Growing vegetables indoors

random

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I'm guessing there's plenty of folk here who grow things :)

I have some plants I've been growing inside - in a basement, with lighting and heat. They're pretty healthy overall, but I'm not having great luck with the fruit.

No flowers on the tomato at all so far, and I would definitely expect some by now.

Cucumber has a lot of fruit but it stays really small, never gets more than about an inch. Seems to indicate lack of pollination - it's gynoecious, so no male flowers, but also is supposedly parthenocarpic so should not require pollination.

Zucchini has a few, but nothing more than about 3" long - the first one has been that size over a week.

Peppers just started flowering, so I'm hoping they work out...

I'm providing fertilizer, I've hand-pollinated the flowers I see, and I've tried using blossom set (which supposedly eliminates the need for pollination). I'm sure the area & soil is warm enough (>70).

I guess this would be about the same as greenhouse conditions. Anyone have any luck growing indoor like this? Any suggestions on something I've missed or could try?
 

GreensvilleJay

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Have you 'soil' tested ! All too often , it'll be lacking 'something'... You have to mimic Mother Nature so howmany hours a day are the lights on ? What kind of lights ? How's the humidity, Is the soil moist, Do you water on a schedule(like once every 3 days ) ?
 

NHSleddog

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If the plants look healthy, it is usually lighting when indoor plants don't produce (not grow but produce). What are you using for light and for what size area?
 

RCW

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x3 - - college and tree nurseries were a long time ago. Everything else neutral, lighting would be a place to look. Type, intensity, and hours/day.

I hear of some folks with indoor gardens, but I'm not sure their experience will help with tomatoes and cucumbers.... :oops:
 
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JimmyJazz

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I'm guessing there's plenty of folk here who grow things :)

I have some plants I've been growing inside - in a basement, with lighting and heat. They're pretty healthy overall, but I'm not having great luck with the fruit.

No flowers on the tomato at all so far, and I would definitely expect some by now.

Cucumber has a lot of fruit but it stays really small, never gets more than about an inch. Seems to indicate lack of pollination - it's gynoecious, so no male flowers, but also is supposedly parthenocarpic so should not require pollination.

Zucchini has a few, but nothing more than about 3" long - the first one has been that size over a week.

Peppers just started flowering, so I'm hoping they work out...

I'm providing fertilizer, I've hand-pollinated the flowers I see, and I've tried using blossom set (which supposedly eliminates the need for pollination). I'm sure the area & soil is warm enough (>70).

I guess this would be about the same as greenhouse conditions. Anyone have any luck growing indoor like this? Any suggestions on something I've missed or could try?
Go to youtube and lookup Neversik Farm. I was amazed and ready to quit my job and grow vegetables after an hour of watching and learning. Very informative and free. That is if you don't mind the ever increasing level of annoying advertisements. Good luck. Knowledge is power. Power is freedom. And freedom is, well more sitting on your ass!
 

random

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I'm using specialized spectrum grow lights, pretty high intensity, and the plants are about as close as I can get them. Same lights I used last year for my starters, but switched to "bloom". They're on a timer giving about 16 hours/day of light. It might be the light, but if so I don't think I'll ever be able to grow indoors.

I'm wondering about nutrients - not sure good how a standard potting mix is for vegetable nutrients. I'm feeding them but may not be getting everything they need.
 

Borane4

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"...I'm wondering about nutrients..."

Look into what NASA is doing with indoor gardening.. Very ineteresting as they head for Mars.
 

NHSleddog

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I'm using specialized spectrum grow lights, pretty high intensity, and the plants are about as close as I can get them. Same lights I used last year for my starters, but switched to "bloom". They're on a timer giving about 16 hours/day of light. It might be the light, but if so I don't think I'll ever be able to grow indoors.

I'm wondering about nutrients - not sure good how a standard potting mix is for vegetable nutrients. I'm feeding them but may not be getting everything they need.
You will need a soil sample to be sure on the nutrients. The plant won't usually look healthy if it is nutrient deficient though.
 

skeets

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Wow, ,here all we ever used was old shop lights, They really pretty much cover the full spectrum of light, watered with a water soluble fertilizer like MG or manure tea. But that was out in the greenhouse, the tea is not so good in the house. To fertilize the flowers try a very soft print brush like for painting pictures and brush the blossoms, some times it works some times not so much. We had cucumbers covered with flowers, only to find they were all male plants it happens. Maters grow with lights but dont seem ,, at least we never had any luck,, blooming with out sun light,, in the green house yup they bloomed and fruited up well but in doors nope.
 

