I'm very excited about this post for the simple fact that as we're harvesting right and left in our outdoor garden, I know that the heat of Florida summertime won't effect our gardening this year! With the help of this lovely contraption, we'll be able to have fresh lettuce, onions, herbs and much more until we plant again in September. We aren't able to grow nearly the amount that we can outdoors, but there are definately no regrets with this project! I thought it might make the house look cluttered or messy, but it does just the opposite. It has clean, cut lines, beautiful plants that help with the fresh oxygen supply in our home, it will give us healthy food and it's a fun project for the kids as they water things and watch them grow.
Currently planted are:
oregano, basil, thyme, lavendar, stevia, cilantro, sweet mint, peppermint and chamomile
Red Sails lettuce, Buttercrunch lettuce, onion (not bulbs, just the chive kind), spinach, bell peppers
We do have some watermelon seedlings that Avonlea planted and are growing on our shelf. Eventually, they'll have to go outside though. Unfortunately, most other veggies aren't able to be grown indoors due to their size (tomatoes, corn, broccoli, cauliflower, etc.) or the fact that they're a vining-type of plant (pole beans, peas, cucumbers, melons, etc.) or a root plant that needs adequate space below ground to produce (carrots, bulbed onions, etc.).
For those wishing to give this a try, go for it! I got the 2 shelves from IKEA. The lighting is from Lowe's (Home Depot does not carry the 5000 Kalvin degree light bulbs or the bar lamps). The trays are from previous annual flowers that we've bought and I used these because they have drainage holes already in the bottom as well as the fact that they're deeper than your average Jiffy seedling kit. I used the Jiffy seedling kit's clear tops and black bottoms however for the trays underneath my veggies for excess water drainage. It works out really well. I thought this way might present a problem with the soil becoming too dry (usually, it is reccommended that a seed tray be covered to maintain adequate moisture for sprouting), but I just keep my soil moist and it's fine. The upkeep is virutally nothing. The kids and I water the plants during the day and it only takes a few minutes. If we forget, I'll water at night when they've gone to bed. I'm sure we'll be adding some recycled tin cans and plastic bottles to the shelf to grow more in the future.
Thanks Garden Girl for the great idea! :)
lettuce sprouting (this was taken a few days ago)
How the trays look
The white "caddy" keeps little extra things and the basket is a gift from my mother-in-law who currently abides in China. The basket is from China and we use it to harvest veggies. It works perfectly!