Are you an early spring indoor seed starter? I am not. Not that I wouldn’t like to be, but frankly I just don’t have the patience for the shenanigans I have to go through to do it successfully. I always get leggy, cat chewed, weaklings that seem highly un-worth the fact that I literally have to re-arrange the furniture to make an ideal spot for the whole effort.
But I love (and miss) the excitement of early spring and I hate that my practical decision means that I miss out on some of the more interesting plants available (particularly to us northerners) – those only available to the intrepid indoor seed starter. But this year I have an alternative plan and I am going to grow turmeric, ginger, rosemary and sage indoors.
Ok, so it’s not that exciting to plant herbs like Rosemary and Sage, but given my northern clime, my summer planted herbs never get very substantial – or at least not as substantial as I hope. Rosemary is arguably my favorite herb to cook with and no matter how many plants I buy, they are never big enough to provide the long skewer-like branches that I want for grilling. And I am constantly being cautious to not clip so much that I stunt the plant (I constantly go over the line). So I’ve rescued these plants that were languishing pathetically in my still empty local nursery and I am showering them with all the love and attention I can. I plan to give them a start that (hopefully) will ensure I have full-on shrubs by late July – I see this as the toddler adoption alternative to babying seedlings.
I’m using Garden Well Self-Watering Planters to make this all a bit easier. Each box (which is about the size of an average window box) has a base that you can fill with water and a wicking mat that will keep the soil in the container steadily moist. You water from the bottom and it can store enough to keep plants moist for a week.I’m also experimenting with growing Turmeric and Ginger. I’m trying two varieties of turmeric – one I bought in the grocery store and other was a gift from Kenny at Veggie Gardening Tips. The two are quite different and I am very curious to see how each performs. The grocery store variety is colored deep orange – as you might expect if you are familiar with turmeric. The other is nearly white – looking almost like ginger – and is a variety called White Mango, it was originally sourced here – but was grown on by Kenny and passed along to me.
He also gave me a stick (is that what you call it?) of Bubba Baba ginger that I also planted. (If you want to know more about growing these plants – here are the instructions…not hard…Kenny promises it is actually quite easy – provided the plants get adequate water – which is not something I am particularly fantastic with – but I’m thinking these containers will have my back).
I am excited to learn to cook with these plants later in the summer and I plan to experiment with not only the root but the leaves and flowers too. If all goes well, I might even transplant some of them into the garden as the lush leaves are also fairly ornamental.
The best part about this version of ‘seed ‘ starting is that everything is a bit more substantial. These containers are not enticing to the cat – there is no water or flimsy crinkling plastic within reach of his playful paws, the sides are tall enough that he doesn’t seem to see it as place to lay and I can easily set them in front of the heating duct to provide the warmth that they prefer (without fear of the warm air cooking them).
Wish me luck!
p.s. Here is a before shot – that sage won’t stay – it will go into the ground just as soon as it is warm enough leaving froom for my rosemary bushes. I’m looking forward to the ‘after’ in a few months!
Disclaimer: This post is sponsored by Berry Plastics – Maker of the Garden Well planter.
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