Tuesday, August 22, 2017

Winter Growth.

Basil, Herbs, Green, Mediterranean I live in a place where the winter either kills plants or sends them into a long hibernation until spring.  Unfortunately, many herbs that can winter in warmer climates do not survive here.

There are other places in this country suffering from the same problems.  I am aware of places where winter is the optimal time to grow cool weather plants but not up here.

There are ways to continue growing greens or to start growing them over the winter.  My favorite way is to grow sprouts.  I invested in a stack-able set so I can grow a variety of sprouts but all you really need is a few jars and an old stocking.

Place a tablespoon or two in a jar, cover with water, soak for 8 to 12 hours, drain, and set on the counter in a corner.  Rinse and drain morning and night.  In a few days, they will be ready.  As you begin using the sprouts, start another batch so you have a continuous supply.

Did you ever think of growing micro greens?  Micro greens are young plants such as kale or lettuce.  You can use aluminum trays you get with frozen dinners such as family sized lasagna or bread pans.  Put about two to three inches of soil in the pan.  Be sure you poked a couple holes for drainage.  Sow seeds over the soil, cover with a bit of soil, then water gently.  Water as the soil needs it and watch the greens sprout and grow.  When the plants are about 3 inches tall and look more mature, you can harvest for a salad or stir fry. 

Don't forget to start some herbs over the winter so you have fresh herbs to cook with.  I usually use a recycled aluminum tray or a window box I have from the summer.   I often plant my herbs in window boxes so I can bring them in over the winter but sometimes I like starting basil and other annual herbs over the winter for a new crop.

The thing to remember is to place the plants in a place with good lighting so they continue to grow.  If you are not careful, plants might get leggy or their growth might slow down so they appear as if they have quit growing.  It is possible to grow other plants such as tomatoes and peppers but they need to be in a container and they must be exposed to the proper amount of light.  It is harder in Alaska to do this without artificial light so I concentrate mostly on greens.

I hope you give this a try.  I started my first batch of spouts over the weekend.  Have  great day and enjoy.

No comments:

Post a Comment