Wednesday, November 05, 2008

indoor gardening!


With the gorgeous weather and A getting over a bug he caught on Halloween, we have been staying close to home. Lots of garden cleanup work, bread making, bubble blowing, book reading, microbe researching, and craft/giftmaking planning. Oh, and indoor garden planning. The indoor garden has been on our mind for awhile. At first I really wanted a lean-to greenhouse outside, but with HOA restrictions, cost, limited placement options with our tiny space, massive snowdrift possibilities, and me not wanting to permanently affix something big to the side of our house, well, we are bringing it inside. I seed start in the basement each spring and usually grow window herbs through the winter, but we wanted to do a little more this time.

The boys wanted to help with everything from seed selection to technical requirements to planting, so they have been involved in planning. This is going to be pretty basic, but the plan is to start seeds in trays - we are testing two planting mediums so the boys can see which produces the best seedlings. We plan to take advantage of any sunshine during the day, and then move trays into our growlight seedling setup in the basement at night...just until seeds germinate and we start getting some growth.

The boys did the planting today. We setup the two soil mediums, planted all seeds, marked all of the cells with what is planted there, watered and put it in the window to start. We started a graph of what seeds we have, what their germination needs are and water preferences. A wants to expand that to include seed to plant time estimates and harvesting notes. Good ideas!


After rambling on you are probably wondering WHY are we starting seeds inside in November? Well, we preserve and freeze and save foods all summer from our farm visits and garden and work to keep our food local as much as we can. We do sprout a lot in winter, but fresh herbs and greens would be wonderful. Last winter the boys grew a few carrots, radishes and small onions in a window, so why can't we do more?


We are planting a few things for this first round (they will be transplanted into larger pots later)::
-mustard greens
-salad bowl lettuce (cut and come again)
-spinach
-cilantro
-chives
-swiss chard
and by special request we will try
-window box roma tomato


As we go we plan to succession plant what is working, eliminate what isn't, try new things, and see how much we can grow inside in the winter. Should be fun - and the boys are EXCITED to see results!

17 comments:

ladybug-zen said...

we are doing the exact same thing. we have a large bay window in our kitchen where we're growing parsley and rocket and i nthe next few days we are turning our balconey into a greenhouse of sorts.

Tara said...

Ooh... now that is a very good idea. I don't know why I thought you could only start plants in the Spring. Owen really wants to grow something... anything. Are herbs the easiest or some simple greens?? Owen has begun to enjoy baby mesclun greens lately.

He wanted to do a terrarium but I'd love to have some fresh herbs to cook with.

Thanks for providing the spark!

Lynch Family said...

We have done window box tomatoes inside and outside, always with good results (we plant in pure compost). Your whole project looks fantastic! Kudos for all of it!

Poppy and Mei said...

Wow, WOw, WOW!
You guys are always so busy in a good way!
I had visions of seed trays set up at our place but alas, we tend to do alot of sprinkling, guessing & sometimes eating, straight on the ground. It makes for nice surprises though...XXxx

Sally said...

how wonderful! What a list--very inspiring! Where have your boys chosen to get the seeds?

Stephanie S. said...

I had planned on (maybe I'll get it done today, since I am inspired) growing basil from seed in the kitchen window - now I am determined to try something else, too.
I'll take it up with the children, and see what they will choose.

That's awesome that they got a few carrots last year!

LisaZ said...

I am excited to hear about your project. I've never thought of anything like this, so do keep us posted on your results. You could inspire a lot of people with this!

Dawn said...

I'll be excited to find out how your indoor gardening works out as well. I went looking for seeds a couple of weeks ago at several different stores and couldn't find any-when I asked where they were, the clerks looked at me like I was crazy! ;) I have asked my husband for an Aero Garden for Christmas.

shelleycaskey said...

this is a great idea and very inspiring. can't wait to hear how it goes...

tamlovesran said...

Great work. I hope you have good results.

Tara said...

Now you've got me thinking about doing something with that old aquarium we have...
Great work you are doing with your boys there. Please keep us updated on how the indoor garden grows.

Barbara said...

wow, that is very exciting! Here in the South I have bit of a winter garden going, but it never occurred to me to do some indoor planting...what a great idea. I have a smallish roma plant outside...I wonder if I can transplant it into a pot?

denise said...

ladybug-zen - that sounds great! I'd love to enclose our entire deck...maybe some day.

tara - micro greens or mache are easy greens to grow and you just keep cutting as they come up. Herbs are good too - we have had success with most herbs which don't require too much heat.

lynch family - oh, that is great. I haven't grown tomatoes inside, so didn't know how it would go. That is encouraging. :)

sally - we got some seeds from a local garden center (they carry them until they run out)and some from our favorite seed catalogs online. Email me and I'll give you a list if you want some ideas. :)

barbara - I transplant a lot of things each fall to come inside (herbs)...I would think you could do a tomato too!

Beverly said...

This is one of those posts that gets me thinking, "I want my house to be like that!"

Dim Sum, Bagels, and Crawfish said...

I can see why you guys are excited....looks great! Just wanted to share one of our family's all time favorite books since it kind of ties into the garden theme: "The Story of Frog Belly Rat Bone"...so much good stuff in one book and I think your boys would enjoy it (or maybe they do already).

Constant Dreamer said...

This is a fantastic idea! I've been wanting to do it, but didn't know how feasible it would be in Minnesota. Now I know and I shall also take the plunge.
Happy growing!

Pink & Green Mama said...

I'm so excited to try this if our cats don't eat all of our hard work!