Saturday, April 12, 2008

Indoor Planting, Part Deux - The Reckoning

It is still wet, so all gardening is happening indoors.

Today, I finally got my shop lights set up. One sort of exploded and tripped the circuit breaker. Good thing I didn't wait until night to try this project out. So I now have one four-foot long light, which hums reassuringly when it's on. My cat enjoys lying on the shelf above it and purring with it, which is very cute.

For all of you without easy access to a car, extra cash, or a greenhouse, allow me to introduce you to the wonder that is Gladware. Pop your mini-peat pots in there, water, and you have a very portable, bus-friendly, water-proof, clear (so you can see the water levels), markable (for those seed names), and easily obtainable (people throw them out/leave them behind all the time) container. Using various plastic containers, I can fit 35 pots under my one light, which I think is quite adequate for now. In fact, it works out just about right.

Some of my seeds have gone walking, including my much-anticipated Georgia Flame pepper seeds and my fractal broccoli. I have no idea where they could be, but I hope they show up soon. I'm saving a couple pots for my Georgia Flames. (Come back!)

Also, Fedco sent me a pack of mixed heirloom tomato seeds. I love a good mystery, and so it's hard not to plant them. There are no clues as to what's in the mix - the website says "You’d love to be adventurous and try them all but you haven’t space for that many tomato plants? Or can’t make up your mind which ones to select? Here’s the solution: Skip the fuss and leave the choosing to us! We’ll mix together a bunch of varieties (all organically grown seed) in one packet. You’ll get different colors, sizes, shapes and flavors. All you’ll need is an open mind, a good sense of observation, unjaded taste buds and acute deductive faculties. Then you can figure out which ones you like and order them by name next year." I know this would drive some people nuts, but I love it, and appreciate the thought (what, not everyone wants to buy individual packs of every variety?). There are 31 varieties of heirloom tomatoes on their website, though, so you have to be a *really* good investigator. Or lucky.

Anyway, 35 pots is enough for: 1 eggplant of each variety, 2 Thai peppers, 1 each of other varieties, 2 tomatillos, 9 tomatos (I know, I know, but did you read the paragraph about mystery seeds?), a thyme, a rosemary, a lavender, a marjoram, 2 lemon balm (1 for the garden, 1 for the patio/indoors), 3 sweet basil, 2 thai basil, a mint (for the patio), and a couple empty pots for replants/rediscovered seeds. Not, as one garden book suggests, lettuce. (Hint: any plant you can consume in less than 3 weeks from planting goes outdoors.) Nor, I'm afraid, cabbage or broccoli. They'll just have to tough it out with the other plants.

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