Tuesday Talk: The Mid-Winter Blues and Indoor Garden Project

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Lately I’ve been seeing posts on Facebook about spring, but in the Colorado mountains we are only about halfway through our winter season. I truly enjoy the winter here; we have loads of beautiful snow for snowboarding, cross-country skiing, and snowshoeing. We stay busy with lots of family visitors in our home, who usually come with armloads of delicious food and wine. And, for the most part, there’s plenty of days of sunshine, even in the dead of winter here.

Still, I have the mid-winter blues. The same thing happened last year. It seems I perpetually have a cold and am feeling run down. It appears that everything outside is dead, covered in frozen white. I almost forget how green the mountains will be in a few months. Basically, it’s the time of year when I crave life…and a color other than white. One solution is to keep getting outside. Another is to buy bouquets of colorful flowers for the house. Yet another is to do things that temporary make me feel like it’s not winter, like grilling on the deck.

My new solution this year: an indoor garden!

Alex and I have kind of tried to garden indoors for the past year or so. We’ve started veggie and herb seeds, built a hydroponics system (which we never used), and, most recently, Alex built a shelving unit that houses a large grow light and a platform for plants.

Our shelving unit for indoor gardening. Pretty sparse now, with only some basil, mint, and friendship ferns, but I'm hoping it will soon be transformed into a thriving garden!

Our shelving unit for indoor gardening. Pretty sparse now, with only some basil, mint, and friendship ferns, but I’m hoping it will soon be transformed into a thriving garden!

I decided last night to have a go at indoor gardening once again. I think that nurturing life out of seeds will help my mid-winter blues. Plus, an indoor garden goes with my dream of being able to grow a lot of our own food, which I am currently not very successful at. This will be a way for me to experiment with starting veggies and herbs from seed and keeping them alive until they’re big enough to eat! That’s the kicker!

So, step one for the indoor garden project is research and planning. I need to figure out:

– What kind of seeds do I want to plant and what do they all need?

– Where should I order them from? Do I want to go with all organic, non-GMO seeds?

– What tools do I need to effectively start our plants from seed? This includes figuring out what containers to start them in, what soil to use, what temperature to keep the room at, how close to put our grow light.

– How many plants can I realistically grow on the platform we have in our shelving unit?

The research started today. Here’s a great article on seed starting from Empress of Dirt. Here are some creative ideas on recycling household stuff into garden containers. I especially like the idea of using old juice and milk cartons to plant in.

Check back in to see how it’s going, and if you have any tips on seed starting and indoor gardening, I would LOVE to hear them!

A little inspiration:

Courtesy of apartmenttherapy.com

Courtesy of apartmenttherapy.com

The ECOGRO Herb Barn by ECOGRO on etsy.com

The ECOGRO Herb Barn by ECOGRO on etsy.com

 

Wow. This is awesome.  The Kitchen Nano Garden.

Wow. This is awesome. The Kitchen Nano Garden.

 

And I wouldn't mind if my house looked like this someday, full of wild, unruly plants and fall foliage.

And I wouldn’t mind if my house looked like this someday, full of wild, unruly plants and fall foliage.

 

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