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Indoor Gardening

How to Pickle Your Vegetables

Vinegar-Based Pickling:

Pickling is a great way to extend the life of the vegetables you grow.  It also happens to add a deliciously sour, tangy zing that’s fun to enjoy independently or as part of a dish.  “Quick Pickling” with vinegar is the easiest way of doing it.  The process uses the acidy of vinegar to preserve your vegetables.  Over time, foods pickled with vinegar will lose some of their nutritional value, but that doesn’t mean they won’t stay delicious and crunchy over time.

What Can Be Pickled:

You can pickle any fruit or vegetable you want.  Cucumbers and peppers...

Growing a Variety of Fruits and Vegetables with Hydroponics

Many people ask about growing different types of fruits and vegetables together, when growing with hydroponics.  When growing fruits and vegetables with hydroponics, you will generally grow fastest if you stay within the recommended PPM and pH range for individual plants (see below).  However, your plants will still grow well outside of those ranges.  The most basic impacts of growing outside of those ranges are:

  • Less food production
  • Changes to the taste of produce

We try to provide cherry tomatoes, herbs and lettuce when iHarvesters are just beginning to grow because it's a great way to learn...

White Fuzz on My Plants

Overview:

The type of white, fuzzy fungus that grows directly on your plants is most often referred to as ‘powdery mildew’.  It is a common fungal disease that impacts plant leaves and stems.  It’s different than the beneficial fungi you may see growing in your hydroponic media.  Powdery mildew attaches to your plants leaves and stems.  In most cases, it will not kill your plant, however It spreads rapidly and can have a negative impact on the growth and aesthetics of your plants.  Therefore, you will want to remove it.

Steps for Removing Powdery Mildew:

Step 1: Remove plant...

White Fuzz on My Growing Media

Occasionally, a small amount of white fuzz will show up on your growing media.  This is likely a beneficial fungi that grows naturally on both soil and hydroponic media.  It is part of a healthy ecosystem where moisture and organic material are present.  You do not have to worry about it negatively impacting you or your plants in any way. 

As your plants grow, the fungi will disappear from view.  But if you prefer, it is ok to remove it with your fingertip or a Q-tip.  You can also add a drop of hydrogen peroxide to remove it.

Keep in...

Flushing Your Hydroponic Reservoir

Introduction:

I am occasionally asked whether it is necessary to “flush” or completely change out the water in the iHarvestTM.  Water in the iHarvestTM never has to be flushed, however doing so may offer benefits.  For most users, I would suggest doing this very infrequently (perhaps every 6-12 months), unless they notice a change in the growth or taste of their fruits and veggies.

Science Stuff:

The reason you may want to flush the water in your hydroponic garden is because your plants will sometimes uptake more of one nutrient than another.  Over time, this can...

How to Start Growing with Your iHarvest

Starting your seedlings:

If you purchased a seedling starter kit at IGWorks.com starting your seedlings will be easy.

Propagation Kit

  • Assemble the kit and place it on the heating mat
  • Place 1-3 seeds in each rapid rooter pod
  • Make sure the pods are nice and wet, but that water does not pool up in the kit
  • Watch your seedlings grow, and place them in the iHarvest when they’ve sprouted

If you didn’t purchase a seedling starter kit, don’t worry.  You can make your own...

Growing Plants from Seeds

Introduction and Basics:

Growing plants from seeds can be a difficult process.  Older seeds, or those exposed to extreme temperatures or environments will have difficulty sprouting, and some plants are famous for having low germination rates no matter how well you treat them.  While there is nothing that you can do to guarantee that every seed you plant grows, you can significantly increase germination rates with a few, simple tips.

Tip #1 – Keep your seedlings from ever becoming dry (but don’t have them drenched in water)

Tip #2 – Keep your seedlings in a warm environment.

Tip...

Pruning, Trimming and Topping Your Indoor Garden Plants

Overview:

When gardening fruits and vegetables indoors, you’ll want to grow as much as you can in a small space.  One means of doing this is to use ‘Dwarf’ varieties of plants, as described in a previous post titled “Small Plants that Yield Big Indoor Harvests.”  Whether you’re using dwarf varieties of plants or not, you will find that proper pruning will result in healthier plants that produce fruits and veggies all year long.

What is Plant Pruning?

When gardening indoors, pruning, trimming and topping your plants will result in more bushy and compact produce that yields more fruit.  Because...

