Grow Cilantro Indoors

February 20, 2019

In warm climates, cilantro can be grown outdoors only in the cooler fall and winter months. In cool climates, it can be grown in spring and early summer. Once temperatures reach about 70 F, cilantro will go to flower and seed, then plants will expire. If you live in a hot climate like I do, you must grow cilantro through the winter outdoors. BUT, that means I don't have any cilantro in summer when my tomatoes and peppers are ripening. My solution? I grow some cilantro indoors during the warm months.

PC: Leslie F. Halleck

You'll need a cool spot in the house to grow indoor cilantro, and use low-heat grow lights such as LEDs or CFLs. Use moderate light for harvesting foliage, bright light for flowering if you want to collect seed.

New BOOK! Gardening Under Lights: The Complete Guide for Indoor Growers


Coneflower are Long-Day Plants

February 19, 2019

Plants that bloom only in summer, such as coneflower, are typically long-day plants; those that bloom only in early spring or fall, such as chrysanthemums, are typically short-day plants. Plants that can flower continuously through the growing season—such as roses, cucumbers, and tomatoes—are day-neutral.

Summer-blooming coneflower respond to long days (short nights) to flower.
PC: Leslie F. Halleck

Gardening Under Lights Book


African Violet Leaf Cutting

February 18, 2019

An easy place to start with your propagation adventures is African violets. They propagate easily from leaf cuttings. Simply snip a leaf off (with a bit of the petiole) and place in potting soil.

PC: Leslie F. Halleck

It is important to keep even moisture when rooting African violets.

Gardening Under Lights Book


Seed Pack Instructions

February 17, 2019

When starting seedlings indoors for your outdoor garden, you must prepare the seeds early enough to plant outside at the optimal time. Refer to your seed packets for seed timing, depth, and spacing instructions. Sometimes, these instructions are in the inside of the packet.

PC: Leslie F. Halleck

Know that your climate is unique and you may need to plant earlier or later than your seed pack recommends, based on your first and last freeze dates, and how warm your summer temperatures get.

Gardening Under Lights Book


Best Temperatures for Dendrobium Orchids

February 16, 2019

When you grow orchids indoors, you'll need to pay attention to their temperature preferences. Orchids tend to fall into warm-, moderate-, or cool-temperature categories.

PC: Leslie F. Halleck

Dendrobium orchids fall into the cool temperature loving orchids category. This means daytime temperatures between 60°F and 70°F (15–21°C) and night temperatures between 50°F and 55°F (10–13°C).

Gardening Under Lights Book


Temperature and Humidity Levels

February 15, 2019

When growing plants indoors, it is critical to understand how temperature affects your crops and how to manipulate it to improve your yields. I monitor the temperature and humidity closely in order to provide the correct conditions for each crop to thrive and produce.

I can provide optimum temperature and humidity levels for my tomatoes growing in a tent under a CMH lamp.
PC: Leslie F. Halleck

Use a thermometer with a humidity gauge to keep an eye on ideal growing conditions.

Gardening Under Lights Book


Watts Only Tell You How Much Electricity Your Grow Lamp Uses

February 14, 2019

Watts tell you how much energy your lamp is using and how expensive it may be for you to run the lamp. You can use watts to estimate the size or quantity of lights you may need. While a lamp can seem very powerful because it uses many watts, if it is not efficient, it may convert too much of that electricity into unwanted heat instead of light.

This compact fluorescent bulb uses 26 watts to operate, and it will fit into many home fixtures.
PC: Leslie F. Halleck

If you base your lighting choices purely on wattage, you may end up with an unnecessarily large electricity bill and a lot of wasted energy in the form of unwanted heat.

Gardening Under Lights Book


Tips for Growing Cucumbers Indoors

February 13, 2019

There are a few tricks to growing great cucumbers indoors. Cucumbers are day-neutral, and will flower and fruit under a variety of photoperiods and you can grow them successfully with anywhere from 12 to 18 hours of light.

'Martini' Cucumber
PC: Ball Horticultural Company

If you’re growing cucumbers inside a grow tent and temperatures are warmer during the day, be sure night temperatures are cooler. Cucumbers can handle warm conditions, but perform best at temperatures between 70°F and 75°F (21–24°C). Keep plants consistently watered at all times to avoid blossom end rot.

Unless you happen to have bees buzzing around in your house or grow tent, you're going to have to do some hand pollination on your cucumber plants. Use a small paintbrush to transfer pollen from male flowers to female flowers.

New BOOK! Gardening Under Lights: The Complete Guide for Indoor Growers


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