My partner and I love spinach in our salads. Even our one kitty begs for spinach while we're making salad. She plays with it a bit then chows down. Spinach takes 45 days to mature. I figured a tray a week (propagation trays like you grow wheatgrass in) should be enough for us, so 6 trays should cover the 45 days starting one each week. Has anyone had success growing spinach inside? With all the recalls over the past few years I'm getting a little worried about buying it in the stores.
We're also thinking about getting a full spectrum light to help with growing wheatgrass and microgreens which would also, of course, be used with the spinach. I haven't invested any time figuring out which to get. I know there are some threads here that talk about lighting and I'll be reading those in the near future.
I recommend a fixture of T-5 fluorescent tubes. A two foor by two foot fixture holds eight tubes. Leaning toward the blue (cool) spectrum is good for vegitative growth. Leaning toward red (warm) will signal some plants to flower. Spinach and some lettuces will flower if the heat is too high. Choose varieties that are resistant to bolting ot that bolt at higher temps.
Metal Halide or High Pressure Sodium lights produce much more heat than T-5's and as such you will need a way to keep your grow area cooled and supplied with fresh air if you chose them. T-5's are efficient and don't produce the heat the others do. In leiu of t-5 you can use T-8 for the next most efficient, or standard T-12 tubes in a shop light fixture.
Provide fresh air and air movement to your area. Filter, or let tap water sit for a day or two in a large mouthed open container to allow the chlorine to gas off before watering plants with it.
White poster foam board makes a good reflective wall for behind and around your grow area to increase the light the plants get. But don't enclose entirely and block off air flow. With fluorescents can keep the lights fairly close to the plants, like six inches to a foot. With hps or mh you need more distance to avoid cooking the plants. Hit up your local library for plenty of good indoor growing books, of see if your town has a brew and grow or hydropoincs store for supplies and advice.
Alaska fish fertilizer, or Aggrand products are great for fertilizers. Sea kelp extracts and sulfate of potash are good supplemental feedings. Seaweed boosts plants immunity. A good potting soil ammended with coconut coir is preferable to one with peat moss, as many fungas gnat eggs will come in on peat and leave you with gnats to address later.
I think flats will be too shallow to support the roots of spinach for a long grow time, with cut and come harvesting. I used ice cube containers, the tall ones that are as wide and long as ice cube trays but about eight inches deep or more. Drill drainage holes, add charcoal to the bottom, or mix hydroton balls in the soil for good drainage and air/nutrient holding capacity. You can even grow beets or shorter danver's carrots in them. Beet greens worked well in them. I recycle all sorts of containers for growing grasses for our cat, and herbs and food items for us. You can grow in bags, plastic food containers, styrofoam mushroom boxes, cat litter buckets, etc. Just make drainage holes and place one without holes beneath them, or use activated carbon or the fired clay balls at the bottom to prevent soggy feet for your plants.
Haven't done it, but if you have luck let me know. Our garden is full of kale & spinach but in the very middle of winter it doesn't make it. We're thinking of doing a cold house or something since we go through so much... But we haven't gotten there yet.
I've replied a couple days back but is seems to be going through moderation. If it doesn't turn up I will repost with some helpful ideas.
Frustrating, isn't it? The RFT forum software needs a MAJOR overhaul. I've experienced multiple different errors in the past couple of months.
With regard to posts being grabbed by the SPAM filter, I've found a crude workaround is to type your reply wherever (notepad, wordpad or even in the browser, though the browser is riskier), then copy the text to the clipboard (CTRL-A, then CTRL-C or Apple-A, then Apple-C, if you're on Mac OSX).
Once you've done that, go ahead and type something very short into the RFT message posting box, like:
Then go ahead and actually post that.
This should not draw any unwanted attention from the SPAM filter, and you can then immediately edit the test posting, and replace the unwanted text with the text in your RAM clipboard (just delete the unwanted text and hit CTRL-V or Apple-V). Save that reply and all should be well.
It's crummy but it works.
In the meantime, we really need a site admin to properly bring the forum software up to scratch, but that's above the level of the moderators.
