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Cold climate + apartment + moringa ?!?

 
hagrid small
Posts: 14
Location: mid/northern Vermont
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For some time now I have wanted to try some indoor cultivation of the Moringa Oleifera, which is also sometimes called the 'miracle tree'.
The ambition in this is as an indoor fresh food source as it is supposed to be highly nutritious as well as being a super-fast grower.

Since it is a tropical plant and we are in Vermont, the only realistic methods are to grow it outdoors as an annual (we are renters...), or indoors, being attentive to its needs & keeping it as a dwarf.

So we got some seeds for it - and they are a bit more demanding than seeds that one merely pokes into moist soil - but that's OK.

To provide for their needs of warmth & light I morphed a very inexpensive/lightweight wardrobe type of thing into an insulated grow closet of sorts.

It started out something like this one:

And with the addition of some 'space blankets', black trash bags, a single piece of waferboard, some duct tape, staples, lights & a timer - it is perfect for keeping lit ~16 hours a day - even though we like our bedroom 100% dark for sleeping.

T'was actually very enjoyable to assemble the portable closet thing - and neat to see how well the 'space blankets' work so very well.
It uses just several LED bulbs & a single 7.5 watt incandescent bulb, yet stays very toasty warm in there - and all the linings are doing a great job of keeping the moisture level up nicely as well.

What is really nifty to me is that our place is very tiny, so this had to be something I could sort of squeeze in between things while being tall enough inside to accomodate a couple of smallish trees - and for under $20 that is exactly what I was able to find.

Adding a tray with the properly planted seeds then keeping them moist enough is all that has happened thus as we've watched & waited for some germination to occur...
Sadly, it seems we got some poor quality seeds and/or got something wrong because when a few did sprout - either via being started in coconut coir or via the paper towel method, most have failed soon thereafter & the 1 that looked strong & sturdy is also failing now & we do not have any idea of why that may be.

Questions for others here, please:
- Has anyone here any experiences growing moringa to share (especially indoors, etc...) ??
- Does anyone know what we might use for some sort of safe plant food for this edible plant so as to make sure it flourishes safely ??

Thanks for any helpful info !!

PS - more info, if anyone is interested:
http://www.ilovemoringa.com/How-To-Sprout-Moringa-Seeds-Easily.html
http://www.ilovemoringa.com/How-To-Grow-Moringa-In-Cold-Climates.html
http://www.moringamatters.com/how-to-grow-a-dwarf-Moringa-tree.html
http://moringafarms.com/growing-moringa/
http://moringafarms.com/wp-content/uploads/2014/05/Growing-Moringa-for-Personal-or-Community-Use.pdf
http://thinkhealthytips.com/2016/02/the-health-benefits-of-moringa-the-superfood-of-superfoods/
http://livelovefruit.com/health-benefits-of-moringa/

 
Michelle Bisson
Posts: 189
Location: Quebec, Canada
15
forest garden hugelkultur trees urban
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If I were to grow Moringa in a cold climate as an annual, I would start them indoors and then plant them on a sunny side of a building protected from the cold prevailing winds.

If anyone is experimenting with them, please share your story. 

--

I would treat growing Moringa as an experiment for fun, but I would really put my energies into to growing Kale and parsley and other leafy high nutrient greens and herbs.

 
hagrid small
Posts: 14
Location: mid/northern Vermont
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Thanks for replying Michelle.
As I said in the OP - the ambition here is to grow some moringa indoors in our teeny tiny apartment.

Outdoors here is dicey for 3 reasons:
If I were to grow Moringa in a cold climate as an annual, I would start them indoors and then plant them on a sunny side of a building protected from the cold prevailing winds.


1. Being renters we have no idea how long we'll stay in this spot;
B. The other tenant here does the landscaping work & tends to mow down everything he sees indiscriminately;
3. The owner shows up every so often and changes outside things sort of randomly.

So - yes - I am experimenting with these, and this is my story. 

As to these more common things:
...but I would really put my energies into to growing Kale and parsley and other leafy high nutrient greens and herbs.


I can easily walk out our door, take a nice stroll for 2 blocks & get most common stuff anytime - but it is NOT possible to get moringa locally & growing it will be a good way to get some IF its requirements are met properly.

Hence this thread asking for any info - which I'm guessing nobody here has to share as evidenced by only the single reply.

We have seeds from several sources now and did get some to sprout up - but the directions used for that batch did not match what came after they sprouted, so they failed.
Trying another method now & just waiting to see how long it takes before they sprout as it seems to be a very slow process.

Thus far the important detail in starting this seems to be just locating viable seeds...and after the present test concludes we'll know which ones are viable & which are just good for snacking.

Thanks.
 
Michelle Bisson
Posts: 189
Location: Quebec, Canada
15
forest garden hugelkultur trees urban
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Hi Hadgrid,

I have seen that moringa can grow into 20 feet trees in a season down south.  How well they grow indoors in an apartment in a cold climate is questionable at this time.  I have a hard time imagining that it would, but someone has to try it to see if they can succeed, and you are the one willing to try.   All the best to you!  Do keep us all informed about your trials and share lots of pictures.  If you succeed, then maybe we will all be wanting to grow it indoors.
 
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