Monday, December 23, 2013

It's a Splendid Sparkle Season Down on the BathroomFarm!

Probably no one else in the world thinks this is the perfect time of the year to start a garden. That's what makes indoor growing so unique. In the particular circumstances of my BathroomFarm, I can take advantage of the extra light from increasing sunlight flooding through my south-facing windows and the subsequent natural increase of daytime heating and nighttime cooling to create an optimum situation for my garden to grow. This is truly the ideal time for me to get a start on my new garden!

This is also the time of the year when the northern hemisphere celebrates the return of the sun and the renewal of life. So, on the solstice this year, I hung my minigreenhouses on the BathroomFarm wall with care with the hopes that my lush garden would soon be there! Too bad there's not a mythical being - or at least a roving band of benevolent garden gnomes - who will come and plant it for me. I got down and dirty and sowed seeds on Sparkle Season Sunday to get it going myself.

On the 2014 bucket list for the BathroomFarm is perfecting the art of growing food from food. I thought I'd start experimenting with potatoes since other people have had success growing them in all kinds of atypical situations. I don't have the space to stack tires in my bathroom, so I invented a "tater sack" from a wire hanger, severed tights leg, duct tape and safety pins! I can roll down more of the stocking and add dirt as the potatoes grow. Theoretically. Gosh. I really hope this works because I would like to have a stocking element in this holiday celebration in my garden.

I made some changes in my soil mix this year, too. I am using basic dollar store dirt amended with perlite (because I liked it better than vermiculite), worm poo, and sphagnum moss. Sphagnum moss is NOT sphagnum PEAT moss. It is the plant that eventually becomes peat moss which is mined and damages the environment. Sphagnum moss is renewable, grown and dried and has the same properties as the peat form. The only change is that I has to crunch it up into smaller pieces with my fingers to add it to my mix.

So I selected the seeds from my stash and soaked some of the larger ones to give them a little jumpstart and proceeded to plant my new crops. I transplanted some purple pepper seedlings I started awhile ago and planted my tater sack. I direct sowed radishes, carrots and collards into containers. My collards grow in pots on a chilly window sill and truly do love this time of the year! In my little greenhouses, I started mint, spoon X piccolo hybrid tomatoes, cherry tomatoes, yellow pear tomatoes, Minnesota midget melons, lemon cucumber, globe pepper, lettuce, cilantro, Swiss chard, and purple beans! I have discovered by trial and mostly error, that many of these container-grown plants like to be started and later transplanted instead of direct sown.

So here's to a Happy and Prosperous New Year, Y'all, from Down on the BathroomFarm as we nurture good things from the past and make room for everything new!

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