Spring is here!!!
I haven’t posted any updates on my garden in a very long time, but I’ve been busy gardening nevertheless. Since it’s spring/winter I’ve been starting my garden inside. This is the second year and I’d love to share what I learned from last year.
Not everything needs to be started inside: Ok, I’m obviously a novice city gardener, but so is most of the population! Where I live winter is unpredictable, it comes, it goes, it slams us with a foot of snow after a bunch of relatively warm days. The weather has been this way as long as I can remember. So what can be started outside, foot of snow or not?
Peas: Peas love cold weather! You can pop the seeds in the ground early march. They’ll start coming up by themselves and can withstand tons of snow and sporadically cold temps. As long as the temperature gets above the teens during the day they should be fine. I have a total of twelve pea plants sprouting up now!
Arugula: This stuff is tough as nails. I just seed it in the fall after the plants have bolted (gotten all big and gangly with seeds). I pull the dry plants out, break the seed pods and throw them where I’d like them next year. My arugula is already coming up, has been for the past month or so. It has survived super chilly temperatures and snow same as the peas.
Carrots: Carrots seed the second year and they actually need a good icy winter.
- Plants that are best started inside: I’ve had mixed luck with vegetables. Last year I had lot of success with tomatoes (finally), but only because I caved and bought some already grown tomato plants. My biggest problem has been bugs. I’ve gotten tomatoes to grow, only to have the tender shoots chomped down to nothing in the middle of the night. This year I’ve started some cherry tomatoes inside with huge success. I have six plants, more than I need (nice to give them to other people). Anyways, here’s a small list of plants that I’ve grown inside with success.
Cucumbers: Cucumbers like nice warm soil. Just make sure to give them lots of root space, a whole pot to themselves and they’ll get massive.
Parsley: I actually kept a parsley plant indoors this winter. They’re another plant that seeds the second year, so fingers crossed.
Citronella: This is another keep indoors plant. I’ve kept a clipping growing in water. I won’t plant it outside until I’m sure the weather will stay warm enough.
Tomatoes: These are surprisingly easy to grow in a super sunny windowsill.
Overwatering: I have to be very careful to be sparing with water. Overwatering can cause mold and fungus, not good…
Rootspace: If you have a deep enough windowsill small indoor pots are awesome for growing. I’ve found those little biodegradable seedstarters are not big enough. If you’re not going to start your garden too soon the seedstarters should be sufficient. They are pretty handy and make transferring the plants a snap. Unfortunately I’ve start my garden earlier than ever this year. Next year I’ll probably just grown most everything in regular indoor pots (my windowsill is deep enough).
Light: I’ve been blessed with a super bright, super sunny windowsill! Not true for all of us. : ( Eight hours of light is best. If not most plants will be weak and tiny. One solution is a grow bulb. I found them at the local hardware mega-chain for around four dollars a bulb. That’s super cheap! You will need a metal lamp. I suggest the thrift store. The biggest thing to keep in mind is that these bulbs get very hot, and everything they shine on gets very hot. Goes without saying, but: don’t leave them on when you’re not home.
Also keep in mind that plants vary in light needs. My citronella for example is in a low light window, has been all winter. It looks fabulous. Herbs also do well enough with less light. Crops of course like a lot more light.
What’s your garden look like?: Love to hear from you guys! There are so many awesome gardening blogs on wordpress. Comments and tips are always welcome, just leave them below. : D
With many blessings,