This past weekend, I was successful in getting our spring planting done. I decided to skip on starting from seed as I am not sure we have enough light in the house. Also, I have no idea how I would keep an indoor garden safe from very mischievous Booker.
I started with clearing out the dead leaves that had settled into our 2' x 5' elevated cedar planter. Then I moved onto inspecting my strawberry and kale plants. Both are annuals so I decided to keep them in the soil through winter and see if they would make it to another grow season. I didn't take any of the helpful steps such as cutting them back or adding straw to help them survive over the long, cold months but still 50% of them made it - 3 strawberries and 1 kale. I dug out the survivors and placed them to the side so that I could turn the soil. Last year, I filled our container with a combination of local topsoil from Route 66 Organics and Back to Nature Cotton Burr (read more about our choice of soils here). This year, I just added some compost from Bluebird (another local company) to give the soil a little nutritional pick me up.
After turning the soil, I got to planting. In addition to the 3 strawberries and 1 kale, I added 4 red leaf lettuces, 4 bibb leaf lettuces, 2 spinach and 4 kale plants. My spacing is a little tight (it is recommended that lettuces and spinach be 6" apart while kale has 12" of spacing) but I figure I can transplant if necessary. The kale plants are placed in the back row as they grow the tallest while the trailing and low growing spinach goes in front. My plan is to take from the inside, center lettuces first and work my way out. As it gets hot the lettuces will most likely die and I will replace them with tomato plants. I also did two 12" diameter pots with 2 lettuce plants each. All the plants are certified organic and were bought at our local garden shop.
The next step is to rig netting or sheeting over the garden to keep animals out and some extra heat in. Jeff was talking to a neighbor and he recommended a set up something like the images below which we might try. Stay tuned!