Indoor Gardens

a 
drip irrigation and mirror garden setup

Indoor gardens can:

Some Plants Being Irrigated With a Garden Sprayer

There are at least 3 different gardening experiments you can try. The Bio(logical) Feedback Farm is the simplest to build, can be created for free and is the easiest to maintain. However, this method may not allow you to grow/raise all the types of food you desire. Here are two low cost alternative methods you may wish to add to your mix:

Drip Irrigation

Drip irrigation can be done in almost any setting. For indoor applications, a simple garden sprayer can be fitted with 1/4 inch tubing. Commercially available "drip fittings" are available at most home and garden stores. Enough materials to irrigate up to 50 plants cost about $30 USD. You can experiment with different types of fittings. Most are designed for outdoor "quick" dripping. I've had the most success with adjustable flow mist sprayers turned to their lowest setting. In general, you want about 6-12 drips per minute. Almost any kind of potted fruit or vegetable can be grown this way.

WARNING: In case of a fitting failure, or over watering of a plant, make certain you have emergency overflow containers properly positioned. Also, you shouldn't fill the garden sprayer with any more water than your emergency containers can handle.

Aqua-ecosystem

An Edible Pleco Catfish

An aqua-ecosystem is a complete self-sustaining environment that will produce consumable animal, fruit and vegetable products. A regular aquarium works well for the structure of the garden. Plants can be grown on top of the water using a "lily pad method." A sponge, foam rubber, Styrofoam, of other such material, can act as an island for dirt and seeds. Another method is to create a cylinder out of wire mesh or use pieces of PVC piping to create semi-submerged obelisks. Fill the bottom with rocks, a biodegradable shopping bag or two and add dirt and seeds to the top. Yet another method is to take wire mesh rain spout protectors, invert them, fill them with bundled plants (like scallions and dirt wrapped in a paper towel) and hang it from the side of the tank so the roots are submerged.

Catfish, snails and other edible animals help to give you a well rounded diet... while at the same time complete the cycle for an ecosystem. Try to choose vegetarian animals. They can feed themselves, as well as, require less effort to keep the water clean. With some species, you'll be able to turn your garden into a garbage disposal for fruit and vegetable waste. In turn, the animals will recycle your garbage into fertilizer for the plants you are growing.

Just determine what you would like on your menu, and you're ready to GrOw.

Hints

A plant needs 7 things to grow:
a place with enough room to grow, light, water, air, nutrients, proper temperature, and time. When you are planting inside, it is usually easy to control these needs. However, depending how far away from the equator you live, the sun may not rise high enough into the sky during certain months to give you adequate light. Properly placed mirrors can be a cost effective alternative to grow lights.

More Pictures

Bio(logical) Feedback Farm

Diet
Health

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