indoor greenhouse

Does anyone have an area that they would consider an indoor greenhouse area?

I have used my basement area, more than half is exposed to sunlight, for years. But heating this year with heating costs makes me want to change plans.

I have ideas but thought I would see what you are doing.

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Comments

  • VermontCathy
    VermontCathy Posts: 1,980 ✭✭✭✭✭

    Any indoor space can be used to grow plants. Just put LED grow lights over the growing area. These lamps are cheap and require very little power.

    Electric lighting is _much_ cheaper than trying to heat additional space.

    My house has limited natural lighting, so using sunlight to grow inside, especially during the short daylight hours of winter, doesn't work well.

  • marjstratton
    marjstratton Posts: 1,132 ✭✭✭✭

    I have a leaking porch that I am thinking about turning into a greenhouse. It will keep my basement dry and be a nice place to start some of my veggies.

  • Michelle D
    Michelle D Posts: 1,465 ✭✭✭✭✭

    I also use a space in my basement for indoor growing. I use led grow lights. The shelves are set up near the boiler so that they stay warm.

  • LaurieLovesLearning
    LaurieLovesLearning Posts: 7,519 admin

    We have a siamese cat in the basement (mouser) that I think would tear anything like a greenhouse apart. I have no idea what she'd do to plants either. It would all have to be surrounded in a cage or something.

    I still haven't got my led grow light up between my kitchen-dining room. Spring & summer came with their own projects. Hopefully now that snow & cold are back, my shelf & lights go up. I'm just not fond of the magenta color of the light and neither is anyone else. 😬

    @marjstratton Totally do that! What an exciting idea.

    I have dreams of a sunroom (yeah..lots of windows!) to the south of the house. I'm sure I'd live in there. 😁 I would have to be careful to leave room for starting garden seeds. I'd have enough houseplants (and trees) that I'd want to move into the space that I'm not sure if I have any extra room. I'm pretty good at making room for houseplants, though. Haha I'm sure I could figure it out.

  • SuperC
    SuperC Posts: 951 ✭✭✭✭

    @LaurieLovesLearning , Love the sunroom dream space. I have a question, How tall are your trees (houseplants)?

  • LaurieLovesLearning
    LaurieLovesLearning Posts: 7,519 admin

    @SuperC My trees are pretty small right now. My largest two are about 6' (a hibiscus & I don’t remember the name of the other). Most are at about 4' (including pot/pail). These are avocado, 3 bananas, a lemon, & another of the same mystery plant. I also have a tiny mandarin orange tree, bay laurel & one coffee tree that isn’t very large yet.

    I know that with larger pots & more sunlight, the others would shoot right up in no time. I have 7 of those four footers & two very large cacti, which I just cut back by 1/3. Those get a cut yearly to shorten them & fill them in with new "branches".

    We talked about ways to keep a space like that warm since it would obviously have many windows. The sun would help on sunny days, but cloudy or windy days could easily make the space too cold for the health of the tropicals.

    We talked about putting in an infrared heater, and I don't think it would hurt having good, thick shutters available. There may be other heating options out there too. Ideally, a heated floor would be great if we could figure that out. I know I'd never leave then. Haha!

    Sun tunnels would be ideal as overhead lights except if snow covered them. I think a few LEDs would be necessary to get plants through darker days.

    If large enough, there'd be a bistro table & chairs or a hammock. I'd get my tabletop fountain (love my fountain)

    & mini fogger (the little metal thing in the pool) going in that area too as long as mold growth wouldn't be an issue. I'd also get some praying mantis to control insects. I think they are cool. Of course, if I could do this room, I'd have to get a cinnamon tree, vanilla vine & still more. 😬

    I have put a bit too much time into this dream as you can tell. 😄

    Dreams are lovely things, even if not always achievable. It would certainly be my favorite tropical destination in the Great White North.

  • Torey
    Torey Posts: 5,640 admin

    Speaking of tropical destinations in the north.

    The ultimate in indoor gardening for the north. Muttart Conservatory in Edmonton. https://www.facebook.com/muttart.conservatory1 The photo gallery has some amazing pics.

    Have you ever been @LaurieLovesLearning? The last time I was in Edmonton, it was closed. :( I'd really been looking forward to seeing it but hadn't checked in advance to know about the closure.

    The pyramid design is a good one for the north as it would keep the snow off. I would think that you could do with less fans than in a traditional frame greenhouse.

    There is a dome greenhouse in my area that is capable of operating year round. So far they have just been doing it for personal use. It is about 4' below surface level and then the dome is built over that. I believe it is connected to the house via a sun tunnel. I can't remember what they were using for supplemental heat. I'm pretty sure they had a couple of big lights as well. But they weren't growing anything tropical that couldn't stand the lower temps. Just veggies.

