I have counseled so many friends about growing inside and pulled a few off the ledge so indulge me 🙂
I love growing inside! So many good things… I love having the LED lights on especially during short or gloomy days. I love the waterfall running. (If your pump is louder than the water, something is wrong). I love my lettuce and herbs just steps away. I love not going outside for my lettuce when the weather is bad. I love that my lettuce is less likely to bolt and get bitter. I love the longer growing season to enjoy my lettuce year round. (Notice I like lettuce? Remember that.)
What I don’t love? Just one thing. #aphids
#1 (wrong) reason I hear for growing inside? “At least I won’t have bugs in my house/office/classroom.” You let your guard down and bam! You are their next victim.
Think about it… God created plants to grow outside with rain and wind, sun by day and moon by night, changing temps, predators and pollinators and all the good stuff. Are any of those inside? Nope. So…
Good news! Here are 10 Ways you can be Mother Nature inside:
- Create light during the day and dark at night so your plants rest. If possible, change the temp to be a little cooler at night.
- Add an oscillating fan for wind to strengthen the plants and blow away bugs.
- Occasionally take your plants out and wash them like rain. I like to do this when I harvest. I take out the whole plant, gently rinse it under the faucet, cut off some leaves to eat and put the plant back in the tower. (Using growing clips instead of net pots makes this a lot easier.)
- Avoid aphid friendly plants! Pac choi (bok choy), kale, arugula, tatsoi, mustard, peppers, broccolis, collards, cauliflower are just a few aphid magnets. When you find them, its best to just avoid them. I’m sorry.
- Best plants to grow inside? Lettuce 🙂 Grow what’s easy and grows fast, and what you eat often. It’s not foolproof but I find growing lettuces and some herbs are the most manageable for me. Plus Tower Garden lettuce is SO delicious, nutritious and safe!
- #HugYourTower. Every. Single. Day. Not from a distance, up close and personal, get in its business. Check each plant, every stem, every leaf, top and BOTTOM.
- Be the predator. Unless you have swarms of lady bugs or other aphid predators inside, be a predator. Your mission is to hunt and kill them before they hurt your babies.
- If you are going to be away or are growing in a PUBLIC PLACE protect your plants with an insecticidal soap or neem oil. We’ve also found Garlic Barrier to be effective. If you have a homemade concoction that works, that’s cool. If you are at home and wash and eat your food often, these are less necessary but can be helpful too.
- If/when you see ONE aphid. Get out the big guns and spray the whole plant with a pyrethrin product (like Safer Endall or PyGanic). Spray top and bottom. If you just spray one leaf or mist the tops – don’t waste your time or money. Just throw the plant away and save yourself some misery b/c it’s not going to work. Spray the plant really, really well. Yes this is extreme but if you’ve had an infestation I don’t need to explain.
- And lastly, speaking of infestations… When I’ve been away or negligent (we all do it), don’t panic! If When I’ve had an aphid problem, I like to dunk my plants. I make a bowl of diluted pyrethrin solution, take out the plant (again, using clips), dunk it in the bowl, and gently rub the leaves to remove the dead aphids. Then I rinse the plant under water in a faucet or in a bowl of water and put it back home. As you can tell I like washing my plants. #CrazyPlantLady but it works!
Bottom line: Love your Tower and it will love you back. #promise
Being able to growing food inside is such a blessing! I’m ready to clean up my Tower Garden and start my fall garden inside. Especially as the days get shorter, the lights and waterfall will brighten up our house and we can eat well too 🙂
Growing in love, Sheree
Want more info about aphids in general? https://atlurbanfarms.com/hate-aphids/
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