Why Can't I grow Salad Indoors ?

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hubballi

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Why Can't I grow Salad Indoors ?
« on: December 15, 2010, 10:00 »
As I have had a pretty disastrous season outdoors, I thought I could perhaps grow some salad indoors. Not to be. I have a trough filled with fresh quality compost. I have a mini greenhouse cover for it and have watered. The small salad plants about a couple of inches high just wilt and rot. The rocket has sprouted the same but again, thin spindly plants with no development of leaf. When I water if it's too dry I end up getting white mould on the surface of the soil. I keep them in a windowsill upstairs to get maximum light.

Why can't I grow such seemingly easy plants ? :wacko:

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mumofstig

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Re: Why Can't I grow Salad Indoors ?
« Reply #1 on: December 15, 2010, 10:28 »
If they are indoors they will not need a plastic cover as well.
Even in an unheated room they should be warm enough to grow, mine are doing nicely in an unheated greenhouse, which was 0' this morning

So try again, minus the cover  ;)
Lesley x
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Lindeggs

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Re: Why Can't I grow Salad Indoors ?
« Reply #2 on: December 15, 2010, 10:34 »
As much as it may seem they are getting enough light on the windowsill, you can pretty much guarantee they're not!  Quality, intensity and duration of light is the hardest thing to achieve when growing anything indoors.  

If you were really determined to grow healthy edible plants indoors you would need to set up a system with high-intensity fluorescent (or halogen or LED) lights, with just the right spectrum for plant growth, and reflectors and timers.

Generally this type of setup is reserved for much more valuable crops than salad greens.   ;)

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JayG

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Re: Why Can't I grow Salad Indoors ?
« Reply #3 on: December 15, 2010, 10:40 »
I agree with both previous posts; realistically all you can do is take off the cover which will be contributing to the mould problems and also absorbing some of the scarce available daylight.  :)
Sow your seeds, plant your plants. What's the difference? A couple of weeks or more when answering possible queries!

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savbo

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Re: Why Can't I grow Salad Indoors ?
« Reply #4 on: December 15, 2010, 11:12 »
I was sceptical but a reflective surface behind the plants - I lined  a cut down beer box with foil - really seems to make a difference to avoiding spindly plants

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bigben

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Re: Why Can't I grow Salad Indoors ?
« Reply #5 on: December 15, 2010, 11:19 »
I agree 100% with Savbo - I think it was DD who put me on to having a bit of card with foil on it behind the plant to increase light. It made a big difference to my Chilli plants earlier this year. Give it a try.

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hubballi

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Re: Why Can't I grow Salad Indoors ?
« Reply #6 on: December 15, 2010, 14:04 »
Plants with the cover off are no better.

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JayG

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Re: Why Can't I grow Salad Indoors ?
« Reply #7 on: December 15, 2010, 15:03 »
Plants with the cover off are no better.

Then you are down to the reflective foil idea (forgotten about that!)

Which way does your windowsill face? It ideally needs to be South-facing (anything but North if at all possible.)

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hubballi

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Re: Why Can't I grow Salad Indoors ?
« Reply #8 on: December 15, 2010, 19:02 »
North facing I'm afraid :-(

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Aunt Sally

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Re: Why Can't I grow Salad Indoors ?
« Reply #9 on: December 15, 2010, 19:19 »
Take up painting dear ;)
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hubballi

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Re: Why Can't I grow Salad Indoors ?
« Reply #10 on: December 24, 2010, 15:05 »
I seriously think that I just don't have green fingers as everything, and I mean everything I seem to do fails despite doing all the right things. The salad leaves have just withered and died.

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Aunt Sally

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Re: Why Can't I grow Salad Indoors ?
« Reply #11 on: December 24, 2010, 15:56 »
... despite doing all the right things. ...

Obviously not doing all the right things as if you were they would not fail.

If you have more failures (next season) and can post some pictures of them here then our gardeners may be able to tell you what you are doing wrong.

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hubballi

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Re: Why Can't I grow Salad Indoors ?
« Reply #12 on: January 08, 2012, 16:52 »
Coriander indoors in new compost on a windowsill. Thin, wispy growth with nothing worth picking. Been growing for months and stayed the same size.

Rocket in greenhouse. Started well and gone thin and whispy.

Radish (here we go again) in greenhouse. Since Sept they have grown and thin and wispy, some withering. Not globes.

Red Lettuce grown indoors. About 3 inches for months on end. Now some withering and keeling over. New compost.

It's a mystery to me because I am doing all the right things.

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mike1987

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Re: Why Can't I grow Salad Indoors ?
« Reply #13 on: January 08, 2012, 16:56 »
sounds like lack of light to me this and wispy groth or to give it its propper name Etiolation nothing much you can really do about it other that set up an expensive grow light system

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compostqueen

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Re: Why Can't I grow Salad Indoors ?
« Reply #14 on: January 08, 2012, 17:29 »
You are probably trying to grow stuff at the wrong times.  Follow the sowing dates on the packets.  No-one tries to grow salad or coriander etc in the house at this time of year I wouldn't have thought.   You can grow stuff in the unheated greenhouse but only the hardy leaf mixes. I wouldn't attempt them in the house though where it gets far too warm

The first thing I do when I buy seeds is to read the instructions on the back, even after many years of veg growing. Ignore them at your peril  :D



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