I set up my Garland Products Grow-Light Indoor Garden last week and filmed the set up. While researching the dizzying array of different kinds of indoor ponics I found the instructional videos helpful in my making my decision on buying vs. building so I wanted to do my own. Incidentally - the first YouTube video I've ever made. First time using video editing software (I'll tell you about my Windows Movie Maker install nightmare some other day... The program is cool - the install on my PC was the nightmare!)
I had initially started looking into self-watering, outdoor container gardens (self-watering because I travel a lot for work) but realized my back porch receives less than 4 hours of sunlight, even in the best spots. There are some spaces around the house for plants to grow but my (awesome) landlords are uber-gardeners so I don't know how much autonomy or priority my stuff will have.
Thus the search for some sort of indoor gardening system began but again - not enough light. There are some wicked, self-watering systems being created out there. YouTube is full of them! From soil wicking systems with reservoirs and soil-less pump systems - there's a design for every person and living space. Will get into all the types in another post for sure because it's ridiculously fascinating.
I debated building my own system for the challenge and the reduced cost but convenience and aesthetics won out. I'm sure in time I'll be able to try out some designs that don't look like ass but for now I liked the idea of starting something easy if only just to get started.
I bought my kit from Lee Valley Tools in Burlington, ON for $165 as well as a timer for about $22. The store had both the large and small kit set up with plants already growing. The smaller kit, which was what I initially went in to purchase, (retails for about $109) was quite small and their display had small pots set up with it vs. rectangular potting trays. The extra $60 seems to be well worth the extra space you'll get with four 14" x 5" trays with the whole step measuring about 24" x 15" - I think I'll really maximize on the space.
The kit has two 22" bulbs which are full spectrum with a colour temperature of 6400 kelvin. I have no idea what this actually means - but my research so far indicates that this can make a different in the growing of plants (mostly pot, apparently!)
You can find the product for sale here - but I walked into the store and purchased it for the same price.
The kit was extremely easy to put together with minimal need to read the instructions... which I rarely do anyway. The kit is super light. This is good and worrying because it's somewhat wobbly but I think that problem will solve itself when the basin is filled with water. Aside from planting, the only thing left to do is hit up Value Village for a small table for the kit to stand on.
And without further ado.... my first YouTube instructional video...