  • LaurieLovesLearning
    LaurieLovesLearning Posts: 7,519 admin
    edited November 2022

    @torey Winnipeg used to have a great Conservatory. The was a lot of really frustrated & disappointed people when they closed it. I think the reasoning was upkeep or something. Who knows what's true. It was a shame. It was lovely.

    I have never seen the one in Edmonton. If we could travel (our responsibilities & finances keep us here), it would give more reason to visit there. I'll check out the link. The pyramid design is interesting.

    I think Regina has one if I remember correctly, but it was also closed when we were last there many years ago. That could be done in a day trip.

    Calgary has the Devonian Gardens. It's pretty nice. It had a skywalk that connected it to a nearby hotel that we were able to stay a night in when I had my cancer surgery. We didn't have to go outside to go see it. It was very relaxing with its tropical plants, ponds & streams.

    The Peace Gardens that straddles the Canadian-US border (Manitoba-North Dakota) has a small conservatory that houses many rare cacti. The Gardens as a whole are quite beautiful.

    The dome greenhouse sounds interesting. We can always learn and try to improve upon others ideas! 😃

  • JennyT Upstate South Carolina
    JennyT Upstate South Carolina Posts: 1,273 ✭✭✭✭✭

    Oh your dream greenhouse sounds absolutely lovely @LaurieLovesLearning!

    What else are you wanting to try? I've only just started thinking about it last year when we purchased our property. I'm definitely going to have a greenhouse at some point it's just that the main house needs to be finished first. But your giving me such great inspiration I'd love to hear more.😊

  • LaurieLovesLearning
    LaurieLovesLearning Posts: 7,519 admin

    @JennyT Upstate South Carolina To compensate for not having this dream, I set up a mini corner area of quiet with a computer desk that houses my fountain, quite a few smaller, but beautiful plants and some herbal books. I love to sit beside it and spend time there when I can.

    As far as my sunroof idea, I just want it to feel natural, welcoming and relaxing. I want it to be a haven where I can go to escape stresses and crazy when I need to.

    I have some other ideas for an actual greenhouse that is supposed to push the internal zone a couple zones higher, but they would only be possible to try if we moved. We don't have the building to redo.

    I think I put a video on here recently about that project that someone did. They redid an old building/barn and had two layers of plastic as the roof with an air space between. They also did retaining wall gardens on the inside & outside that looked somewhat like steps. Of course, they did more than that, but it's enough to give you an idea I'd you've seen the video.

    If this doesn't sound familiar, I may have only bookmarked it and not posted it here. I can do so if I haven't.

  • JennyT Upstate South Carolina
    JennyT Upstate South Carolina Posts: 1,273 ✭✭✭✭✭

    Thank you for sharing your dreams, @LaurieLovesLearning.

    And no that video doesn't sound like one I've seen. If you do find it I sure would love to see it.😊

  • LaurieLovesLearning
    LaurieLovesLearning Posts: 7,519 admin
    edited November 2022

    @JennyT Upstate South Carolina It was fun to share. I've often imagined myself in that room.

    I saw it on Permies. There are at least 3 videos posted. If you want to subscribe, just open it up in YouTube.


  • VermontCathy
    VermontCathy Posts: 1,980 ✭✭✭✭✭

    @LaurieLovesLearning No, I wouldn't care to have the purple grow lights in an area where I was regularly working, especially not reading or doing fine detail work.

    Our grow setup is in a small room that also holds the freezer, clothes drying racks, and some bookshelves. We go in there when we need to do something, but don't hang around for long periods.

  • marjstratton
    marjstratton Posts: 1,132 ✭✭✭✭

    I loved Edmonton the one time I went there with my kids for a summer trip. I'm pretty sure the conservatory wasn't there at that time. Would love to go back and see it.

  • VermontCathy
    VermontCathy Posts: 1,980 ✭✭✭✭✭

    I would love to have a sunroom in the house, but it won't happen at our current house. Maybe when we retire and buy a house on a smaller lot in a small town, we can find one with a sunroom.

    Sun exposure is a challenge when you are surrounded by trees, forest, and hills.

  • VermontCathy
    VermontCathy Posts: 1,980 ✭✭✭✭✭

    If you any of you make it to Milwaukee, it's worth visiting "The Domes".

    https://county.milwaukee.gov/EN/Parks/Explore/The-Domes

    It's a "horticultural observatory" that includes desert, rain forest, and a floral garden. Well worth a visit, especially in winter when you need a break from the cold.

  • SuperC
    SuperC Posts: 951 ✭✭✭✭

    Next time I’m up in Edmonton, I’ll check out that area of pyramid greenhouses. And, I haven’t been to Milwaukee in forever so The Domes sound very nice, and possibly warm like a solarium.

  • LaurieLovesLearning
    LaurieLovesLearning Posts: 7,519 admin

    I was thinking about possibly running them at night so that we don't need to live with them on in the day.

    What would your opinion on that be? Do you think that would help or hinder them?

