"Why did my plant die again?"
Winter is coming and I would like to prep things for Spring 2018. Some of the ideas were to build a garden indoors to over winter some of my plants. A friend of mine from Indonesia still doubts that she will ever keep her kaffir tree alive. I have sent her two.
I decided that I would build her an indoor garden system that could help her sustain a garden for items that are hard for her to get at the market.
These were the specifications:
1. Child proof- she has two kids who are very active. House plants/any plants would need to be protected from their curiosity.
2. Temperature and light controlled- there are five major inputs to a plant.
(1) soil - soil is consistent and only needs to managed once a year, that is how farmer monitor their soils.
(2) Light - daylight changes with the time of the season. Winter has less daylight hours, summer has more daylight hours. She lives in an apartment complex, so light will need to be supplemented.
(3) Wind speeds - wind is not a factor when growing indoors, but helps the plant become more rigid in growth. The less wind the more tender the vegetation, this might be a better quality if the vegetation is consumed. But in tomato plants you need this to support fruits if she attempts growing plants.
(4) Temperature - the scientific model used for plants is called Growing Degree Days (GDD). There is a thresh hold where plants stop developing when it is too cold, hence you don't see to many plants thriving in the middle of a winter snow storm. The thresh hold for most produce gardens is about 50F or 10C. Regulated temperature should remain at an optimal for development. A good range would be about 75-85F degrees.
(5) Relative Humidity - is the last type of measurements that is taken to indicate if a plant really needs water, or too much water is in the system.
All of the indicators about are collected in weather stations across the U.S. If you ever need the data, it is online anytime from NOAA.
I found a great article about things that Ikea was doing in Europe. (http://www.ikea.com/gb/en/products/indoor-gardening/) The unfortunate thing is that Ikea makes it only available Europe. The design is also not kid friendly. Things liked about the product is that it was a neat design. Things I did not like were the inputs that has to be monitored. The plants are grown in an open environment. There are pests like aphids and thrips who can do massive damage to your indoor garden. (I don't know if you love chemicals, but if you do, might as well spray it directly into your mouth). Thrips are similar to fruit flies but look like tiny miniature mosquitoes.
I don't want to spray chemicals, because this is your home (I can account to this problem from my greenhouses). Have you ever smelled a tomato plant? If you have never smelled one, it is pretty pungent. If you ever grow basil you get the entire place smelling like basil. Imagine living in small space and having this product in your place.
I found an old fridge that was in an old out building at farm where the folks use to run a restaurant. Below are pictures. I had to do some rewiring to get the lights to work, other than that I will contiune to make modifications.