Friday, January 16, 2009

Bitter cold

It is bitter cold outside at -12 degrees. It is simply too cold to go outside. Schools in our area are closed because it is so dangerous for the kids to stand at the bus stop. I had both of my 4 year old grandkids over yesterday. It was a lot of fun but today I am moving a little slower. Jordan spent the night and I was supposed to drive her to school but since it is now closed, it looks like we have to find something else to keep us occupied today.

I received a surprise from Patti, the Garden Girl, in the mail yesterday. She sent me a wonderful assortment of heirloom seeds from her Baker Creek collection. Jordan and I are going to grow a few of the golden beets so we can eat the tops in our salads. The lettuce we started last week is growing well under lights in the basement. If I wanted to be really fancy, it is at the perfect stage to be considered a micro salad. Since I am not in a 5 star restaurant, I think I'll let it get a little larger for my salads.

The lettuce is growing under the simple light set up I have which cost under $20. It is great for growing salad greens in the winter and starts for next season's garden. I am saving up for another shop light so I can grow more this year. The gardens need to expand in order to grow the ever expanding number of vegetables I plan on trying this year.

Well, I need to go since Jordan wants to plant those beets. Hope you can come back soon to join us in My Little Corner of the World. Kim


Garden Green said...

Nice set up you have there with your lettuce! It's nice to have fresh veggies even when it's -12 outside!

zillalatte said...

I see what you ment with the lights. I hope to have this simple design too, thanks kellie

Chris said...

Hi Kim, I just discovered your blog and love it! You are growing the garden I dream of. I got such a late start this year (zone 5B) that I will not have the melons I wanted, but anyway... I plan to use grow lights in the basement next winter for greens and early starting. What kind of bulb do you use, regular or full-spectrum? How much does the electricity cost you? What kind of plastic on the hoop house and how is it attached? I didn't understand about the side opening. I ate lots of sprouts this winter but would've loved some decent lettuce to go with them! Like you I don't care for radishes but love the sprouts. When I mistakenly bought lentils, which I hate, I tried sprouting them and they're very tasty too. How is your husband doing? I hope he gets that transplant very soon.

Chris in New England

Kim said...

Hi Chris, thanks for visiting.

Well I'll try to answer your for the grow lights, I used the regular "white" light ones with a plant and aquarium light. I don't think I will use the plant and aquarium light again due to the expense but will use a cool white and regular bulb as I did with my 3rd light (which I added in early spring for all the tomatoes). I didn't notice any real difference in the electrical cost at all so I would say maybe 1-2 dollars a month. The plastic on the hoop house was a roll of plastic that was 10'x25' and was 6 mil (I think but could have been 4 mil). It wasn't totally transparant but the plants didn't seem to mind. I duct taped another piece of pvc pipe to the side and then rolled it up to open the long side instead of the ends. I held it open with a couple of my husbands clamps. My husband is doing ok, still puttering around the house and yard but gets tired pretty easy and sleeps between 10-14 hours a day. Thanks for asking.

LMK if you have any more questions. Kim