I was late in thinking of how to keep growing through the winter, and am now stuck on which system would fit our needs. They are:
* Maine zone 5a
* small scale, just for 2 people: lettuce, arugula, ta-tsoi?
* indoor growing: vertical three-tiers, each tier approx. 2'x4'
* desire to limit energy inputs
We have an unheated east-facing sunroom that gets about 5 hrs. of diffuse sunlight. Two possibilities?
A. build a polycarbonate box with 3 tiers and front door; reflective rear and side surfaces;
B. build a similar box, though install grow lights and use 1/2" reflective rigid foam insulation on interior surfaces. No polycarbonate.
I'm assuming the additional layer of polycarbonate (Plan A) will result in higher ambient growing temperatures, but I just don't know whether the seedlings would thrive with the generally cold temperatures. The lights would take care of that, but it seems overkill--and expensive--to have a light above the three growing tiers. (Perhaps one light and rotate the crops?)
Anyone with similar experience, or with some helpful perspective?