BAP

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It is very hard to trick plants into producing fruit/vegetables without natural daylight. Outside daylight, even on cloudy days, is much different than grow lights. It changes intensity as the day goes on and changes the length each day. Also, temperatures are not consistent both each day and throughout the day. Plants are smarter than humans as far as knowing when to produce. To do be successful you need to mimic those outside conditions more than just providing a constant amount of light and temperature. Nutrients are important but daylight and temperature are the 2 most important triggers for plants.
 
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NHSleddog

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Wow, ,here all we ever used was old shop lights....,

........ Maters grow with lights but dont seem ,, at least we never had any luck,, blooming with out sun light,,
And there is the problem.

With the correct lighting anything can PRODUCE indoors. Shop lights do not cut it.

You need a spectrum analyzer (can download an app for your phone today). And you need a PAR meter. A good PAR meter will start above 500.00. For the nutrients, a PH kit and a TDS meter will answer most questions without full soil analysis.
 

random

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As I mentioned, it's prepackaged potting soil. Really, I'm not going to send that out for a soil test, and especially not going to pay for one. The plants are definitely healthy, just not producing any usable fruit - which is why I'm thinking it might be something specific missing (i.e. NOT NPK)

Not very encouraged from what I'm reading here, seems like there may be too many variables to make it work :(

Here's a couple of the plants:

20210113_112822.jpg

Zucchini. A good bunch of flowers, so far one fruit - you can see it hiding behind a branch at the top right. It's about 3-1/2" long and hasn't grown any bigger in a week.

20210113_112902.jpg

Closeup of one of the cucumbers. This is the biggest one, about 1-1/4" long, and has been this size for 2-3 weeks. It keeps getting more small fruit with flowers (like the one behind) but none of them get any bigger. This is the one I'm thinking might need another plant - only female flowers. The claim was it didn't need male, but I'm beginning to doubt that.
 

Henro

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Not very encouraged from what I'm reading here, seems like there may be too many variables to make it work :(
Can not help but think there may be a site out there that might offer more experience than one specific to tractors...

I do not mean to imply those who have given advice are not knowledgeable, just thinking there MUST be people out there that are successfully doing what you are attempting...

Could there be an indoor-vegetable-growing forum, or something like that?
 

BigG

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Check with your county extension office. Also the state college will have info for your area. There is help out there.
 

sheepfarmer

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Besides the suggestions above, you might contact the seed companies, Territorial and Johnnys. The latter in particular comments about seed varieties that do well in greenhouses for commercial growers, so someone in their technical dept might give you some useful help. FWIW their seed is really reliable.
 

GreensvilleJay

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that's a mighty SMALL pot for a Zuccini ! Since the plant appears healthy ,I'd say you're 'starving' it. Increase the amount fo food you're feeding it. While 100% potting soil is good for starting seeds, I've always used a mix of PS and real, composty garden soil. PS doesn't have any nutrients in it, won't retain them, unlke real dirt..er, soil.
 

random

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Can not help but think there may be a site out there that might offer more experience than one specific to tractors...

I do not mean to imply those who have given advice are not knowledgeable, just thinking there MUST be people out there that are successfully doing what you are attempting...

Could there be an indoor-vegetable-growing forum, or something like that?
I've tried a couple of more specific forums before bringing the question here - no replies for a week :(

The indoor/greenhouse subforums that I found seem to be pretty quiet.

@sheepfarmer The seeds are all from Territorial, and were specifically selected as indoor/greenhouse varieties. I didn't think of contacting them for help - thanks for that suggestion!

@GreensvilleJay that's about what I've been thinking, just not totally sure what I should be feeding them. Right now I'm using Miracle Grow tomato food - but I don't think that's really a full nutrient blend. I've been looking around to figure out something better.
 

GreensvilleJay

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The three numbers you see on the label of every bagged or bottled fertilizer represent the product’s N-P-K ratio. The N in the ratio stands for nitrogen, the P stands for phosphorous, and the K stands for potassium.
Just remember the numbers mean 'up-down-all around'. up for stems and leaves, down for the roots, all around, well means 'whole plant'. The larger the numbe ,the stronger the chemical is. Since you have small pots, the 'feed' is concentrated, so maybe mix a gallon solution of 7-7-7 to start with ? See what happens over a week long period( 2 feedings ??). If no real improvement , up it to say 10-10-10, try again. It'll be a 'balance' of strength vs watering times vs feedings. You may find out that water ...wait 2 days, feed, wait 2 days,repeat works for some plants...again, you'll have to see what 'system' works for your plants.
To start plants, I just use garbage,old T12 FL bulbs( 2by4') for 4 trays. If I was totally bored I'd make red/blu LEDS and cut code to mimic Mr. Sun.....
 

sheepfarmer

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I suppose the indoor marijuana growers could be useful after years of hiding their plants in the basement o_O:)