Potting Soil for Indoor Gardening

February 28, 2019

There are many types of pre-mixed potting soil for you to choose from; just make sure you select a blend specifically appropriate for seeds, larger indoor plant, or outdoor plants, as they will each have different characteristics.

PC: Leslie F. Halleck

Small seedlings can dry out quickly and die, so they need growing media that can hold adequate moisture, but they are also susceptible to many soil-borne fungal diseases brought on by excess moisture. Make sure your potting soil isn't too heavy, and drains well, for all of your indoor garden plants. Coir is an excellent addition to help balance moisture and drainage.

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Salvia benefits from Chilling

February 27, 2019

Some crops don’t require dormancy or vernalization, but will bloom better or produce better harvests after they have gone dormant or had a chilling period. Sedum and salvias, for example, don’t require cold to flower, but if they get a period of cold they will grow more vigorously and can bloom earlier or better.

PC: Ball Horticultural Company

Salvia ‘Blue Marvel’ sports more vigorous growth and blooms with some winter chilling.

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Use Full Spectrum LED Grow Lights for White Light

February 26, 2019

Given that many LED grow lamps combine only red and blue light, the pink- or purple-colored light they produce might not be the most attractive choice for your kitchen or living room. Pink light also causes your plants to look pink or purple instead of green.

These attractive LED grow lamps are perfect for your indoor living spaces.
PC: SolTech Solutions

This pink or purple light makes it hard to identify a nutrient deficiency, fungal disease, or pest problem. A multicolor white LED, or RGB LED, will give you a more standard white-colored light.

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How Fast do Seeds Germinate?

February 25, 2019

Seeds germinate at different speeds depending on the type of plant. Your seed packet will offer estimated germination times based on optimal temperature ranges, but you will likely germinate seeds much faster in a controlled environment with heat mats.

Different types of seed will germinate faster than others. This basil is clearly an overachiever.
PC: Leslie F. Halleck

For example, I often have germination occur on lettuce seeds and mixed seeds of microgreens within only two to three days of seeding. Other seeds, such as bluebonnets, can take weeks. Temperature influences germination speeds.

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Heat Tolerance for Indoor Crops

February 24, 2019

Different plants have different heat tolerances, so you may find that your tomato transplants can tolerate hotter temperatures while your lettuce plants scorch. If you notice browning, scorching, curling, or crispy leaves close to the lamp, increase the distance between the lamp and the plant.

PC: Leslie F. Halleck

This tomato has grown about 12 inches too close to the hot 400-watt HPS lamp, and its leaves are beginning to curl because of excess heat. I must raise the lamp to create more distance from the plant.

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Compressed Seed Pellets for Seed Starting

February 23, 2019

Place the pellets in a seedling tray and cover them with water, and the pellets will expand. Once they have soaked, set the pellets in a solid seed tray (no need for an additional container), drop your seeds into the opening at the top of the film, and keep moist.

Soak the seed plugs in water until they expand to their full size. Now they are ready for seeds.
PC: Leslie F. Halleck

Seed plugs are sold with small seed-germinating greenhouse kits.

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Citrus Require Bright Light

February 22, 2019

While citrus is easy to grow in containers, they hate living indoors. They require bright light. When you see photos of a beautiful fruit-filled lemon tree next to a small indoor window, know that it most likely did not grow and fruit in that location.

‘Meyer’ lemon in flower.
PC: Leslie F. Halleck

If you happen to have a very large south- or southwest-facing window that gets direct full sunlight for more than 6 hours a day, you might be able to keep your citrus happy.

Cannabis Grow Lighting Schedule

February 21, 2019

Getting cannabis to produce flower buds requires a strictly controlled lighting regimen. Cannabis sativa is a qualitative short-day plant. To remain in a vegetative state, plants require 16 to 18 hours of continuous light followed by 6 to 8 hours of uninterrupted darkness.

PC: Dan Heims

Once you are ready to force them to flower, reduce their daylength to 12 hours, followed by 12 hours of uninterrupted darkness, for about two weeks.

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