I know that plants need a certain amount of nutrition from the soil to grow, and that when growing plants indoors, the only nutrition they get is what you give them.
I am trying to grow these plants completely organically, with dirt from my backyard, using nothing bought from a store except the vegetables/plants from which I took the seeds. So far I have large sprouts of morning glories and catnip, and small sprouts of tomatoes, green beans, cucumber, and green bell pepper. They seem to be doing very well with a combination of filtered tap water and mineral water, but I want to make sure they don't suddenly die out because they are getting too much or too little of something. The mineral water is bottled still (not carbonated) Italian mineral water.
I have southern exposure in the window that they sit in, so sunlight doesn't seem to be a problem. Any tips for growing these through the winter would be greatly appreciated.
Your indoors plants will require nutrients, and generally do well with a soil that offers adequate drainage, you could achieve that by including sand or perlite with your soil. As you have a backyard you could make a compost using your leftovers rather than throwing them away(potato peelings, tealeaves, fruit, vegetables etc)and add this into a patch of your soil to improve the quality. Alternatively you could use a commercial fertilizer or make your own. I read of someone who used urine mixed with water (5 parts water/1 part urine) believe it or not and a friend of mine who uses cold tea and swears by it.
I have never used mineral water on any plants but I don't think it would hurt anything to use it occasionally. I would invest in a soil test kit to make sure that the plants are receiving the needed mix of nutrients. Coffee grounds, fruit and vegetable peelings and crushed egg shells are all good things that can be added to the soil. These items need to be covered with soil to discourage the attraction of fruit flies and to eliminate odors. Some plants can self polinate and others will neede to be hand-polinated to set fruit. A fan set to low will aid in keeping diseases to a minimum.When plants are grown in containers it is more difficult to control the proper amount of moisture and nutrients as opposed to ones grown in a garden. I would consider catching rain water and using it for the plants instead of the purchased mineral water.
Personally, I would'nt think mineral water would hurt anything, but If you want to go completely organic, it would have been nice to start with organic seed, but next time you can do that. There are a number of things you can use as fertilizer, but the best one I know is made of stinging nettles and water. It's just a type of slurry, and you take the nettles, and cover them with water, and just wait. When they start to smell like pig manure, it's ready. You dilute it 10 parts water to one of slurry, and your plants will go looney. The mixture is very high in nitrogen, hence the stink. I'm not sure where you are located, but I hope you are near some nettles. I have a lot more little organic tips, because my daughter grows a massive organic garden in France.
This is all some really good info. I live in an apartment and love the idea of growing some plants, flowers or cat grass or my own tomatoes or something. I have killed more house plants than I care to admit. I have to be carefull because of my cats too. Certain plants are toxic to my babies. Any suggestions for something "sturdy" that won't hurt my babies if they nibble at it?
Another great organic nitrogen source for your plants are soybean roots, or any other legume root. They have these little "nodules" on them that packed full of nitrogen. A friend of mine use to dig a few up from a nearby field and throw them in a blender with some rainwater and voila! I don't know how much she used though. Can you give your plants too much nitrogen?
I'm green thumb impared, so I would love any additional tips or tricks.
P.S. Great topic!
I like most cats better than I like most people. I'll try to be nicer if you try to be smarter.
I'm probably a little late here, but for future reference...
I would not use Mineral Water as plant fertilizer, as it is probably not effective because it more than likely does not provide the correct nutrient form suitable for plant uptake. I am in the plant business and have never heard of this.
If you want to go organic, a good fertilizer is Milorganite, sold in bags at Lowes and Home Depot. In addition, you should incorporate compost into your potting media - Black Cow, Mushroom Compost, Earth Food, etc.
Provide adequate sunlight, and water when soil begins to dry. It is better to water thoroughly but less often than a little bit every day.