Saturday, February 05, 2011

February Gardening

February is just the right time to think of plants. February through June. By July the magic has worn off and the drudgery in hot weather has set in. But February is the best month, the dreaming month, when gardening is all unicorns and butterflies, and when the short days are really grating on the nerves and anything green would be a welcome change.

February first was a blizzard and I was driving home in white out conditions. It had taken me an hour to drive 10 miles and I had another eleven to go. I just had to stop driving for a while. I'd also had an hour of snow to think and dream on this so I pulled into a Walmart and bought everything for an inside garden; a window box, dirt, a light, and some lettuce seeds.

I've always grown plants with them doing very well for about 8 months and then needing repotting and finally dieing after about two years. That was until I was given a small green Rubbermaid container of dirt. It was a special blend of 3 expensive dirt and my inside growing changed. It turns out my problems were all from inferiority dirt not a lack of care as I had thought.

I can't bring myself to pay the money to recreate that blend but now I do mix my cheap ass dirt with a tiny bit less cheap dirt.

I mix and I mix

and I mix some more
Rocks to keep my cheap ass dirt blend from clogging up the all important drainage holes.

I'm not a believer in transplanting when doing container gardens so I direct sowed into the growing pot. I'm also not a believer in treating them any different than any other house plant. No heating pad, no covering with paper, no coddling. I just deep water the first day and once a week after that.

But I am a believer in lights. I just found out this winter that the energy saver bulbs can be used to grow plants! The 23w=100w is the one I'm using on a 12 hour timer. The lettuce seeds sprouted on day 4 the spinach on day 5. That's a full 5 days sooner than the package said.

I'm so excited about this it's all I can do not to buy more flower boxes, more lights, more seeds, never mind that I don't have the space for them. Also, this set up cost the amount of 10 bags of lettuce and I can't believe that I'll be able to grow that much. I'm not even sure I can grow more than one salad worth. It doesn't matter. I'm such a fan of February gardening.

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