Green-house- Part 2

By Alison and Ollie, 04/08/2013


As we mentioned in Green-House part 1, we would like to get a bit more technical on how we are growing our plants.

Now, we don't want this blog to turn into a gardening blog, there are several very good gardening blogs already out there. Come to think of it, proper gardeners might be horrified by the methods we use!

Having said that, we have so far produced tomatoes, strawberries, chillies, peppers, beans and herbs e.g. coriander, basil and thyme. Without exception all of them tasted excellent!


So for those of you who, like us, can only grow stuff indoors we would like to tell you how we went about it.


We prefer growing our plants from seeds.




For that purpose we have bought a €6 propagator (a mini green-house) at Homebase. We fill this with as many small pots as possible.


Once the seedlings start growing their first proper leaves they are ready to be removed from the propagator and planted into bigger pots.

Our raspberry plant (that's right, we are growing raspberries indoors, though some people thought we are a pair of loonbags for trying that) we bought as a single cane from our local hardware/gardening man and absolute legend, James Devitt. If you are ever in Ennistymon, County Clare, make sure to stop in his shop and have a chat with him. He's great craic!

We planted the cane in a big milk bucket. We drilled some holes in the bottom of the bucket for drainage and put pieces of a broken terra-cotta pot on the bottom. We've put the bucket in one of our south facing window sills and the plant is thriving and starting to bear lots of fruit.

Hopefully the fruit will taste good, once they are ready to harvest we will definitely let you know!

Another one of our experiments is our courgette plant. According to a lot of books and websites this plant needs a bigger pot than the one we are using for it, and they are probably right because so far the plant is only growing one courgette at a time. If nothing else, it does grow lots of beautiful flowers though. 

We give our plants small amounts of water daily, except for our tomatoes and courgette, who receive loads because they drink like fish. Once a week we give a little bit of plant food to all the plants. The tomatoes however, we give plant food every 2 days, because not only are they very thirsty, they are also very hungry! Very demanding altogether so they are.

Due to a distinct lack of natural pollinators (no bees in the house, we're not that mad now) we have to pollinate the flowers of the chili, courgette and pepper plants ourselves. For that purpose we have a small and soft make-up brush which we gently rub against the flowers. While this has proved easy for the chili and pepper plants, the courgettes have proved more difficult. The male and female flowers on this plant are quite distinct and so far seem to only open in the early morning and unhelpfully on different days. 

Strangely enough, there is no lack of flies and other bugs on our plants. We found that the most friendly and effective method against them, is to fill a spray bottle with water and a few drops of Fairy Liquid, and spray the plants with that every day until the flies are gone or we give up.

Unfortunately, as we mentioned in our earlier post, we tried to grow kale, spinach and spring onions but failed to do so successfully. Those types of plants seem to need the harsher outdoor conditions. 

So if you want to grow indoors, stick with the types that love the warmer conditions like chillies, peppers, strawberries, beans and tomatoes, and yes, maybe even courgettes and raspberries!
Just make sure they get enough water, light, a bit of food, love and attention.

If you have some questions or comments on how we grow our indoor food, please feel free to use the comments section.

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