Thursday, February 05, 2009

Indoor Gardening 2

Before starting into the spring catalogs, I want to mention indoor gardens. All of my windowsills, clever of the builders to make them of marble, have little gardens on them. Newer houses have no window sills, will need window high tables. I have sage in the kitchen, handy for Thanksgiving. Geraniums, scented but names forgotten, so many years have they been with me, dominate, some bloom salmon all winter. Misshapen Norfolk Island Pine struggle, get decorated at holiday time. Aloe, Christmas cactus and coleus, Kalenkahoe and various other sedum of zone 9 tenderness as well as carasula (starts easily and makes a good base along with baby’s tears) all come in from their summer vacation. Many of these were rooted last fall in jars full of water, stems cut from outside pots when the winds begin to blow cold. A few of my windows have curtains, but most of them have a curtain of green plants.

Impatiens bloom all winter inside and are easy root. They are not native and I don’t buy a lot of them as bedding plant annuals, but keep a few around, as they are reliable bloomers in winter, along with geraniums.

I also like to raise cacti and desert plants like saguaro from seed. They don’t really like the amount of sun they get here and don’t grow as fast in my northern location as they would in the desert. I left them on the unheated porch one year and wiped out ten years of saguaro. I want to raise them until they are large enough to take to the Southwest, where friend’s zeriscapes will find room for them. I love saguaros and that is the reason for the room I leave for them, just love.

On the unheated porch broccoli and chives from the summer garden grow, greens and other plants too will survive a zone 7 (Maybe 6) climate.

Potatoes that have sprouted in the cupboard have been tucked into pots. Soon it will be warm enough to put them on the porch in larger pots. Little blue ones are the most cold hardy, followed closely by red skins. Fingering potatoes snatched from garbage can gardens outside in the fall await the middle of February when the world seems to awaken. I have soil waiting in the garage, will bring it in for them. Soon it will be time to plant peppers under lights.

I put wheat and rye seeds in some pots my cat can reach. My cat is old and appalled at the cold when she sniffs at the door. She likes catnip. In warmer times she will find sprigs of tasty greens in the garden. In winter, when snow covers the ground, she appreciates wheat grass.


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