winter sowing. (or, the lazy gardener's guide to crossing your fingers and hoping for the best.)

if you've read my blog for a while, you know that i have tried starting vegetable seeds indoors with the hope of transplanting them once the weather warms up enough to garden.  i get antsy in the spring to get something, anything growing (not just because i'm a Crazy Plant Lady - which i am, but also because winter makes me feel dead inside and little tiny seedlings give me hope that i'm not just a black hole of emotion).

(the above photos were from 2011.  sorry for the grainy-ness and tiny-ness.)

but i have never had an indoor-sown seedling make it through the shock of transplanting.  i do everything i can: i coddle those things with grow lights and hardening off and all that jazz, but they always die as soon as they sense that they're all alone in the great, big world garden.  (and i'm not going to even go into the curses i've called down from heaven on the neighbor's garden, which was tilled with hog manure, and directly into the soil of which she planted tomato seeds.  and they grew and produced and were lovely and awesome.  and i was bitterly bitter.)

(my ambitious and utterly failed attempt at indoor seedlings in 2012.)

this year i was just planning on buying seedlings at the nursery and calling it good.  but then march rolled around and the nursery didn't have anything in that could be planted and i came across this crazy-pants idea on pinterest that i could stick some seeds in a milk jug (which basically serves as a mini-greenhouse) and set it outside and expect plants to grow.  like, onion seeds and stuff can be set out as early as january.  the jugs can get covered with snow and freeze solid and everything and you still get plants out of the deal.  what?!

not only that, but apparently they're hardier since they've gone through weather fluctuations and varying amounts of sunlight and whatever.  so they don't come with the 'teenage miss piggy' level of drama and babying that other seedlings do.

so i figured i have nothing to lose in trying, right?  i still have leftover seed packets in my freezer from all those sad, lost years, and i have some potting soil.  (another bonus with this method: you don't have to use the crazy-expensive seed-starting mix; you just use normal potting soil.)  i didn't have milk jugs, since the milk we buy comes in the opaque jugs and you need something more transparent so the sunlight can get through.  so i jimmy-rigged some two-liters from the recycling bin and am hoping those work.

i had atticus help me plant the seeds again this year.  penelope helped me to label the bottles.  i tied a ribbon around the bottles to (hopefully) keep them from blowing over or away in the wind.

so far, i've planted four types of tomato (beefsteak, bonny best, chadwick cherry, and amish paste) and two types of pepper (red bell and jalapeno).  i'm hoping to find enough jugs or bottles to allow me to experiment with a few more types of peppers, as well as some other kinds of vegetables and even some herbs.  no harm in trying, right?

anyone else getting ready for gardening?

1 comment :

todd said...

Teenage Miss Piggy is the best word picture I have ever heard in my entire life!

Also, it’s not a crazy-pants idea. It’s a crazy-plants idea!

You’re welcome!