I’ve been so busy putting my cold-tolerant seedlings into the garden that I haven’t had a chance to brag about the veggies I sowed during the winter in containers and have been enjoying for several months.
Greens grow very well in containers, and many greens, such as this spinach do thrive in cool temperatures. I started this spinach and cilantro in December, it sprouted early in January, and grew quite well under lights until I moved it to my sun porch in early March. On warm days, I moved it outside. On the few nights of hard freeze, it came inside into my living room. Today, in late April, it sits virtually every day and night outside on my front steps.
By mid-March, I began harvesting a couple of times a week — not much, but enough to add to omelets here or soup there. Now it’s all I can do to keep up with what I’ve planted. It’s been lovely, and next year I intend to plant several containers — of lettuce, Swiss chard, arugula, cress, and, yes, spinach.
Greens don’t need much root space. My spinach is growing in a plastic sweater box. I recommend using prepared potting soil, to avoid aphids, and of course you must be careful not to overwater. But it is a very inexpensive project that anyone can do with little special equipment. Once the seeds have sprouted, fluorescent lighting is required and should be only a few inches from the green seedlings. A desk lamp or two with a couple of those energy-saving fluorescent light bulbs are all you need for this. A sunny spot is useful, but not necessary. (Mine grew in my basement.)
I can’t wait to try this again for this fall. Perhaps I can keep a box of greens or two going all winter long.