It may not be the coldest March on record, but it’s starting to feel like the longest. At least here in Wisconsin, where I haven’t seen the grass since February. And the sun, haven’t seen much of that either.
But I can’t complain too much. You see, despite frightful cold and lingering snow, I’ve been gardening. Not outside like last year, when record warmth allowed peas and radishes to go in the ground in March. No, this year I’ve got a basement garden up and running.
I started it back in January so that I could grow wheatgrass for juicing. That was so successful that I thought I might expand into lettuces. Success again! And now that it’s March I have my garden starts growing under the lights too.
I’m having so much fun experimenting with this. My setup is simple–two grow lights hung from the rafters and heat mats below. The lights are on a timer system, so they come on and shut off automatically. I just have to make sure everything has enough water.
You should know that I have no idea what I’m doing, I’ve never done this before and I did basically no research before setting it up. But it’s working! And I’m pretty excited about it.
Last week I enjoyed my first salad from the basement and today I had another for my dinner. Because I planted a whole tray of “cut and come again” leaf lettuce, I’ll get to enjoy 3 or 4 more salads at least. And by the time I eat the last salad, I should be able to do some potted lettuces outside. In fact, the spinach that I overwintered will likely be producing by then. (Fingers crossed!)
I have also started some herbs with the intent of growing them in a pot in the house. In addition to that, my kids planted some peas in take out containers so that we can add pea shoots to our salads.
I’m not going to let this miserably cold weather stop me from enjoying my hobby. I’ve just had to find different ways to grow while I wait out winter.