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January 7, 2017

First off Happy New Year! I felt it worthwhile to provide an update now that we are starting the year fresh. January tends to mean that the days are going to start getting longer again. It is always nice to leave work when there is still some light out rather than pitch black darkness. That becomes so dreary. The other thing it means is that we are heading towards a few cold months and into spring. Let me tell you that in this Wisconsin weather, before starting the indoor garden, these months were rough! But enough about winter, here’s an update from my basement.

The indoor garden is starting to become quite green and I have been enjoying some fresh lettuce and arugula from time to time. Among friends it has earned the name “basement lettuce”, which they get a kick out of, but I assure you it tastes much better than it sounds. Nothing beats freshly grown, crisp lettuce as compared to store bought in the middle of a Wisconsin winter.

Of the current plants growing, here is the breakdown:

Mature

Young

Germinating

*Lettuce – 4 Varieties *Lettuce – 2 Varieties *Dwarf Tamarillo – 4
*Basil – 2 Plants *Mizuna – 2 Plants *Jimmy Nardello Pepper – 4
*Arugula – 2 Plants *Rosemary – 2 Plants *Lettuce – 4
*Mint – 1 Plant *Lacinato Kale – 4 Plants
*Cilantro – 1 Plant *Italian Parsley – 1
*Aloe Vera – 1 Plant
*Thyme – 1 Plant

Normally I would indicate what kind of lettuce the varieties are, but I purchased a mixed package back in the spring of last year and being that I haven’t grown all of the types before, I have no idea what some of them are. I do know that some of the varieties are Buttercrunch, Yugoslavian Buttercrunch, and Oakleaf.

I’m attempting to increase lettuce production for more consistent eating. Two plants work for a salad a week it seems, although six plants would be ideal. It’s necessary to also start new lettuce plants to replace those being eaten. It may be important to mention that my lettuce grown indoors does not get near as big as those grown outside in the main garden. This is most likely due to the fact that the sun is much more powerful than the CFL lights I’m using indoors. It may be worth experimenting with other types of lights to see if I can’t get a larger harvest.

I may start more plants yet if there is room, we will see. There is however, a spot open for a Dwarf Meyer Lemon tree. I think it would be fantastic to have fresh lemons, especially in a climate that is not suitable for growing them. I anticipate the indoor garden will make this a reality.

What do you have growing in your indoor garden this winter? Let me know in the comments below. If you don’t have an indoor garden, I encourage you to give it a try.

Until next time.


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About the Author

Geoff has been growing plants and vegetables consistently for the last 6 years and actively experiments with, and writes about, all aspects of gardening.

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