Who says you can’t grow your own food in the winter? Anyone who does has never tried because our ragtag methods prove you can!
After one of our first hard freezes in the fall, Homestead Hottie dug up a very stringy tomato plant that never did much. We planted it late, in a weird spot in the front yard and it just sort of languished there. I’ll blame it on the neighbor’s cigarette butts that often decorated its base. Seriously. That tomato was one hot mess but Talina dug it up anyway, planted it in a pot and brought it into the sunroom/den inside.
That tomato has continued looking lanky, covering most of the 4-foot tall window it sits in. It did put out a flush of new growth though and even set fruit around Christmas thanks to our “hand diddling” of the flowers. That’s right, we pretend we’re a bee and we finger all the flowers to pollinate them. We know have a handful of fresh, window-ripened cherry tomatoes to top our next salad with. It’s an exciting and unexpected taste of summer in the doldrums of winter!
We did the same with three pepper plants that survived the first frost. We now have one hot pepper that’s growing bigger every day and another that just needs to turn red already. Can anyone say home office salsa? So this next gardening season, consider moving some plants inside to a bright sunny windowsill and see if you can keep them growing. They might even reward you with a treat of something fresh to eat in the middle of winter.
Last but not least, our seeds have started sprouting underneath that new grow light we bought for a song. The seedlings look really good. They’re definitely much stronger looking than our window sprouted seedlings from last year and they certainly germinated faster. It took just 4 days for most of them to emerge!
In my opinion, it has already paid for itself. Now we just have to wait on Mother Nature so we can shuffle these early spring seedlings out to the garden and then get the summer fruits and veggies started too. Gardening season can’t get here soon enough.
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