Winter Recession Garden

Today is day one of my Winter Recession Garden.

I have left over seeds from summer, which are still viable so I will not be buying any seeds at this time. Fresh seeds also do not hit the stores until later February or March in my zone 5 climate.

Tip: Order your seeds from catalogs as soon as possible. I always enjoy ordering seeds when he snow is falling and is too cold to want to be outdoors

Today I am organizing my seeds and cleaning my potting containers and raised bed containers.

I clean my pots in a mild bleach and warm water then I also use dish soap for one more cleaning. I let the pots air dry. If there is any staining on the pots I use either red cider vinegar or baking soda to remove it. I want to make sure any dirt or bacteria is not on the pots.

I will also be building indoor raised beds for starting seeds this year. I am using old drawers from vintage dressers that were about to be tossed. I will need to line the drawers to make sure hat if the wood was treated any chemicals will not affect the soil. The drawers do not looked treated and are very old, but I will take the added precaution anyways.

I will need to drill drainage holes in the drawers and make sure the soil drains well. Directions will follow for this project in a few days.

Next I will check my soil. I use a mix of compost and sterilized soil mix but you may want to use just a soilless potting mix. If I feel I might have a soil mildew problem or if I am concerned about my lighting I use a soilless potting mix.

This year I have a strong natural lighting and will use a few watering tricks that have halted any mildew or soggy soil problems.

Once my soil and pots are prepared I will take stalk of my planting area. Its still cold here in NW PA and if I heat the greenhouse it will cost a lot. So this year I am using the basement apartment to grow my garden. The basement was severely damaged in flooding this summer so it’s the perfect place to use this winter as its just sitting there waiting to be redone.

I have two wonderful windows with natural lighting that I will sit my seedling by. And believe it or not, I have a small portable mini greenhouse that I plan to set up by the one window that has a draft to protect the plants and add more heat to the area. This area will be for plants that want more heat like tomatoes and peppers. Leafy greens will do just fine by the other window.

And to make better use of my lighting, my plants will be placed vertically by the windows. The dresser drawer raised beds will be used in the mini greenhouse and pots will be placed on glass shelves I am making for the windows or in hanging pots and baskets.

So now that I have a plan in place and my seeds set aside, its time to get busy.

And as expected, greens can be easily grown in the winter along with herbs, a few edible flowers, onions and garlic. But I am also growing tomatoes, a few bean plants, peppers, and I am trying a few cucumber plants. A few of these plans will need hand pollinated but its winter and I am trying to distract myself from the snow that is falling and covering the ground.

My next post will tell how to create the dresser drawer raised beds and how to make a warmer climate area in your home, particularly if you have limited space

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