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Tuesday, January 11, 2011

Winter indoor garden

We have snow outside but we are growing crops inside! We had heard you can start lettuce and grow it under incandescent lights so we decided to do an experiment. We got a plastic container and filled it with our growing soil that we make. We put in some lettuce and . . .

The lettuce is growing. We keep the lights on longer than the sunshine would be. This is just in our basement and it's growing slow because it's not heated, but also it's not freezing and probably around 60. I am hopeful that when it's too hot in the summer that we can grow lettuce indoors.

Believe it or not, now is the time to start seeds for many things that will be able to be placed outdoors in the garden in about 8 weeks. We bought some grow lights and made a seedling box to start about 100 plants of broccoli, lettuce, cauliflower, collards, cabbage, Brussels sprouts and some tomato plants for the greenhouse and the others to put both in the greenhouse and in a protected bed.

We have plastic over the top until the seeds sprout (7-10 days) to keep a moist, humid environment. We have a heat pad underneath to help keep them warmer. I have put these in a south facing window for sunny days! We made our own pots out of newspaper rolling them with a prescription bottle. The newspaper pots and our soil work the best of anything we have tried. You can just put the newspaper straight into your pots or garden to you don't disrupt the new roots. You don't want to use shiny paper but the regular newspaper print ink is made from soy so it's biodegradable.

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