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This topic contains 3 replies, has 3 voices, and was last updated by  erinaiston 11 months, 2 weeks ago.

  • Growing Vegetables Indoors

    Created by driztruse on

    Hello all,

    I’ve been looking to create an indoor vegetable garden this year since I gave up growing a more illegal plant. So I’ve only grown cannabis indoors, and for that you need a vegetation bulb (metal halide) and a flower bulb (high pressure sodium) based on the different light spectrum’s. My problem is that all the literature I’ve found on regular vegetables indoors say both sides, yes I do need to switch and no I don’t. Which is it? What’s the best indoor grow light for vegetables? Makes sense that i would need to switch to mimic the shorter days and such. I figure it varies from plant to plant but can anyone enlighten me on this?

    Here is what I want to grow inside:
    -leafy greens (lettuce, mustard, kale, arugula)
    – some dwarf cherry tomatoes
    -regular tomatoes
    -maybe peas, i’m not sure if i want to deal with that big of a plant indoors
    -bunching onions
    -peppers (heard these were hard to grow/get a good yield off of so i’m not sure yet)
    -Berries (blueberries, strawberries, maybe a raspberry)

    Thanks for your time,

  • Author
  • #206106 Reply

    E. Vinje

    Hi David –

    As you know, light is the most important component of your indoor growing set-up. If you want want abundant harvests, it must be intense. Not only is the kind of light you use critical to your success, it will determine how healthy (and productive) your plants are. Advances in spectral display and intensity of T5 fluorescents make them a good choice for the casual indoor vegetable gardener. They produce low heat, are energy efficient, affordable and very easy to use.

    Indoor growers looking for impressive vegetable yields should consider High Intensity Discharge (HID) lights. They range in size form 250W to 1,000W and it’s important to fit them to your garden space. Typically a 1000W grow light will cover a 10 ft x 10 ft growing area (100 sq ft). Do NOT skimp on light.

    HID lights are of two types: metal halide (MH) and high-pressure sodium (HPS). Both require a remote ballast to provide the proper operating voltage. Most gardeners recommend MH lamps to encourage vegetative growth and “bushiness” while discouraging upward growth. Their blue-white spectrum is perfect for growing leafy greens. HPS bulbs radiate light energy in the yellow-red-orange spectrum and stimulate fruiting and flower production. They’re ideal for peppers and tomatoes.

    Note: Most plants need about 10-14 hours of light per day in order to grow. Plants that produce fruit or flowers will need more: up to 18 hours per day.

    Al-righty, with the basics out of the way let’s take a look at the veggies you want to grow inside.

    • leafy greens (lettuce, mustard, kale, arugula) — T5 fluorescent, compact fluorescent or metal halide throughout
    • tomatoes — Start with metal halide and switch to high pressure sodium
    • beans — I recommend bush varieties. Start with metal halide and switch to high pressure sodium
    • peas — probably not (they are a cool weather crop)
    • herbs — Most culinary herbs will do well grown under fluorescents or MH lamps. However, HPS bulbs are best for the flowering stage of herbs grown for their blossoms: chamomile, calendula and borage among others.
    • bunching onions — T5 fluorescent, compact fluorescent or metal halide throughout
    • broccoli — T5 fluorescent, compact fluorescent or metal halide throughout
    • peppers (heard these were hard to grow/get a good yield off of so i’m not sure yet) — Start with metal halide and switch to high pressure sodium
    • Berries (blueberries, strawberries, maybe a raspberry) — Hmm. you’ll have your best luck with strawberries. Start with metal halide and switch to high pressure sodium.

    Hope this helps!

    #273719 Reply


    Virtually any vegetable can be grown indoors given proper conditions including adequate light, water, and nutrients. What do you hope to grow? Plants like corn take up a lot of space in a pot and give limited return – 1–2 ears per plant – and then die, but an indeterminate tomato variety or any chili pepper could give you thousands of fruits over years as they are perennial in their native (warm) environments.

    #276973 Reply


    Here are nine vegetables and leafy greens you can grow indoors year-round.
    Lettuce greens. Lettuce is surprisingly easy to grow and does not take up much space, making it an excellent choice for a sunny window. …
    Carrots. …
    Arugula. …
    Kale. …
    Scallions. …
    Microgreens. …
    Tomatoes. …

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