Posts Tagged ‘Indoor Garden’

Garden Update: First Frost and the Indoor Garden

Thursday morning brought our first frost, about one month later than average. Seeing the forecast, I harvested the last of the tender things from outside — nasturtium flowers, peppers — and brought plant friends like geraniums, pineapple sage and several more indoors for the winter.

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As temperatures drop, Continue reading

Garden Update: The Secret Garden

While everything outside has been tucked away under mulch, cold frames and/or AGRIBON row covers, the secret garden indoors looks lush and smells intoxicating and sweet:

The blossoms on this Meyer Lemon Tree perfume the air, while the pink geranium continues to bloom indoors. We ate the ripe lemon yesterday amidst snow and temps in the teens.

The blossoms on this Meyer Lemon Tree perfume the air, while the pink geranium continues to bloom indoors. We ate the ripe lemon yesterday amidst snow and temps in the teens.

Fairy tale pumpkins continue to ripen in various stages. These take a long time to grow, but the flavor and texture are superb!

Fairy tale pumpkins continue to ripen in various stages. These take a long time to grow, but the flavor and texture are superb!

The Christmas cactus got relocated for the season, so Mr. Meyer Lemon could hang out by the south facing window.

The Christmas cactus got relocated for the season, so Mr. Meyer Lemon could hang out by the south facing window.

The cold hardy avocado tree came indoors when temps dipped below twenty degrees F.

The cold hardy avocado tree came indoors when temps dipped below twenty degrees F.

Cuttings from tree collards and pineapple sage keep company with this year's lone red geranium.

Cuttings from tree collards and pineapple sage keep company with this year’s lone red geranium.

I found this indoor herb kit for $1.00 at Goodwill. When I unpacked it yesterday, it offered seeds from 1989! I planted some newer basil seeds, but need to add more soil than what came in the kit before I can plant anything else.

I found this indoor herb kit for $1.00 at Goodwill. When I unpacked it yesterday, it offered seeds from 1989! I planted some newer basil seeds, but need to add more soil than what came in the kit before I can plant anything else.

The ivy anchors the living room, as trees, cacti, jade and other plants cocoon this room in green for the winter.

The ivy anchors the living room, as trees, cacti, jade and other plants cocoon this room in green for the winter.

The Secret Garden, indeed!

The Secret Garden, indeed!

Flowers in December

My very merry Christmas cactus ... happy for lengthening days

My very merry Christmas cactus … happy for lengthening days

Bringing the Garden Indoors

Several people have inquired if I’m growing any food indoors this year. Initially, my answer was, “No! I burned out on deadheading last winter’s basil. Every. Single. Day.” In the past few weeks, though, I’ve reconsidered, taking cuttings of some favorite non-cold-hardy plants like pineapple sage:

pineapple sage

I also brought in the terra cotta pots of pink geranium and lemon balm, as well as starting another lemon balm in a small pot:

lemonbalm

In the above photo, you can also see our Christmas cactus (from my friend Sherri’s grandmother) getting ready to bloom, and thriving jade and aloe plants that I got through freecycle.org. To the right, you can see just the tiniest bit of a very happy spider plant started by David’s sister.

Because my red geraniums helped so well with garden bug control, I decided to rescue a few of them from the brutal cold:

red geraniums

We’ve got dried mint for smoothies and teas (plus a whole bunch of other dried herbs not pictured):

mint for tea

It is so cold outside right now (hasn’t gotten above freezing in many days!) that I’ve not ventured out to check on the cold frame. In retrospect, I wish I had located that bed just a bit further back so that it would get morning sunshine. My uncovered plants on the East side of the house actually look happier than even the covered ones out back, because they get sunshine at the coldest part of the day — early morning. Oh, well! I trust at least some of my cold hardier plants will survive this week’s deep freeze. In the meantime, we’ve enjoyed meals featuring dried and then rehydrated tree collards from this Fall:

tree collards and dried tomatoes

A quart (half this jar) has provided us with ample greens for 5 different meals featuring tree collards, which taste like an intriguing cross between collards and kale with just a hint of purple cabbage. They’re great in stir fries, “beanie greenies,” soups and even in scrambled eggs. Above, you can also see some of the many tomatoes I dehydrated, beginning in late July when our supply went through the roof! We even still have some German Yellow Tomatoes ripening inside:

yellow tomatoes

At last week’s cold frame workshop, someone reminded me that cilantro and arugula grow well indoors, so I will plant a few seeds of each in small pots once it gets a bit warmer in our garage. The thought of 9 degree planting efforts just doesn’t feel very enticing right now. [Update: oh, my goodness! Make that 3 degrees.] Planting in single digits is about as enticing as redistributing the rest of the mulch in our driveway, which I had reallllly hoped to have finished by the holidays. Excuse me, Mama Nature, I’d like to order a string of high forties days with a side of sunshine. Hold the wind, please and thank you!