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Indoor basement greenhouse?

Posted by watergal z6/7 Westminster, MD ( on
Tue, Jun 5, 07 at 23:58

I have a lot of experience with grow lights, but none with greenhouses.

I was thinking of getting one of the cheaper "portable" type plastic covered greenhouses (maybe 6x8 feet) and putting it in my basement with some grow lights inside (or maybe outside?). This would presumably help keep the heat up and the humidity contained during the winter.

Anyone done something like this, or have any brainstorming ideas to share? I'm cross-posting on the Greenhouses & Garden Structures forum. Thanks!

Follow-Up Postings:

RE: Indoor basement greenhouse?

I have one thought. If you want to have the lights inside your growing area then you should choose a "container" that doesn't have transparent sides to lose all the light. A white wooden box is good for starting seeds, or white sheets for a larger area. Polystyrene sheets are good if you need more insulation but that would probably be overkill in a basement.

RE: Indoor basement greenhouse?

shrubs, good point. Thanks!

RE: Indoor basement greenhouse?

I like the idea of an indoor greenhouse but it may be easier to turn the entire basement into a greenhouse. Get one of those space heaters with a water canister on it to keep the humidity up, upgrade the lighting severely, maybe pop in a ceiling fan if possible to keep air flowing, and a few reading lamps over any plants that have higher than average light requirement.

Just a thought

RE: Indoor basement greenhouse?

It's a great thought, and one I fantasize about frequently. However, I'd have to evict the other family members who also like to use the basement and dislike intense light and humidity in their faces. Unfortunately, my family does not share my love of horticulture.

I do have my eye on the kid's playroom, which is a semi-basement type setup (although no water access - that would have to be added). Once she goes to college, look out!

RE: Indoor basement greenhouse?

I just purchased a Hydrohut for overwintering my orchids and tropicals. I too am growing in the basement and did not want all that humidity rotting my floor joists and electronics. Plus it keeps the cats out of things and that is a huge plus. It is 4x8 feet and quite roomy- vented to the outdoors with an inline fan and I'm good to grow. I have room for a 400w HPS on one end for the high light things, and a fluoro setup on the other end for the low light plants.

Of course if I was handy I would have built a room, but I don't have the right tools and this thing is built to last. It was a bear to put together but seems like it is just exactly what I needed.

Here is a link that might be useful: Hydrohuts

RE: Indoor basement greenhouse?

I turned a corner of one room into a grow space by having a room divider made up with reflective fabric lining the inside. It's about 8' tall and keeps all the light from a ceiling-mounted HID light reflected back on the plants. Misting regularly, a large tray of water underneath the grow table, and a two-way window fan provided enough humidity. For year-round growing, you might want to add a humidifier there are some that hold up to 5 gallons of water or more.

RE: Indoor basement greenhouse?

I turned an 8X6 corner of my unfinished basement into a controlled environment in an attempt to grow orchids. It has been a learning experience, with dealing with excess heat being the major issue for me.
The room has an automatic humidifier, flourescent lights on timers, and just this year I installed a home made cooling system that uses well water to keep the room below 80 degrees.
I used 2X2 lumber to frame the walls, covering it inside and out will poly sheeting.
My next improvement will be a reflective lining, and possibly a HID light.
The Orchids and carnivorous plants are doing reasonably well, year round, so far.......

RE: Indoor basement greenhouse?

There is an article in the July/August 2007 Issue of the 'Begonian' by a lady who did just that. She bought a 6'x6' ridged plastic covered greenhouse and set it up in her basement as a walk-in terrarium. They had an electriction install t8 full spectrum lights over it. Seems to work out fine for them.

It is something I'd like to try, someday.

RE: Indoor basement greenhouse?

I have a large basement, unfinished that is almost 1000 sq feet. I would like to turn part of it into a greenhouse to grow all year round. would this be possible since the only downfall is there are no windows in the basement, or even a door. would artificial lighting be enough to grow the plant?
Any suggestions would be greatly appreaciated!

RE: Indoor basement greenhouse?

Bringing this to the top hopefully as I am thinking about doing this as a place to start seedlings instead all over the main level. I had pots and flats covering surfaces and floors from Boxing day through until April and even though my DH never complained, I could see that it was not something he appreciated!
It is one of those cheapie big lots 54" x 54" gh's that has worked so far as a little protection for some of my outdoor plants but now I am thinking about moving it permanently inside to the basement as a safe winter haven which is isolated from the areas that my grandchildren use as a recreation room when visiting.

I would love input on how much light you think would be needed. I am planning on using LEDs powered by my existing solar panels and a deep cycle battery so that there will be no electrical bill battles.

I'd really love it if you could share some of your observations having now been there and done that - pros & cons regarding this type of set up.
Many thanks

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