Apartment Farming. Growing indoors in an apartment, is growing in sub-optimal conditions. Commercial vertical farms crate optimal conditions for growth. They cool or heat their grow areas provide optimal nutrient delivery and lighting for whatever green it is they’re growing. Most of us however don’t have access to that.
Growing indoors doesn’t present the same luxury. We have to live where we grow and indoor temperatures can range from the 60’s during winter to the high 80’s and even 90’s in summer. AC doesn’t blow evenly and in cities steam pipes can make the insides of apartments feel like saunas. Brooklyn anyone?
So as a part of our experimentation we’re trying to identify those materials and conditions that will be good enough to help grow our greens indoors, quickly, in an inexpensive and sustainable environment.
Experiment 1: Growing kale in a coconut fiber only substrate with hydro picnic nutrition. Coconut fiber was re purposed from a hamama greens kit and was put into a pint container. Until yesterday the kaes were sitting in a west facing window – winter. Little additional light other than a LED which was used to brighten up the living room. Not much growth. Moved them to a warmer room with 16 hr of light. Not much growth.Started feeding them – growth. Issue was malnutrition.
Experiment 2: We’ve planted Russian red kale in a 7×11 aluminum baking pan. Lined the bottom with coconut fiber and then added about 1in of coconut coir to the top. And haphazardly sowed the seeds. The result was a total mess.
These guys definitely need more substrate. And the kale is having a hard time rooting into it. I think it should have pretty self evident but whatever. Thinking 3in of substrate is the absolute minimum for baby greens (not micros). Eventually we trimmed them out and separated the kale so that there are 2 plants ina 7x11x2.5 baking pan and they seem to be doing better, but growth is greatly stunted in comparison to anything in a pot. Thoughts so far.
For apartment farming growing walls of micro-greens at home makes a lot of sense.
It’s easy and has little setup time and the reward is pretty quick 7-10 days. Setup is user easy and can be easily done from parts laying around the house. Growing baby greens is he next step and there’s a lot of experimentation that still needs to go into this. If you have any tips or advice. By all means let us know and we’ll incorporate it into our experiments.