Tuesday, March 5, 2013

Gardening Bug

My gardening bug has me again.  This season is a new zone for me, and a new (quite a bit smaller) garden in containers. I've been researching and learning a lot of things from scratch. I'm going from a supposed 5B (I always planted sooner than recommended) to 7A.  The last frost dates, however, indicate a later last frost date here in Alexandria than in St. Louis. Besides those differences, everything is in containers, and has its own microclimate being that I'm 9 stories up, and actually tucked away from much, if any, wind.

My lettuce, spinach, and green onions have all overwintered well on the balcony.  I frequently run out for a few clippings of spinach and scallions to add to my morning omelet.  I gave most of the lettuce a good trim a week or so ago to clean out the burnt leaves, but all of the plants seem to be putting out plenty of growth.

My Aerogarden is in full swing again. It's about time to harvest some lettuce! I am growing three kinds of lettuce, two basil plants, and a strawberry plant in my Aerogarden right now. I found an excellent Thai recipe for Red Coconut Curry, and it uses a lot of basil. I have never had much of a use for the basil I've grown, but the $2.49 I've been spending on a small container for this recipe meant that basil was a priority for the Aerogarden planting!

Here is a lone lettuce seedling I pulled from the Aerogarden when I bought some strawberry plants, and decided to try one out.  I couldn't bear to just trash this, so I'll eventually transplant it outside.

Planted so far, I've got radish, spinach, lettuce, and snow peas. I also grabbed a few strawberry plants from Home Depot this weekend, and I'm trying my hand at some wintersowing.  I decided that since my apartment doesn't really allow for the room to have my full light set up (nor plant many tomatoes/peppers), I'd go this route with a few varieties.  I ordered a few plants from Henry Fields, (and will have to share some of those even!) but decided back up plants never hurt.  I threw in some jalapeño, Green Zebra tomatoes, marigolds, Sweet 100 cherry tomatoes, and some saved Cherokee Purple seeds that came from a tomato I got from seed given to me by Jeff at Our Engineered Garden.   All of those seeds went into a divided gallon milk jug and a water bottle, and now they're just waiting.  We'll see how they do! I like the idea of not really having to harden the seedlings off when the time comes.

Well, this post has gotten wordier than planned, so that's all for now. 


  1. Megan, I have the Aerogrden also, and I'm gonna take out the top part where the holes are and just put dirt in mine and grow my kitchen herbs! Hope it works :-)

  2. Karen- I'm sure it would work, but the benefits of using it as a hydroponic setup let's your plants grow really fast! I'm growing basil in mine now! :) It's nice to have the lights timed for you though!