The Basil, chili pepper, pumpkin, chives and parsley I started at the end of December are doing phenomenally well under the 3 grow lights I have. Some of the plants germinated in half the time the packets claimed. That little fact makes me feel very good about the future outlook of my garden.
It is extremely gratifying to watch the sprouts slowly peek their heads up above the soil and then burst into healthy green leaves. After a couple of weeks I will pull out the smaller and less healthy looking plants to make room for only the strongest. It is a necessary evil in gardening to clear out excess plants that are weak or taking up precious space and nutrients.
Over the weekend I worked on a handful of indoor garden tasks. I collected and dried strawberry seeds then planted them, along with 3 watermelon seeds and about 12 artichokes. Starting the strawberries and artichoke seeds now will allow them to have enough time to bloom and produce this year. Artichokes grow from a tap root so they will not appreciate transplanting so I started them in peat pellets to lighten the shock. As for the watermelons, they mature in about 100 days so I was probably being a little over zealous on starting those now but I wanted to experiment with a few to see how it went.
Gathering your own seeds can be simple and rewarding. Even though this task of removing strawberry seeds was slightly mundane it was still worth while. From what I hear strawberries are difficult to start as they prefer a period of cold prior to germinating. Lucky for me these strawberries were held in the fridge for some time and should prove to be ready for growing. If not I can reuse the containers after a good wash for another worthy plant. After the success I had with collecting my own pumpkin seeds I can’t help by try with other easily accessible produce. I will keep you posted on the progress of my miniature indoor garden.