My New Year's resolution for 2012 was to get rid of my 'black thumb' and learn how to successfully grow vegetables. Not only did I succeed (mostly) I developed a passion for growing my own food. I started with a container garden of a few plants, then expanded to containers plus one raised bed garden when I moved to North Carolina.
I spent the last few winter months dreaming of spring and the plants I would grow. I studied the Burpee catalog over and over, making lists of what I wanted to grow vs what I could actually handle growing. I finally bought my seeds and started growing my little plants indoors under grow lights.
The idea of using grow lights was new to me. Even though my garden was successful last spring and fall, I am still a very new gardener and don't know much about what I am doing! I read up on grow lights and thought they sounded like a good idea, but I just don't really have room for a big fluorescent light. Then I read a blog somewhere about using desk lamps for grow lights. I couldn't find too much information, but as long as I wasn't growing a huge amount of seedlings it sounded like it would work.
I went to Lowes and bought clip on desk lamps with a maximum wattage the highest I could find- 60 watts. I bought some CFL bulbs in the 60W equivalent in Daylight. Once my seedlings had started to sprout, I took them out of the tray and into tiny containers (thanks to yogurt and frozen italian ices), turned on the lamps and crossed my fingers. The seedlings went from a pale yellow-green to a happy vibrant green and have been sprouting true leaves like crazy. Yay for happy plants!!
I've also been saving plastic bottles and containers for recycling into my garden. Milk jugs, soda bottles, yogurt containers, etc. All washed and trimmed and waiting for my happy plants. The last frost date is approaching and I'm getting very anxious about setting out my plants.
This year is all about tomatos, peppers, cucumbers, lettuce and herbs. Last year I had two cherry tomato plants, two jalapenos, chives and parsley and loved every single bite. This year will be (hopefully) 3 different types of tomatoes, 5 types of peppers, and about 8 types of herbs (I lost count!). Plus the usual carrots, beets, broccoli. Also new to me: peas, strawberries, kale, and kohlrabi. It is a new adventure! To all the gardeners out there: Happy
Cassie loves to knit, read and cook. She sometimes does all three at the same time.