The Indoor Vegetable Garden

The Indoor Vegetable Garden

Winter is here and if you have ever considered starting an indoor vegetable garden, why not start one inside your home? With the impending financial crisis close upon us, growing fresh healthy food not only makes lots of sense from the eating of healthy food to the saving of your money while doing so.

While a south facing window is the most desirable location, but if this is not available good artificial lighting will suffice. Plants grown out doors need 6 to 8 hours of sunlight daily, but if you have to rely upon artificial light for indoor gardening, 10 hours daily is more desirable. There are a wide variety of artificial light sources now available to today’s home indoor gardener and due to the growing popularity of indoor gardening the list of products is increasing daily.

Incandescent lighting is not particularly desirable due to its low energy efficiency and the heat that is generated. Incandescent bulbs can actually burn your plants if placed too close and the bulb life is relatively short.

Florescent lighting gives good light and is cooler; the bulbs usually have a life span of 20.000 hours and also come in a variety of versions and color spectrums. But like incandescent lighting, the results are not optimal.

For the best results you can use grow lights, such as High Intensity Discharge (HID) lamps which unfortunately, generate a lot of heat and are rather pricey. HID are commonly used by commercial growers and include high pressure sodium lamps (HPD/SON) and metal halide (MH) both of which utilize their particular light spectrums which mimic the sun.

LEDs, the latest development in grow lights are fairly cheap, provide the optimum light spectrum for your plants, do not require ballasts and operate with less heat which will lengthen the intervals between watering.  Currently these are probably the best choice available.

LED lights are available in bulbs that have been designed to have specific wave lengths used for the photosynthesis process. These lights use less power as other types of bulbs for the same light intensity, they need no ballasts and emit much less heat than HID lamps, which translates into less watering of your plants. Although a little more expensive than fluorescent bulb it is claimed that they will last for years.

Dick Murray writes about survival vegetable gardening, not in the doomsday genre, but the basic premise of when the cost and the quality of the food that we eat becomes unsustainable and we have to learn how to be as self reliant as our forefathers did and learn how to grow our own food. To learn more, visit his web site at www.survivalvegetablegardening.com