I would say that I am moving on the slow track with my winter gardening, but I am moving, and learning as I go, so it’s just as well that I don’t move too fast.
On the deck, facing south, I have a pie safe with a mini-greenhouse cover that I ordered for it with approximately the right dimensions. This morning I was happy to see a few lettuce sprouts appear. Eventually, I will move them to the garden.
It’s hard to tell you how much pleasure I get from my indoor plants during winter. I like to drink coffee and watch the sunrise with them. This photo describes my feelings better than I can in words this morning.
I have finally accepted that a tomato is not going to grow in winter, not even in a greenhouse, without some extra hours of sunlight. I am down to one tomato starter that is still alive almost half way through December. I am determined for it stay alive, and also to get a few tomatoes from it! So I bought a grow light, my first one ever.
I’ve chosen a spot for my winter garden box. Today I cleared away the weeds and the marigold bushes that died with the frost last week. The brick wall of our house is facing south. It will absorb the heat during the day and help to retain the heat at night when needed. I also already have a drip hose running through there. I left the strawberries for now but I’ll probably move them because I plan to throw some more dirt on the area.
Mr. Nathan Vannette gave an information packed lecture about best practices here in the Upstate of South Carolina for keeping a garden going year round. Now, I have to confess I was a little disappointed, but that’s because I have a tomato growing in my kitchen right now, and I thought I was going to leave the class with what I needed to plant that baby and get some tomatoes this winter. Well, that turns out to be more fantasy than reality for now. That’s because Mr. Vannette ever-so-politely informed me that I would need a grow light to get any tomatoes at all, cuz there’s just not enough hours of light around here. A fully constructed greenhouse with a grow light is not in the cards right now, but maybe an LED light in my kitchen?
I don’t know if my plants in my greenhouse died because they got too dry in the daytime, or if it was because there’s a hole in the plastic at the bottom, or if there is too much air coming up from underneath the deck and I should seal that off, or if I should have watered them even more. I have got to learn the right moves.