Mar. 16th, 2012

laceblade: Mitsuki of Kyoukai no Kanata anime, in school uniform, looking at viewer, uneasy (K-On: Azusa + flower)
Wisconsin typically has a late date for "last-frost," so I haven't planted anything yet, with the exception of micro-greens.

I planted these in a fit of rage last Thursday, loosely following this blog post as a guide.
My containers were plastic ~5x5" take-out containers from the hospital cafeteria I frequent while at work. I cut each clamshell in half, and used the top-half to catch water.
I created 5 holes in each bottom by repeatedly shoving a nail through them.
Filled the holey half of the container with dirt after setting it into the "water collection" half. Attempted to evenly distribute the entire seed packet on the dirt, and then sprinkled dirt on top of the seeds.

I used two different types of lettuce/greens seed, one entire packet in each one. I had bought the seeds on sale at Farm & Fleet.
The packet of Japanese greens had 1g of seeds. These looked kind of sparse when fully grown.
The packet of lettuce had 3g of seeds. These filled the entire container until it looked overflowing when fully grown.
I watered the trays every day, and set them in front of my sunny window/door.
I saw tiny sprouts beginning on Monday. I harvested for the first time Thursday morning, although I probably could have done so on Wednesday.

This was a great thing for me to do as a beginner because the effort was minimal, and the gratification was almost instant.
If you're impatient to start growing things and live somewhere with a late last-frost date like me, I recommend them!

I ate some on a half-sandwich today, and I'm sure they'd go fine in a salad. Unsure what else a person would use microgreens for.
Our co-op sells sprouts year-round, which I have bought & eaten in the past. I think they cost about $4, although I can't remember. Assuming a packet of seeds would cost $2 at the upper-end, growing these myself saves me $2 from the store.
I guess it would make the most sense to start one container, and then start a second container a week later, when you begin harvesting from the first container. Then, the supply would be endless! Of course, if you tire of foods easily, that might not be recommended.



Other plant progress:
It's been unseasonably warm here this past week. Each afternoon, it gets up around 80 degrees.
I've begun the process of "hardening off" the potted plants I already own: a spider plant, African violet, a weak-looking but stubborn ivy, and some Irish moss.
It's too cold to set the plants out in the mornings (~45 degrees), but I set them out as soon as I get home from work, and leave them in 75-degree weather for 3-4 hours. The spider plant especially seems to like this, and I think I'm having some success in reviving the African violet. I've been trying to be better about watering them. It's easier to remember since the sprouts have to be watered each day.

Etc.
I have no furniture for my deck, so for now these relatively small plants just get set on the floor of the balcony.
What do you guys set your plants on outside? Plastic furniture? Tables, or some kind of shelves? Where do you buy them? What are they made out of?

I'd like something to set plants on indoors, too. Right now the microgreens/etc. just get set on the floor in front of my window/door. I'd prefer them on some kind of shelf so that it's easier to clean (vacuum up spilled dirt granules). I've had my eye out for such a shelf for a while now, but haven't found one (except for the one I found three years ago, which holds my linens in the bathroom ever since I moved into this apartment).

I'm annoyed that my apartment complex landlord people are painting the floors of the balconies. Right now they're unfinished/unpainted, well-weathered wood. They're painting the wood a burgundy color. Won't this attract a lot of heat??

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