greenthumbartist
Newly Registered
Posts: 4
Joined: Fri Jan 18, 2013 1:18 pm
Location: las vegas

Please help with growing upside down indoors

Image

Im growing some plants indoors in 5 gallon buckets. The soil is all organic worm castings and guano. The light im using is 1000w Mercury Halide bulb. The plant is about 3 feet from the light. There is a plant hanging next to it and about 6-12 inches further from the light. I have added a little kelp/sea weed organic fertilizer.

The bucket has quite a few holes for drainage and around the plant i put some window screen to allow for further drainage. I have been watering when the top of the soil down to 1 inch is dry.

Im in las vegas so the air is dry. I may have in the last couple nights left the light on around 12 hours. Im trying to find the reason for why the plants leaves are dying. I read that a High Pressure Sodium bulb with a warmer color range is better for vegetables.

Can anyone tell me what may be going wrong? Ill be putting an oscillating fan in tomorrow which i read helps. I appreciate any and all tips. this is my first attempt at an indoor garden.

Thank you!

User avatar
applestar
Mod
Posts: 28245
Joined: Thu May 01, 2008 7:21 pm
Location: Zone 6, NJ (3/M)4/E ~ 10/M

Worm castings and especially guano -- which is usually bat or seabird manure/poop -- should be used as soil/growing mix amendment as fertilizer and not as growing medium on their own. Guano in particular should be used sparingly. I suspect the mix is way too rich and the draining manure "tea" is also strong enough to burn the foliage, though I suspect the mix on its own is too much for the roots to handle.

I'm not sure why you are growing upside down indoors -- do you have a place for all that (dirty) draining water to drip down to?

Finally, this is a strawberry plant, right? They are not very happy growing indoors. I could barely keep them alive -- only by providing extra cool conditions with plenty of humidity... And only reason I had them indoors was because I was experimenting with growing strawberries from seeds collected from store bought strawberry fruits and another time because a strawberry seedling volunteered in one of my overwintering indoor plant containers.

greenthumbartist
Newly Registered
Posts: 4
Joined: Fri Jan 18, 2013 1:18 pm
Location: las vegas

I've never gardened or potted plants in doors. The goal was to grow some for home and others for an art piece.

THe two images are of the soil i was using. the first ingredients arent guano so it seems like they should be fine. All of the vegetables ive transplanted are dying. Yet the plants that are still in the carriers I got from the store are under the same conditions(light/water) and they are growing. Even a strawberry plant that is still in the small holder is bright and growing. Was there a step in planting them I missed?

Thanks for the help!


---Images of the potting soil----
https://flic.kr/p/dQb5te

https://flic.kr/p/dQgG5Q

User avatar
applestar
Mod
Posts: 28245
Joined: Thu May 01, 2008 7:21 pm
Location: Zone 6, NJ (3/M)4/E ~ 10/M

When planting strawberries, the thick "crown" -- sort of trunk like central stem where all the leaves come out of -- should be planted only half buried in soil. If you bury the entire crown below soil level, it leads to crown rot.

I can't tell without looking at the potting mix itself, but maybe this mix is not as well draining as it should be? Well, it does say perlite and sandy loam. I like the listed ingredients though. I think Fox Farm is west coast sourced product and not available around here locally -- bummer.

I kind of suspect strawberries are not the best subjects for upside down growing. Usually they are planted along the side of the bucket through 2-3" cutout holes or "pockets" made by making cuts then heating the plastic to push the upper "lip" in and pull the lower "lip" out, based on typical strawberry jar design.

greenthumbartist
Newly Registered
Posts: 4
Joined: Fri Jan 18, 2013 1:18 pm
Location: las vegas

Thanks for the advice. I think im going to replant it all tomorrow, right side up, and then later if only for the show (if at all)Ill try to display them upside down. Im going to set up a humidifier and a fan, maybe some plastic sheeting to corner it all off.

GreatOrganics
Newly Registered
Posts: 8
Joined: Thu Feb 07, 2013 2:01 am
Location: Lowell, MI 49331

Look for the Variables

From the sounds of things, you've got three main variables in your upside down organic growing experiment.

1) Your light source - the plants which have not been transplanted, I'm assuming have a different light source than those that HAVE been transplanted. A possibly important variable.

2) The soil mix is different from the transplanted plants and those that have not been yet.

3) The upside down vs right side up variable.

Difficult to say which one or multiple of these variables may be having an effect on the growth of the transplanted items. It seems most likely that it is the soil which is the culprit. Depending upon how much of the fertilizer you used as an additional amendment, it may, as others mentioned, be too "strong" of a mix.

Could also be the drainage issue that was mentioned. Hard to say.


Depending upon how bad off the plants are and whether you're willing to experiment a bit, you might try adjusting the easiest variables first (light source and upside down vs right side up - either of the transplants, looking for improvement, or of the non-transplanted items, looking for an expected "decline" in health).

If modifying those variables have an effect one way or the other, then you know you've found the issue. If adjusting these variables has no effect, then try changing out the soil and see what happens.

Just some thoughts.
"What is a weed? A plant whose virtues have never been discovered." -- Ralph Waldo Emerson

https://www.Guarding-Our-Earth.com
https://www.facebook.com/GreatOrganics
https://plus.google.com/104354142588902886106/



Return to “Organic Gardening Forum”