, I culled out the best of the spinach and dill plants and replanted them in Jiffy Pots with Miracle-Gro Organic Soil.  I left the parsley alone and it is hanging in there, but could be doing a little better. 

I have also planted the rest of the seeds to be planted in the garden this year in Jiffy Pots.  The planted seeds include:

  • Bush Beans
  • Corn
  • Carrots
  • Onions
  • Banana Peppers
  • Jalapenos
  • Cayenne Peppers
  • Eggplants
  • Tomatoes
  • Okra

Overall

Dill - Day 65

Spinach - Day 65

Parsley - Day 65

Eggplant, Tomato, Okra, Corn & Bush Bean Tray - Day 9

Bush Beans - Day 9

Corn - Day 9

Tomatoes - Day 9

Jalapeno, Banana Pepper, Onion & Carrot Tray - Day 9

Carrots - Day 9

Onions - Day 9

Greens Tray - Day 9

Lettuce - Day 9
« Last Edit: August 09, 2018, 08:58:11 PM by firetoad »

Offline Louisiana Suvivor

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Re: The Chronicles of Firetoadia: Winter Basement Gardening
« Reply #50 on: March 12, 2009, 10:15:07 AM »
i'm jealous FT. you have a basement. if i were to dig 2 feet into the ground to start a basement i'd be 2 feet in water. Louisiana just isn't cool with basements. great work man

Offline Sister Wolf

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Re: The Chronicles of Firetoadia: Winter Basement Gardening
« Reply #51 on: March 12, 2009, 11:58:37 AM »
Question: What are jiffy pots?  Are they biodegradable planters of some kind?  I'm getting ready to start the garden out here in Sunny Southern California, and I'm starting to mother hen the garden ideas.  Should I be using jiffy pots?  Do they allow the roots to break free of them at some point, or do you have to take the plant out when you transplant them?

Offline cougar

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Re: The Chronicles of Firetoadia: Winter Basement Gardening
« Reply #52 on: March 12, 2009, 02:10:25 PM »
Awesome! 
Does anyone have any ideas what you are looking at price wise (on your electric bill) to run the grow lamps on a project like this?

Offline Spamity Calamity

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Re: The Chronicles of Firetoadia: Winter Basement Gardening
« Reply #53 on: March 12, 2009, 03:38:55 PM »
OK, a few weeks have passed since my last post.  Honestly, the veggies and herbs did not really like the soil and the deeper planters they were in (at least not as a starting place).  So, I culled out the best of the spinach and dill plants and replanted them in Jiffy Pots with Miracle-Gro Organic Soil.  I left the parsley alone and it is hanging in there, but could be doing a little better. 


Not trying to rain on your parade but I dont think its the soil or the deeper depth of their original container. Its probably other factors. What is the temperature of your basement and is that temp relatively stable? How is the airflow in your basement or is their any airflow? What is the relative humidity? What is the ph of the soil and of the water that you are using. Are you adding any anything to the water? I may sound like a broken record but I would get those lights a lot closer. You see how those little seedlings are stretching so hard to reach the light? They need more lumens. I personally believe that the inexpensive hardware store flouros are useless for gardening. Go on an adventure to your local hydroponics store and just ask them to just turn on a HID grow light for you, youll be amazed and I gurantee youll come back and thank me for it  ;D. Also Miracle Gro Organic soil is very poor in quality. It looks like bark that hasnt been composted fully yet and the overall quality is atrocious. I also had a huge mushroom problem when I used it as well. And the only fertilizer that they add to make it organic is chicken shit. I know because I made the mistake of using it once myself. I recommend Fox Farm potting soils if you plan on doing this for any length of time. It is very expensive but its amazing (its a little hot for seedlings but its awesome for fruiting plants). Fox Farm uses guano, blood meal, oyster shell, and a bunch of other really good ingrediants in their soil. I used to cut it with 50 percent Fox Farm soil 25 percent Perlite and 25 percent vermiculite with just a dash of garden lime to stablilize PH.  Or just use plain bargain basement non nutrient added soil thats still better than miracle gro organic.

Also Sister Wolf thats exactly what they are.

And cougar if you google around you can find a cost calculator to run grow lights.

« Last Edit: March 12, 2009, 03:41:14 PM by Spamity Calamity »

Offline firetoad

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Re: The Chronicles of Firetoadia: Winter Basement Gardening
« Reply #54 on: March 12, 2009, 06:06:58 PM »
Spam,

I appreciate the info.  The temp of the basement in that area was stable in the low 60's and is now stable at 67 degrees (I have added a heater to that area).  I have a fan circulating the air in that area of the basement.  As far as the lights, they are full spectrum grow light fluoro's.  They are not HID grow lights, but they are not plain jane fluoro's either.  They were easy to acquire and all I could afford for now.  But, I will check out the alternative you offered.  As far as distance, the picture is a little deceiving.  The front trays are only two inches off the soil/top of plants.  Of course, the back tray is a little far from the light because of the parsley planter.  As far as the mushrooms, that was actually a different soil that I think is/was the problem.  Not sure what the pH is, bought a cheapo kit, but haven't had a chance to test yet.  As far as the Miracle Gro, I actually thought it looked pretty good.  My seedlings are doing much better in this than the other soil.  I like the fact that it had some sand premixed and seemed light and airy.  I thought the "woodchips" were pretty minimal.  We will see I guess.  Regarding the water, not sure of the pH and am adding AG Organics Garrett Juice per the instructions after sprouting.