Sunday, February 26, 2012

Windowsill Herb Garden

Back in November (we had a really mild fall) I salvaged some herbs from the garden to bring inside throughout the winter. As an experiment, I also direct seeded some basil, thyme, oregano, and cilantro to see if it would grow inside in the winter.

Of all the direct seeded herbs, only the cilantro grew enough for me to use it (so far - the thyme and oregano are fighting). I harvested all of the cilantro on Wednesday night for a black bean chili recipe. It's already coming back!

I also salvaged two rosemary plants - one that was growing in a container, and one that was in a too-shady space next to the house. The plant from the container is thriving, while the plant from the ground is limping along. Check out all the new growth on the container plant:

The blog may be light on updates for awhile. I'll post about my onions sometime this week, but then I'm off to South by Southwest and I won't be starting any more seeds until March 17.

Wednesday, February 15, 2012

First Sprouts

I saw my first onion sprouts this morning. I thought I might have been hallucinating yesterday. When I checked the seed tray, I swore I smelled onions. Now that they have sprouted, I definitely do. Crazy!

The first to sprout was Sweet Spanish (3 days).

Sunday, February 12, 2012

Starting Onions, Leeks & Chives

The 2012 Gross Farms garden has officially started. Last year my onions starts were pretty sad. I meticulously put 1-2 seeds in each cell, over watered, failed to fertilize, and started them too late.

Hopefully this year will be different. According to the University of Wisconsin Extension planting calendar, onions should be started indoors on February 15, so I'm only a few days early. I planted each variety in one 4-inch pot instead of messing around with individual cells. Basically I followed the method in this video.

Here's what went into the pots:
  • One 2012 package of yellow sweet spanish onion (Pinetree Garden Seeds)
  • One 2012 package of red wing onion (Pinetree Garden Seeds)
  • Remainder of 2011 package of yellow of parma onion (Seed Savers Exchange)
  • Remainder of 2011 package of blue solaise leek (Seed Savers Exchange)
  • Remainder of 2010 package of Chinese garlic chives (Botanical Interests)
There's nothing very picturesque to photograph, but hopefully I'll have good news when they start to germinate.

This almost feels like a false start, since after this planting I wait four weeks until I start my next round of seeds.