Vanisle_BC
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What to grow in shallow soil under indoor lights?

I have a 4.5" deep ex-darkroom sink in my workshop which I keep heated, but not all that warm. It's where I start early seedlings under a 4-tube fluorescent fixture.

Now I'm thinking - maybe a bit late for this year? - that I could put some soil in the sink and raise a few winter veggies. But what will grow well in four and a half inches of soil and relatively low light? I'm not specially keen on cold salads in winter; maybe occasionally. Also don't want to get into serious space-heating or 'fancy'‪ high-tech, high-power/high-cost lighting. The workshop has no windows.

Advice/ideas welcome (applestar I bet you have lots but please, not pineapples :lol: ).
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applestar
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Re: What to grow in shallow soil under indoor lights?

Hahaha

OK, for immediate gratification, try onion and scallion bottoms saved from cooking. I always have success with organic ones. Less success getting onion roots to grow with not organic. Just save generous pyramidal/tetrahedral portion of the onions and at least 1/2 inch of scallions that have root scab (some scallions are sold with roots, but some have completely trimmed off base and those have no root-growing cells). If in doubt, unused onions with intact base, saved in the fridge in a ziplock for a couple of weeks will start to grow (roots and green shoot) and they can be planted at that time after trimming off the usable parts.

These will be floppy and weak, but they will be tender and provide garnish and little touch of green in soups and omelettes, stir fries. Just keep trimming them as they grow. It doesn’t matter if the light is low because they will just grow longer (and floppier).

If you start seeds in the house, mustard family kale and Asian greens — seeds that look like little round bb shots — will sprout within 3-5 days (if you try to start them in low temperatures they may take as much as 3 weeks to sprout). You can start them in community pots (yogurt cups even). Once they have true leaves, plant them out in your container.

I would choose greens with sturdier leaves because they will grow wimpy and weak in less light = tender. Aim for cut and come again micro- and baby- greens rather than full heads of beautiful greens. Aromatic greens like arugula and garden cress, cilantro might work, too.... but if light is too low, they might be difficult to handle.
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Vanisle_BC
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Re: What to grow in shallow soil under indoor lights?

Thanks applestar. I've read about regrowing the heel of onions etc, but keep forgetting to try it. I like the suggestion of arugula & cress - both things I enjoy eating. As for cilantro, I'm one of those who dislikes the taste - and that suggestion surprises me: I grow it in the garden for coriander but there it's a tall spindly plant I have to stake or cage. On a table-top under my fluorescent fixture it would be difficult.

But I recall someone on the forum saying their cilantro under lights seemed stunted. Makes me wonder if it's possible to deliberately 'dwarf' indoor plants; but that would need brighter rather than dimmer light, no?
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jal_ut
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Re: What to grow in shallow soil under indoor lights?

Turn off the "4-tube fluorescent fixture." The energy saved on your light bill will buy you a bundle of radishes down at the store.
Gardening at 5000 feet elevation, zone 4/5 Northern Utah, Frost free from May 25 to September 8 +/-

Vanisle_BC
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Re: What to grow in shallow soil under indoor lights?

jal_ut wrote:Turn off the "4-tube fluorescent fixture." The energy saved on your light bill will buy you a bundle of radishes down at the store.
Haha, that's not an option I prefer. The gas used going into town, the pollution created by burning it, the global consequences of having produce trucked from maybe-distant farms should all be taken into account.

The fluorescents don't use much energy and nearly all of it in BC is hydro-generated; not free, but light on pollution (once the infrastructure's in place :? .)

Besides which I don't much like radishes; even the better-tasting, more nutritious home-grown ones :lol:

But thanks for the suggestion :wink: .
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jal_ut
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Re: What to grow in shallow soil under indoor lights?

So plant some radishes.
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Vanisle_BC
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Re: What to grow in shallow soil under indoor lights?

jal_ut wrote:So plant some radishes.
I said I don't like them. You haven't been paying attention; or just forgot - already?? :roll:
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jal_ut
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Re: What to grow in shallow soil under indoor lights?

"You haven't been paying attention; or just forgot - already??"

Forgot? I call it CRS disease. Can't Remember Stuff

So plant whatever you like. Why did you even bother to ask?
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Vanisle_BC
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Re: What to grow in shallow soil under indoor lights?

jal_ut wrote:Why did you even bother to ask?
Ask what?
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jal_ut
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Re: What to grow in shallow soil under indoor lights?

Good Sunday Morning! 31 degrees and snowing here this morning. Only thing growing is ice.
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jal_ut
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Re: What to grow in shallow soil under indoor lights?

"Ask what?"
"But what will grow well in four and a half inches of soil and relatively low light?"

I suggest you toss the planters and wait for Spring when you can plant outside in broad daylight!
Gardening at 5000 feet elevation, zone 4/5 Northern Utah, Frost free from May 25 to September 8 +/-

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rainbowgardener
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Re: What to grow in shallow soil under indoor lights?

Not helpful, James. You are sounding rather curmudgeonly. Just because it isn't what you prefer doing is no reason why someone else shouldn't do it and be able to have a reasonable conversation about how best to do, rather than just being repeatedly told to give it up.
In the meantime, you have frequently mentioned having nothing to do in your long cold winters but play games on your computer. Perhaps you should take up growing things indoors under lights in winter, for something more productive to do.
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jal_ut
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Re: What to grow in shallow soil under indoor lights?

OK, guess I will just shut up and go somewhere else to play..............
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Vanisle_BC
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Re: What to grow in shallow soil under indoor lights?

rainbowgardener wrote: .... You are sounding rather curmudgeonly. ....
Ah, RBG, that's his style and you took the bait. I've occasionally been close to chomping on it myself but that would mean responding in the same style which could be unhelpful - so I try to give the benefit of the doubt and assume it's meant as dry humour.

The forum should be about discussing gardening, not personal choices or characteristics; but sometimes there can be a fine line. Hope I haven't crossed it, here.
Last edited by Vanisle_BC on Wed Jan 16, 2019 12:19 am, edited 1 time in total.
The terms of political discourse are not models of precision. - (Noam Chomsky)

Vanisle_BC
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Re: What to grow in shallow soil under indoor lights?

jal_ut wrote:OK, guess I will just shut up and go somewhere else to play..............
:-() Haha James that's a good one; not holding my breath. Seriously, stick around - and have a good day!
The terms of political discourse are not models of precision. - (Noam Chomsky)

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