  • VermontCathy
    VermontCathy Posts: 1,980 ✭✭✭✭✭

    @LaurieLovesLearning For most plants, I don't think it would matter that you lighted the plants at night instead of in the daytime.

    For a few, such as onions, I would be careful. I've read that the biochemical mechanism for long-day vs. short-day onions is actually triggered by the length of the _night_, the hours of darkness, not the daylight period.

    So if you grew bulbing onions with reversed daylight hours, you would want to be sure that the room they were in was truly dark during the day.

  • LaurieLovesLearning
    LaurieLovesLearning Posts: 7,519 admin

    @VermontCathy It will be mainly (probably all) medicinal & culinary herbs in that space.

  • VermontCathy
    VermontCathy Posts: 1,980 ✭✭✭✭✭

    @LaurieLovesLearning I don't think you will have any problem with those crops in a reverse daytime/night situation.

  • jowitt.europe
    jowitt.europe Posts: 1,454 admin

    @LaurieLovesLearning your garden looks lovely! And it is such a good idea to grow herbs in it. - fresh herbs all year round!

    I have a winter garden for not hardy plants. We covered with glass the space under our terrace. It is not heated, but the temperatures are enough for my sensitive plants. However, that is only a survival place, as we do not have sun on the house for about two winter months because of high mountains around. Nevertheless, I can harvest physalis and even figs during winter months. And my geraniums continue blossoming throughout the winter.


  • LaurieLovesLearning
    LaurieLovesLearning Posts: 7,519 admin

    @jowitt.europe I am in awe of your beautiful space & your view. 🥰 If only I could plant a few mountains outside my window.

  • VermontCathy
    VermontCathy Posts: 1,980 ✭✭✭✭✭

    @LaurieLovesLearning "If only I could plant a few mountains outside my window."

    If you lived in Vermont and had beautiful mountain views from your property, you would pay more property taxes. Yes, really. So it tends to be wealthy people who own second homes that live in those spots, and the rest of us live elsewhere.

    I have ground views about a block from my home, which I see when I go for a walk. But my own property is surrounded by trees and has no views.

  • VermontCathy
    VermontCathy Posts: 1,980 ✭✭✭✭✭

    I sprout seeds by putting them on top of my oil furnace. That room is very warm, and the spot on the furnace is especially warm.

    There's no light in that room most of the time, so once they sprout they have to be moved to a cooler area that has light.

  • LaurieLovesLearning
    LaurieLovesLearning Posts: 7,519 admin
    edited November 2022

    Around here, almost anything is pricey, believe it or not. The flat sandy land in the south central region is high priced (and highly taxed) because of potato farmers. To the southeast, it is high priced because of the quality of the grainland and that it is flatter than flat & has a good growing season, which is desireable to the huge farms & large equipment. In the southwest, there are some vacation areas and also open, fairly flat land that has oil beneath...so, expensive. The higher & more beautiful properties in higher evergreen covered "mountain" elevations north of here in the Parkland areas of our province have the same outrageous prices. This is due to its beauty & unfortunately in the past 10 years, people with money escaping the city & developers pushing up prices all around those areas. It doesn’t help that there are fairly large national & provincial parks there with high tourism. Around here, we are not too far from the oil area, but the grainland is rated very highly, and so go the prices.

    We are fortunate that somehow our personal taxes are fairly low but then again, we don't own much that demands the higher prices. Should we build a new house, that would change everything very dramatically.

    In the end, everything is overpriced because you could often never make your purchase price back in returns from the land, especially if you only get a house on an acreage. Even so, our prices are still nothing like you will see in BC and Alberta. An equivalent place there with our old house on the same size property we have would have an asking price very far beyond what it's worth. Places with poor land & shabby houses sell for way too much out west. It's amazing what people will pay.

    * I guess I could always just put up a picture of some mountains to look at. It's certainly cheaper. Haha But I do like the way that @jowitt.europe's Alps go straight up. It's fascinating and awe inspiring. They just have such a unique look.

  • LaurieLovesLearning
    LaurieLovesLearning Posts: 7,519 admin

    Well, Winnipeg has a brand new Conservatory opening up tomorrow. It will even have an interactive butterfly house.


  • Torey
    Torey Posts: 5,640 admin

    This looks like a pretty cool place to hang out anytime but especially in those cold Winnipeg winters.

    I'd be really interested in the outdoor gardens, too, in the summer.

  • LaurieLovesLearning
    LaurieLovesLearning Posts: 7,519 admin

    I think in a few years time it will be really nice. Right now, a lot of the trees will be pretty small.

    I am hoping that if we make our way over there, that we will be able to go.

  • JennyT Upstate South Carolina
    JennyT Upstate South Carolina Posts: 1,273 ✭✭✭✭✭

    @LaurieLovesLearning, that does look like a cool and beautiful space to check out if I ever make it that far north.😉