Small Plants that Yield Big Indoor Harvests

Overview:

A lot of people question whether they can grow cucumbers, tomatoes, peppers and other large vegetables with their iHarvest indoor garden.  The answer is yes!  But, if you want to get a high yield out of your plants, you’ll want to choose varieties of these plants produce lots of fruits and veggies in small spaces.  These varieties of plants are generally referred to as Dwarf variety, or sometimes Bush variety plants.  A Google search for Dwarf variety tomatoes or Dwarf variety cucumbers, for example, will provide a lot of great results.

What are Dwarf Variety Plants?:

...

Propagating Plants from Cuttings

A Quick Intro to Propagating Plants from Cuttings:

Growing a plant from a cutting offers at least two distinct advantages over growing from seed? 

  • Plants grown from cuttings will often grow more quickly than those grown from seed
  • Plants grown from cuttings have the exact same genetics as those of the original plant

Plants tend to grow much more quickly in hydroponics than they do in soil, so that’s not why l grow some of my plants from cuttings.  I grow from cuttings when I have a plant that grows much more fruit than others.  For instance,...

The Science of LED Grow Lights for Your Indoor Garden

Introduction:

Indoor Gardening isn’t exactly a new thing, but LED’s are changing the way we light our indoor gardens.  LED lights are more efficient than traditional fluorescent and incandescent lights.  That’s because LED lights convert nearly all of their energy (95%) into light, while other lights turn a significant amount of energy into heat.  But, there’s another very important reason that LED’s are more efficient when it comes to growing plants.  With LED lights, we have the rather unique ability to customize the type of light that is emitted, and that means we’re not wasting energy to create light that...

Nutrient and pH Chart for Growing Fruits and Vegetables with Hydroponics

Looking for a great chart describing the proper nutrient and pH levels for gardening all of your favorite hydroponic fruits and vegetable?.  Look no further.  Here's your DIY guide to growing farm fresh veggies and more, indoors.

Adding Nutrients and Adjusting pH in Your Hydroponic Garden

Overview:

When growing with hydroponics, ensuring you have the right nutrient mix is essential to both the growth and taste of your plants.

Adding nutrients and pH balancers to your hydroponic solution should be a multi-step process.  And before you begin, you should always make sure that you have a hydroponic TDS (Total Dissolved Liquids) or EC (Electrical Conductivity) sensor and a pH sensor available.  These sensors are relatively inexpensive.  They’re available at your local hydroponics shop, Amazon.com, and soon IGWorks.com.  If you’ve purchased an iHarvest, you will be receiving a TDS and pH sensor with your purchase.

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5 Smart Tips for Growing Hydroponic Veggies Indoors

Growing, harvesting and indulging in the food we grow ourselves feels great.  But, many of us have limitations when it comes to gardening.  We may live in apartments, condos or homes that don’t have the outdoor space to garden.  Others live in climates that are not hospital to gardening for large portions of the year.  That’s when growing indoors can be a great solution.  And growing with hydroponics may be the smartest solution considering plants can grow 3 times faster when you do!  Whether you’re using an iHarvest indoor garden or not, here are 5 great tips for using hydroponics to grow...

How to Pollinate Your Indoor Fruit and Vegetable Plants

Many people look at me with disbelief when I tell them that I’m growing tomatoes, cucumbers…even peaches and pineapples indoors.  One reason for these looks of disbelief is that people wonder how these plants get pollinated indoors.  Fortunately, learning how to pollinate your flowering plants so that they will produce fruits and vegetables is easy. 

Tips for Identifying and Removing Bugs from Your Indoor Garden

From lettuce and herbs to pineapples and peach trees, today’s technology allows indoor gardeners to grow our favorite produce indoors, all year round.  Keep your indoor gardens pest free with these simple tips.

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Recipes

Classic Italian Seasoning Blend

Using a variety of fresh herbs from your iHarvest, you can make your own classic-style Italian seasoning blend.

Stir-Fried Sesame Beef and Peas

Using snow peas or sugar snap peas from your IHARVEST, you can have this flavorful Asian-inspired beef stir-fry recipe ready in minutes.

Cucumber Mint Water

This refreshing, antioxidant and vitamin-rich drink is a great way to use cucumbers and mint from your IHARVEST. 

Swiss Chard Frittata

Use the Swiss chard and green onions from your IHARVEST in this recipe. Frittatas can be served for breakfast, lunch, or dinner and are a great way to include vegetables in your meal.

Italian Grinder

This sandwich is a great way to use cucumbers, lettuce, and tomatoes from your IHARVEST. The Grinder is the New England version of a hoagie, hero, or sub sandwich.