Today I moved my tender tomato starters into pots and put them under a grow light in my kitchen window. I’ve done all that I can do for them. Now I’ll have to see if it was enough to get back some love.
I also put my lettuce starters in one of my “salad bowls” in the mini-greenhouse on our south facing deck. I covered them with, appropriately, a salad bowl inside the greenhouse, because it’s supposed to freeze tonight.
So far my winter tomato romance has all been in my head. I would probably tell someone else to eat seasonally; enjoy tomatoes in summer. But I am infatuated with the idea of fresh, tasty tomato with our dinner salad. Despite the negative feedback, I have not given up. I am still doing what I can to cultivate a relationship between me and my heirloom tomatoes that’s more than a summer romance.
I am still amazed by the humble seed. It is mind boggling to me how a tiny tomato seed can become a vine with pounds of produce hanging from its extended branches. I know it’s only January, but I am getting an early start this year. One reason I am starting early is that I don’t have many flowers in my deck pots right now. I want to fill them with cheerful winter hardy flowers. Why do people call people pansies when they want to say that they are weak? Pansies might look weak, but they are hardy. Last week I said I had bought all my seeds for the year. I guess I lied. I spent another seven bucks on pretty flowers….
While people in the world are creating anxiety for more people everywhere that there will be more war, I am still planning for my future garden as if spring will still come and plants will grow and life will go on. If only everyone could just plan a spring garden instead of conflict and conflagration.
Recently, I started a local homesteading group on NextDoor. My goal is to connect with and learn from other people gardening in the same conditions that I am. I can tell you that in the couple of weeks that the group has existed, I have learned new things already. I asked the group what winter gardening they were doing. A member told me that she wanted to enlarge her Back to Eden garden. I didn’t know what she meant by that. She explained that she had to do very little weeding or watering, and she had learned how to do it by watching YouTube videos. So, intrigued, I did a little research of my own.
One day I would like to have a nice box, maybe with a used window on hinges for a lid, nestled right up against the brick wall of the house. But this winter I am happy with my hoops, a sheet of agribon, and some old planks and bricks. I thought that three hoops might be enough for one row, but that turned out not to be stable enough in the wind. So if I want to do another row I’ll have to find some more hoops.
While stepping on carefully placed stones on an errand in the garden of my hours, my eyes scour either side of the path, spotting weeds and winter chores waiting for me. Sometimes a surprise, like strawberry flowers for Christmas.
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.