Tag Archives: indoor vegetable

Worms, Green Onion and Garlic Green Harvest

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My European Nightcrawlers arrived a day before I thought they would and I had to throw this together at the last second.

I forgot to put a cloth or something similar in it to prevent the worms from crawling through the holes. This resulted in the great worm escape of 2012.

All that dirt on the side is the result of them scaling the walls. Some  died on the kitchen floor, but the majority were put back in the soil and placed under light so they’d crawl back in. I’ve had the lid on ever since and now they seem to be congregating by the food and not trying to go crazy. The guy I bought them from (who sounded like Larry the Cable guy age 80 over the phone), said they would be kind of crazy for the first couple days until they settled down from the trip

In other news, I enjoyed my first “harvest” today. I took the tops off my some of my green onion and garlic plants.

and made this:

The trick to harvesting salad shoots from these plants is to cut at least four inches from the base of the soil. The rate of growth increases the taller the plant gets. The onions in particular, started with about 1/5th of an inch of growth a day. Now they are growing nearly a half inch a day and this rate seems to keep increasing the taller they get.

Lessons Learned

  • Put a cloth in the worm bin to keep them from crawling out of the holes
  • Harvest green shoots 4 inches from their base
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Green Onion, Garlic, Parsley, Bean, Pea, Squash, and Lettuce Growth

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As you can see, my green onion experiment is coming along nicely:

This is what we started with. These were the bottoms of green onions I’d bought for a salad. They were placed in water for about four days and then placed in this. I’ve been watering them twice a day from above and now they look like this:

The garlic cloves (also taken from a bunch I used for cooking) were planted upright and mostly covered in soil. I sprinkled parsley and cilantro seeds around them. Originally they looked like this:

Today this is what they look like (if you squint, you can see baby parsley!):

Also, you might remember my seed review on the Bentley brand. I saw nearly 100% germination within the first two days! Well, now we have 100% germination and, as you can see, the lettuce seems to be thriving in the seed starter wells. This is about three day’s growth:

Lastly, remember those several-year-old beans I had sitting in my cupboard that had the really great germination rate? Well, this is what they look like after only ONE week’s growth:

On the left hand row closest to us is one of the two peas out of 18 that I planted (BURPEE brand= terrible germination rates for me!). On the back row, on the far right, you can see the squash plant slightly falling over under it’s own weight.

I’m seeing GREAT results so far! Now I just need to build a couple grow lights!

Praxxus55712 on youtube is AMAZING!

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This guy covers just about every topic imaginable dealing with indoor and outdoor organic plants. Check him out! His videos have reassured me that I’m on the right track with this blog’s concept.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=BmglnVmA1qg&feature=relmfu

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Xy5fzPlsXK0

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Jmlcb2c7dzY

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=84h4aYIfO3s

Some Indoor Gardening Polls

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Which vegetables grow on toxic plants?

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Some popular vegetable foods, like the tomato and potato, grow on plants that are extremely poisonous if ingested (this is why you shouldn’t eat a green-skinned potato that’s in the process of sprouting). If you were to try to cultivate one of these plants indoors and your kid or bird decided to sample it, the story would not have a happy ending. For this reason, I’ve constructed a list of vegetables that grow from toxic and non-toxic plants, so you can plan accordingly. DO NOT grow a toxic plant species where small children, animals, or “special” drunken friends might think to sample the green parts!!!

TOXIC

  • Tomatoes
  • Potatoes
  • Rhubarb
  • Many species of beans (Make sure to boil the bean for at least ten minutes at a rapid boil if you are trying to grow anything other than the regular garden bean. Many contain chemicals that will kill you in surprisingly small amounts. Kidney beans and lima beans are especially toxic before extreme heating)

NON-TOXIC

  • Garlic
  • Onions
  • Carrots
  • peas
  • garden beans
  • lettuce
  • cabbage
  • parsley
  • cilantro

Indoor Onions, Garlic, and Giant Sequoias (the new Christmas Tree)

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My germinating vegetable seeds continue to fester in their rain-forest, plastic environment. This should continue for the next three weeks. So, other than letting you know that I’m keeping them extremely moist, there isn’t much to say.