The commercial one is $6,000. The smaller residential one is $2,000. Apparently they hook up like a dishwasher and are controlled by a computer chip.
why not just do a hydroponic system indoors. You can build your own for less than $500 with everything. Awesome lighting, setup with a timer, a drip tray setup, adjustable stand, nice light fixture. I ran a hydroponic for a few months and it ran perfect. I bought a pre-kit and now that i learned about it, i would build my own for way less. You can even get alot of the parts at home depot and walmart.
dmb, I'm not sure I'm up to doing something like that. I'll have to do some research. We live in a mobile home so space is somewhat of a problem. The link that I posted to the cultivator, I wouldn't have room for that where I am now, nor could I even remotely be able to afford it. Hydroponic would be nice though as I wouldn't have to deal with soil then. I have no place to compost that much soil, it would have to go out with the garbage, which I hate to do.
LOL Arky, that is interesting. For the winter it would be a cool idea. If I had horses I would hope I'd have enough room outside to pasture them so they could eat all the fresh grass/alfalfa they wanted! That's another wishful dream of mine... I'd love to have a couple gypsy vanners... a few chickens... maybe a goat... a barnful of cats...
.... We live in a mobile home so space is somewhat of a problem. The link that I posted to the cultivator, I wouldn't have room for that where I am now, nor could I even remotely be able to afford it. Hydroponic would be nice though as I wouldn't have to deal with soil then. ...
Hmmmm... a mobile home, huh? That's be just perfect for converting entirely into an automated fodder production facility! ;-)
Originally Posted by SunshineMN
.... If I had horses I would hope I'd have enough room outside to pasture them so they could eat all the fresh grass/alfalfa they wanted!
Yeah, that's a nice dream; being (for the most part) self-sufficient.
On a side-note, did you happen to notice that in the above video there is a segment where you see a horse-owner throwing fodder to his horses in a field? The horses are living in a field, surrounded by grass, but they literally 'frollick' in excitement when they are given the fresh fodder. I found that interesting. Whether it is the 'sweetness' of the fresh fodder (perhaps it is wheat rather than rye?) or perhaps it is the fact that the fodder is the vigourous first-growth of the seed, and thus more 'vital'. I'm not sure, but either way, I just found it interesting that the horses were so blatantly enthusiastic about the fodder, in spite of living in a whole field of grass.
I can't recall which, but in one of those fodder videos, they mention the fact that many horses who are fed substantially on grain develop laminitis etc., whilst those instead fed primarily on fresh fodder do not suffer this fate. This difference, depending on dry or lush feed, is something that human raw-foodists would not be at all surprised about, but it points to the very real differences which (for non-vegans) should be anticipated in quality of farmed animal foods, according to the diet they have been fed.
It also points to the likely importance of focusing on greens rather than grains, in a human diet, and, as you may be aware, there is quite compelling evidence in archeological records, to support this, given that, with the dawn of agriculture and increase upon reliance of grains, rather than the earlier hunter-gather approach of minimal grains but more wild plant vegetation (and, admittedly, perhaps, more hunted food), skeletal records appear to strongly indicate a reduction in bone mineral density for the agricultural period. However, I would venture even further, that this may not be just about nutrient content but also about anti-nutrient content, in the sense that grains contain a lot of phytic acid, and this can inhibit absorption of minerals during their passage through the human digestive system. More leaves and fewer grains, therefore, would imply much reduced intake of phytic acid, and thus greater absorption of dietary minerals and an associated increase in bone mineral density as a consequence. And, of course, much the same may be the case for horses etc., in the case of fodder vs grain, and photosynthesis of grass will (in addition to increasing amino acid content) also result in a likely increase in EFA content, by comparison with unsprouted grain, and this, too, may influence likelihood of laminitis occurring.
But, I am digressing.
To bring all of this back to the topic of this thread, it demonstrates the value of consuming fresh leafy greens, rather than relying excessively upon grain-based foods such as cereals and breads (as much of the western world population seems to do), even if that means having to make the effort to manually grow them indoors.
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