The LED Garden 2016-2017 Winter Grow Starting Lineup

I visited a seed store called Apache Seeds today to browse through and pick out what I wanted to grow this winter. It’s getting very difficult to find seeds here at this time of year, but these guys had a great selection and are open year-round. I’ll definitely be visiting again. Last winter I started several different types of peppers in January, and they did really well. The only problem was that nobody but me wanted to eat them. With that in mind, I based my choices this year on what will prove enjoyable for my family and friends as well – here’s what I’ll be growing this Fall/Winter:

Seeds

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As you can see, I’m going heavy on the herbs, with a dash of lettuce and midgets for zazz. Admittedly, the name of the tomatoes is what earned them their spot in the lineup, but I grew cherry tomatoes last year as well and really enjoyed snacking on them, so there’s that too.

Growing Mediums

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I’m going to be trying some new stuff this year. Last year, I grew my peppers in Pro-Mix BX soilless mix (drain-to-waste) and in deep water culture buckets; I used the General Hydroponics Flora trio of nutrients to feed both styles, and had decent results. This year, I’m going to mix things up a bit, and try growing in soil and coco coir. The soil came recommended as the shop’s best seller, and contains a mix of sedge, sphagnum peat moss, vermiculite, and perlite. I’m mostly interested in trying to grow in soil to see how much more forgiving it is, and how much less work it will be.  

I expect the coco coir will be very similar to the Pro-Mix I used last year, but I’m predicting it will be a bit more finicky and sensitive to pH swings. I intend to stick with the same General Hydroponics nutrients I used last year. I’m toying with the idea of doing some sort of ebb and flow setup, in order to automate the watering schedule. If I decide to go that route, I’ll be sure to post about that method and share my build.

If I can manage to find enough space on my growing racks (even if it’s only for the first stages of plant growth while they’re still small), I’d like to try and get a couple seedlings of each plant type into soil and a couple of each into hydroponics, and then see how they do against one another. I’m very excited to get going on this! I had everything inspected by Casey and it was all rated “delicious” after a quick taste test.

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Leave a comment and let me know what you’re planning to grow indoors this winter!

5 Comments

  1. Sir,
    Your conclusion on the soil-less mix? Did you have ph issues? What do you use today and why?

    • LEDGardener

      May 29, 2017 at 4:57 pm

      I liked the pro-mix, but it was a pain having to mix nutrients so often. My latest stuff has all been in soil, but I feel like I have so much more to learn about growing in soil. I switched to soil to see how much easier it’d be than hydro. I’d say it is a little easier but I’ll bet you could get a way better yield than I did if you knew what you were doing.

      • Know what you mean. Although soil is a little easier / forgiving, I found you just cant get the yeilds indoors w/limited space as you can with Coco or Hydroton IMO. Love Hydroton but no longer use. Dam things are dangerous.

        • LEDGardener

          May 29, 2017 at 5:56 pm

          Dangerous? I’ve never heard anyone describe them as such. What do you mean?

          • IMO, hydroton is easier than dirt when doing flood and drain and had great results other that the occasional salt build up issues. Problem arises when pebbles are disterbed ie washing or replanting and fall to the ground. Those dam pebbles are just like marbles when you step on them.

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