Three other projects are currently in the works:

1. Onions- Apparently, all you need to do to grow green onions indoors is to take the white bottoms from the ones you buy at the store and place them in a jar of water.  They will grow their green tops, which you can cut off and use, indefinitely (kind of like grass in your yard that keeps coming after you mow it).  I will be buying a bunch of organic ones to try this. Here’s the website responsible for that idea. I’ll take pictures of my efforts and we’ll see if this is as great as it looks.

Update later that day(4/2/12): I set the first six stalks in a tiny, old food processor base I unearthed from my junk drawer, added water 3/4 of the way up their little, white bulbs, added two drops of fertilizer, and wondered if I was crazy. This is a pretty weird looking display.

Update 3 days later (4/5/12): Some of the plant cuttings have sent out a few wispy roots and there is a tiny amount of fresh green pushing up through the cut areas of each plant. This is not a fast process. So far  I’m getting about a fifth of a centimeter of growth every day. At this  rate, it will take a month to grow two salad’s worth of green onions. I’m hoping this rate will speed up once the plants grow a better root base and am also wondering if they’d grow better in soil (more nutrients). Once they’ve grown better root balls, I’m going to transplant them into dirt.

Update 5 days later (4/7/2012): As you can see, I transplanted these into potting soil. I used an old yogurt container with holes punched in the bottom and the lid used a bottom to catch the water (and to bottom-water). I’m watering both the top and the bottom and hoping these things sprout roots.

All of the information I could find regarding large onion bulbs in containers was aimed at growing them outdoors. Also, apparently they have a very long growing season. This doesn’t seem like a good candidate for an indoor garden due to its extreme time and space requirements. That’s a bummer; I really love onions. My boyfriend, who hates them, will undoubtedly be stoked to learn I wont be cultivating them in mass.

Update later that day (4/2/12): While at the grocery story, I discovered “pearl onions”, which I didn’t think of when trying to figure out how to grow onion bulbs indoors. These may be the key to obtaining onions by your own hands in an apartment. On the other hand, I couldn’t find any good information about how to grow them in containers. All I learned from this was that increased day length promotes bulb formation. The rest was like reading a foreign language.

2. Garlic- Now this looks like it’s going to be a successful addition to any indoor garden! You don’t even need to buy special seeds! Just buy a regular, organic garlic glove from your local market and plant the individual cloves according to these  instructions . You can replant one clove from each successful plant and, thereby, never have to repurchase garlic in your life! Might as well give one to a friend while you’re at it!

Update 4/6/2012- Above is a picture of four cloves of garlic beginning to sprout. Basil and cilantro seeds were sprinkled around the gloves. We’ll see if these species can grow together. Below is a picture of how I cover the container with a gallon freezer storage bag to keep the humidity high near the dirt’s surface.

3. Giant Sequoias- This last Christmas I purchased a giant sequoia seed off of amazon.com because I thought it’d be cooler to sprout and grow the world’s largest tree than to cut down a little measly farmed one. Sure, I was slightly motivated by the idea of being earth-friendly, but mostly, it was the bad-ass aspect of the plant that I loved. I accidentally stratified it for 2 months instead of 20 days and now the first sprout is coming up less than three days after being removed from the fridge. I’ll continue to update concerning this little guy’s progress. Right now, he’s too small to even show up in a picture. This is where I bought his seed.

Also, you’ll note that I basically failed at the terribly easy instructions that came with this plant. This should go to show that I am not the least bit talented at gardening and any success I achieve should be reproducible by anyone.

Update 4 days after being removed from fridge (4/5/12): This little one is growing like a weed!!! Every time I look at “him”, he’s different. Yesterday, this little one’s cotyledons were still tucked away in their protective, waxy coat. Their head was buried in soil and the stem was gradually drawing them out through its own growth. Halfway through yesterday, they finally broke free of the soil and popped open. Today, there are four little pine-leaves, as opposed to the two he started out with. I haven’t watered him since removing him from the fridge, as there is still water visible under the container when I lift it.