Springtime Update

Spring is most definitely in season. Temperatures are rising, and waking up in the morning to bright blue skies and chirping birds instead of cold winter darkness always gets me excited for the coming summer weather.

Last spring, I got creative and decided to grow herbs on my balcony so that I could have a fresh supply on hand for cooking at all times. They grew beautifully, tasted great, and were incredibly easy to maintain. This year, I endeavoured to expand my little at-home garden to encompass vegetables as well. I decided, however, that if I was going to grow vegetables and actually use them to eat and cook with, it would be wise for me to grow them organically. Thus, I set off doing a bit of research into organic gardening in an urban setting; I live in an apartment and don’t have access to land, but it turns out that doesn’t really pose too much of an issue.

I was able to find a farm right here in Ontario that offered a wonderful selection of heirloom organic and GMO-free seeds for growing vegetables and herbs. I’ll be growing all my plants from seeds this year to ensure a completely organic growing process, and hopefully be able to use all of my produce in recipes to come later on this year.

I look forward to including my experiences with growing food at home on the Canadian Macrobiotics blog, because what better way to connect with your food than to grow it at home yourself. Not only does this provide me with a way to control what kinds of fertilizers or chemicals are used on the plants, if at all, but it also provides me with a delightfully refreshing sense of self-sufficiency.

At the moment, I only have a few little parsley and basil seedlings growing. The rest of the vegetable seeds will be planted straight outdoors in late April and early May.

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8 thoughts on “Springtime Update

  1. How cool! We are also growing parsley and basil now, and also chives! We planted the seeds a few weeks ago and now are waiting for the seedlings to get bigger, but we´re keeping them indoors (or take them in for the night at least) because I´m afraid it´s still too cold…do you keep yours outdoors all the time, even the baby plants? We also have some issues with mold growing on top of the soil, I guess I have trouble estimating how much water they need 😦 But it´s so awesome to watch, isn´t it!

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    • It is great to see these little seedlings grow! We are also keeping our seedlings indoors for now – we’ll be planting most of the vegetable seeds right outdoors in late April or early May, and that’s when I’ll bring the seedlings outdoors, too. Even sitting on my windowsill it gets too cold for them sometimes and I notice a slight stunt in their growth. The stems of our parsley seedlings aren’t very strong just yet – I can’t wait to have them outside and exposed to some wind to help strengthen them up. I used to have a lot of difficulty with over-watering my plants, too, so with these seedlings, I give them all a small drink every afternoon; enough to soak the soil right through but only to the point that, by the next day, the soil is still moist inside but dry on the surface. They seem to be doing very well this way!

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      • Funny, from another person I got the opposite advice – that indoors they become weak and don´t grow well 😀 For now we take them out during the day and home for the night…hope that´s ok…We only give them water every three days or so because otherwise the mold completely takes over 😦 But it might be that your soil is much less moist than ours – the soil,we bought is most likely not appropriate for herbs at all…too late now though…We also only give them water on a plate under the pot, not straight on the soil.

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        • I fully agree, plants are best grown outdoors, which is exactly why our parsley stems aren’t as strong as they should be yet 😦 It’s far too cold here to have them out, though, so I tried to do a lot of research on how organic gardeners typically seed their plants in this area and the general consensus was keeping them indoors until the temperatures are appropriate. Is it possible maybe that they aren’t getting enough direct sunlight for the soil to dry out a bit?

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    • Hmm… If you like, a vinegar-water solution can be sprayed onto the moldy soil to kill the mold, maybe about a tablespoon of vinegar to one cup water for this solution. Or, you might want to scrape off the moldy soil and top it with fresh soil, and try to under-water it a bit until you find the right watering amount and how often you should water for the amount of light available. I had the same thing happen to an aloe plant of mine last year, and ended up replanting the whole thing!

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      • Thanks for the idea, we might try the vinegar! We found out that scraping off the mold is not really such a great option for us because we have very many of these tiny baby plants in the pot (perhaps too many…) and they get very disrupted if we try scraping off the mold 😦 I had to even throw out my chives and plant new seeds :-p

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