Maybe all new gardeners are as anxious as I am to get started. Maybe they all look at the approaching first frost date and say “I can outsmart nature”. Maybe not. Either way, Patti Moreno made me do it.
I have been watching a lot of the Patti Moreno, Garden Girl videos to learn about her version of Square Foot Gardening. In one episode she turns a sun room in her home into a nursery for her plant starts for spring with shelving and fluorescent fixtures and full spectrum grow lights. It was late October and I knew that I would want to get a head start on spring so I created a couple of grow shelves in my basement in front of a southern exposure window with the bulbs that Patti recommended and a timer. Besides, I still have those 3 basil plants that I purchased from the Farmer’s Market this summer that I would like to keep going for as long as possible into the winter months as well as two rosemary varieties and an oregano.
I waited one week.
On November 5th I could wait no more (I already mentioned that Patti made me do it, right?). I knew that spinach and lettuce are cool weather plants and my basement stays just below 70 degrees. I had already received my order of Baker Creek Heirloom Seeds for my spring plantings and thought “why not see what happens?”.
I planted 3 varieties of heirloom lettuce and 2 varieties of heirloom spinach. The goal is to be able to cut off a couple of leaves of the still growing plants to enjoy some fresh greens between now and when the real plantings happen next growing season.
Less than 2 weeks later I have little lettuce and spinach starts in my secret garden. I hope that in another few weeks I will be able to begin harvesting leaves. I have another set of grow containers ready to go to get more started when I begin harvesting from this first run. I hope to continue this cycle until the Farmer’s Markets reopen in May.