Zone 6a winter gardening questions.


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Is it possible to have a full vegetable garden in 6a during the winter? I mean indoors say like a heated ventilated room with lights. I have googled this question in so many words and I really can’t get much info on it.
 
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Your electricity bill would be HUGE but it is possible with the proper lighting and setup.
 
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I usually grow 5-6 tomato plants in the basement over winter. i have 2 grow lights that i hung up. I give them 7-9 hours of light per day.
It does increase my power bill but not by enough to deter me from doing it each year
 
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I hope this helps.
Amazon has LEDs that come in 2 foot lengths, they hook together or use them separately.
Grow you vines, cucumbers squash, etc. on a trellis
Paint your walls bright white. As counterintuitive as it may seem when you buy your paint ask for a drop of black in it. White paint reflects light better than any kind of foil.
Have you thought about growing out side? A guy in Greenbay Wisconsin does it outside, check youtube.
Black ground cover across the top ( to hold the heat) with a green house inside. Take your garage down in the summer and nothing changes in any season.
Either way, fungus gnats may be a problem. Hydrogen peroxide keeps your soil aerated and kills the gnats too.
 

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A good source for energy efficient lighting & other supplies might be marijuana grow house suppliers. Most larger cities have in-person shops & many probably exist on line. I'd guess Amazon or eBay have stuff, too.

From what I've seen & done, it seems that one can go complex or super simple when growing indoors:

The Complex-
I don't know anything about the marijuana grow houses' product's growing process (other than the aroma is awful), but I've wired some large, industrial grow facilities & get to checkout the equipment & ask questions. It's kind of interesting to learn about the different lighting options, many of which are quite energy efficient.

I've found that the electrical load calculations are decreasing rapidly with new lighting & climate control technologies, so growing indoors in 6a can be done on a low energy budget. These grow companies also use CO-2 generators, many kinds of growing mediums (media?), de-humidification, air purifying, temperature control, etc. Most have lights on moving racks that mimic the sun's travel. Some even change angle based on the stage of the growth. Growing indoors can become quite a science. (And, on follow-up service calls, I've seen a whole lot of good looking vegetable growing mixed in.)

The Simple-
I've also wired farmers' greenhouse facilities. They're pretty straight forward. Some lighting, some heating (usually overhead tube burners) & roof windows controlled by either temperature, humidity or enthalpy controls.

The Super Simple-
At out home in zone 6a, we've successfully wintertime grown tomatoes and peppers from seed in pots on shelves in the basement stairwell. It gets as low as 2-C degrees and our lighting is simply a couple of (allegedly) full spectrum 6 watt LED PAR 38 WFL spots (About $3.00 from eBay). They're clipped on the opposite wall to aim at the shelves & are controlled by a cheapie table lamp timer. Herbs, like my oregano and dill grow in the kitchen on the decks of a pair of garden windows. It gets scary-cold in those window bays, so I don't put anything fragile there.

From my absolute amateur's view point, it can be done- But be sure to have fun doing it (and eating the rewards)!

Enjoy Today!
Paul

PS: Tree Man mentioned Shelter Logic. I'll give them an A+. We had one of their enclosures for close to 22 years before the UV from the sun finally shattered the fabric. (Ours was nylon rip-stop. The one Lowes sells is polyethylene, so I think it will last less long.)
 

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