Day Eleven: Basement gardening

If you have followed me for even a few posts you know I am a frustrated gardener. The winter has not let go here in Minnesota (in fact it snowed again last night). I am now spending time in my basement garden to relieve that inner need to be working in the soil.

The goal was to plant yesterday but I needed to wait since my garden is shared with the funky old laundry room. The laundry has priority over my garden and I have been informed that trying to have clean clothes while I am spreading soil all over the place just isn’t going to work. Gee, I don’t see why not – most of spring and summer I am wandering around with dirt stained knees on my jeans. Oh well – I suppose work clothes are a different.

I politely agreed and waited until this morning. A Sunday morning in the garden – what a wonderful way to start the week. I pulled up the grow lights as far as they would go to seedsspread as much full spectrum light around the room as possible. I set up my tub of soil less mixture, my potting cells, my seed box, and my garden journal. Oh and my cup of tea – a must have when gardening inside.

After much internal struggling and looking at too many seed catalogs I decided that this year I am just using up my old seeds. It is hard to tell when a seed decides it will not grow and so I hold on to them year after year. Some will last for years and still grow. Others have a very short shelf life. Scientists have found ancient seeds buried in old clay pots or frozen in the permafrost that they have been able to successfully grow. (

So heck, why not try my two year old seeds.

My pansies are quietly growing and now along side them sitting on heat mats are 7 kinds of tomatoes (2 -3 seeds per 6 cells) and 5 different kinds of peppers, sweet and hot (3 seeds per cell) . There will be way to many plants for my little garden if they all grow. growlight

Here is where children and friends come into play. My daughter always takes plants, her friends are more than willing to have free plants and now a few of my friends are getting wind of the chance for a few free plants. If you are not picky – there are usually left overs.

We are 9 to 10 weeks out from our last frost day – the day we should be able to plant some of these tender plants outside. Given that, I can’t believe we will really be planting on May 15th. The snow is still several feet deep in places and needs to melt. Then the ground needs to thaw and dry out. Then it needs to warm up so tender young plants can handle the big wide world of the outside.  Really?? – is that all going to happen in the next 9 weeks????

Oh, I hope so!!!

(Word on the street is it is suppose to be sunny and 50 degrees this next Thursday!  Keep your fingers crossed.)

About Joanne Toft

I am a retired Minneapolis Public School teacher. I walk, garden, care for my Grandson and write. Life is good!
This entry was posted in gardens, nature. Bookmark the permalink.

3 Responses to Day Eleven: Basement gardening

  1. ureadiread says:

    My indoor “garden” is also in the laundry room! Nothing growing (yet) this year, though.

  2. TP says:

    Hi Joanne,

    Have you tried to grow kiwi from seeds before ? 🙂

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