Sunday, October 26, 2014

Indoor Gardening (and Homemade Potting Soil!)

Remember when I told you about how we were doing Winter Gardening this year? WELL... we've been doing lots of stuff to get ready! One of the things we've been doing is setting up an indoor garden area in our basement. We plan to try indoor potatoes (again) as well as growing a variety of greens. We also plan to use this area to start seeds for next year's crop in the late winter/early spring. We haven't actually planted anything yet, but I do want to share a little "sneak peak" at how it's coming along. Before I show you pictures, though, I do want to issue a warning. These are not "Pinterest Worthy" pictures. This area is not pretty. It is functional, but not pretty. We are using stuff we have, so things are not all matchy and nice.
We purchased a grow light at Home Depot, to provide adequate light.
The orange buckets on either side of the desk will be used for potatoes,
and the plastic tub on top will be for growing greens. Inside the
 desk, we have a plastic bin in which seeds and such are stored.
  Under the desk,we have a watering can, and a big bucket of potting soil.

Inside the seed storage bin: seeds, markers, peat pots, trowel.


We chose this location, as it's a spot we can block off from the cats, who view all such things as there personal playground. We have a small finished area of our basement which contains a TV room and a small kitchen area, which seemed a nice, out-of-the-way location which is still easily accessible.

About our bucket of potting soil...  I knew I'd be using a lot this year, since I plan to do lots of container gardening, so I started looking into ways to save some cash on potting soil. I found out that it's actually really easy to make your own, and way cheaper than the stuff you buy pre-mixed. I measured my ingredients with an old almond milk carton and mixed it up in the bucket. Here is the recipe I used:

1-1/2 gallons peat moss
1/2 gallon perlite
1/2 gallon manure or compost
1 cup sand
3/4 cup organic fertilizer

This makes about half a bucket of soil. You can double the recipe, but I find it easier to mix in smaller batches, so I mixed up one batch, then another, then put them together.

This is sort of a basic, all-purpose potting soil. If you want to get really fancy, you can find a lot of other recipes which are good for specific planting purposes such as seed starting or for particular plants.

I am hoping to get things planted this coming week, and will update. If anyone else out there is trying winter gardening, I'd love to here your experiences!

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