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Letters To The Editor

What Type Of Indoor Gardening Products Are Available?

Dear Editor,

Despite my brown thumb, I’d like to try my hand at gardening. We live in New England, in the woods and have *no* sun. Even in June and July, we have direct sun only on my tiny deck from 2-4pm while the sun clears the house in the front and before it goes behind trees in the back.

So, I’m thinking in terms of indoor gardening. I am a Juice Plus+ distributor, and their latest product addition is a Tower Garden. This would be perfect, except for the cost, which is about $500. Therefore, I’d like to find a less expensive version of the same thing. Neither my husband, nor I, is a “handy” person, so the JP+ product, which only requires assembly, would be perfect for us. However, right now, I can’t justify a cost like that.

Could you please suggest an alternative, and also tell me what kind of light bulb would be needed to actually grow healthy plants in my basement?


Sunless in New England


Dear Sunless,

That price does seem kind of steep. Even if you and your husband are not “handy” in terms of constructing a vertical garden, there are many simple methods for creating one that doesn’t require a lot of talent or experience. We’ve run several articles on vertical gardening and growing indoors. Here are the links:




Now, in that last article on small plot vegetable gardening, there’s a link in the article about the Garden Tower Project. If you go to their website at and click on the “Store” tab, you’ll find their garden tower for $249.

However, Florafelt also sells a compact vertical garden that is wall mounted for $159 that you might be interested in. You can find that vertical garden kit (and others) at

As far as what kind of light bulbs you’ll need for indoor gardening in your basement, you’ll need grow lights. Here is one website that sells them… Now I’m not saying purchase from them because I know nothing about this company. But they do have a lot of information on the website that can help you determine what you need. You can then shop around on the Internet or at gardening stores in your hometown to find the best prices on lighting for an indoor garden.

Thanks for writing!

The Editor



The Difference Between Food and Pool Grade Diatomaceous Earth?

Dear Editor,

I am very concerned. Throughout your recent tome on diatomaceous earth, you failed to continually emphasize the term….

FOOD GRADE DE    throughout your email.

Those of us who use DE are keenly aware that FOOD GRADE DE is in no way the same as SWIMMING

POOL DE, a product that contains poisons. Please write an addendum to your advertisement and explanation of DE. You owe it to your faithful customers to WARN THEM NOT TO USE SWIMMING POOL DE.

Your pal,



Dear BT,

You are absolutely right… there is considerable difference in food grade diatomaceous earth and pool grade. Pool grade is poisonous and should NEVER be ingested, used in the household, the garden or for animals. Always use food grade diatomaceous earth for any food, household, gardening, animal, or personal needs.

The difference in the two types is the temperatures that pool grade DE is subjected to. Pool grade DE is only meant for a filtration aid and has been calcined (treated at a very high temperature to effect a chemical change) and contains a high content of crystalline silica. Food grade DE has been treated at a much lower temperature (non-calcined) and contains very low levels of crystalline silica. The non-calcined product is not harmful to humans or animals. God’s Miracle Dust, a product of Solutions From Science, is a food grade diatomaceous earth.

Thank you for writing in. We’ll try to make sure that future emails state the differences in types.

The Editor


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