Live. Love. Harm no one. Help when you can. Be happy.
By: BriarCraft , 8:40 PM GMT on February 25, 2014
For many folks, this winter has been long and brutal. Lately, I have seen several blog titles and comments about the Winter Blues. Whether or not your winter has been brutal, many of us get Spring Fever about this time every year. A reliable cure for the Winter Blues or Spring Fever is to grow something.
The sight of seeds sprouting and green growing things on a windowsill brings a bit of early spring indoors where you can enjoy it, regardless of the weather. If you grow sprouts, micro greens, veggies, or herbs, you have the added fun and benefit of harvesting your crop and eating it.
These are the easiest and quickest edible you can grow. Growing your own sprouts offers a lot more variety than you can find in the grocery store. You don't even need soil or a sunny windowsill to grow these. A glass jar with a lid will do, or you can purchase seed sprouting kits.
Sprouts are rich in vitamins, minerals, proteins, amino acids, beneficial enzymes and more. They have been called the "most enzyme rich food on the planet".
The best source I have found for bulk organic sprouting seeds is GrowOrganic.com
Windowsill or no, if you have a window that faces south or west and a TV tray or other small table, you can have a window garden. If you also have a patio or porch that gets midday sun, so much the better. It doesn't take much to get started.
small pots or a planter box
bag of all-purpose potting soil
seeds or plants
Whether you use old cottage cheese tubs or a fancy planter box, make sure there are holes in the bottom to allow drainage. Since there will be drainage, there needs to be a place for that drainage to go. Many flower pots and planter boxes come with their own drainage tray or dish. If you are using cottage cheese tubs, find a margarine tub or plastic plate to catch excess water.
You can purchase small herb plants or lettuce seeds at your local nursery or DIY center, along with the potting soil and fertilizer. Usually, by late winter, seeds will be available locally. Or you might like:
Johnny's Selected Seeds
Two factors will affect your choice of what to grow. The size of your pots or planter box will determine the size of the plants. The season, and therefore, the amount of daylight will determine the type of plants.
Cool-weather crops such as leaf crops and root crops are a good choice for the autumn and winter indoor garden; these crops naturally require less bright light. Warm-weather crops, fruiting vegetables such as tomatoes and peppers, require longer days to ripen, so planting these in spring and summer makes sense.
This video shows you better than I can say.
I have never sterilized the soil as the video suggests, but it would be a good idea if you don't trust the source of the soil. You don't want weed seeds or sewage sludge in your micro greens!
Parsley, Basil, Thyme, Oregano do well in smallish pots. Rosemary and Sage will need larger pots as they mature, or simply replace them when they get too big.
In heated homes during the winter, mist around the plants frequently, as dry air can lead to brown leaf tips and spider mites.
Fertilize once a month. If a little is good, a lot is not better! Herbs have the best flavor if you do not overfeed them.
Give plants a quarter turn weekly to expose all sides to the sun.
Snip off fresh herbs as needed, using sharp kitchen shears. Notice that many herb plants will send out multiple branches wherever you snip.
You can get a head start on your summer container garden by planting tomato and pepper seeds now. Start them in small pots, following the directions on the seed packet.
Later, as they get bigger, you will need to transplant them to larger pots or into the ground.
Tie loosely to a stake to support the plant as it grows taller.
Or why not grow your own Baby Carrots?
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