Grow Food In Cold Months


                          ~Winter Blues got you down?~ 

                         Try some cold month Gardening!

It is March 14th and still chilly here in Missouri, although we do get some really nice warm sunny days now and again. When the Daffodils come up it just makes me want to get out and plant something! But with a chance of frost still at bay, putting in a full garden would more than likely end in a frozen mess. But that doesn't mean you can't still get your hands in the soil! Here is how to grow a "mini cold weather garden" right on your back porch!

You will need:

*2 bags of soil
*8 bags Lettuce 
*4 bags Spinach 
*Epsom Salt Plant Food Supplement 
(This is what I did, but you can get any amount you want, depending on the quantity you would like to grow and harvest. Also, all the seeds, soil and Epsom Salt came from the Dollar General. The seeds are 4 for $1 which is a pretty good deal, but you can find these things at most any store that has Lawn and Garden goods)

You will also need:

1 extra long clear storage container or
2 normal size storage containers
a small tarp or dog food sacks (I used dog food sacks)
You may also want a table, saw horses or something to get your plants up off the ground

Let's get started!

You can either put your mini garden directly on the ground or your porch, or you can set them up on an outdoor table, use saw horses or whatever you have available. I am using 2 Werner Aluminum Silver Work Platforms.
Put down a small tarp or if you have dog food sacks, they will work great! This will will help your table stay clean and will also help with cold wind from getting up under your plants. 

Poke some small holes on the under side of your soil bags, to aid in draining so your plants don't rot. Then cut the tops of your soil bags. I sprinkled (as per instructions on the bag) some Epsom Salt Plant Food to aid in healthy growth of the plants. This however is optional.
Next, make lots of rows and plant your seeds. Plants lots of seeds very close together. This will bring in a heavy harvest, that will keep on giving! The healthy plants will knock out the puny ones and you will have a lot of greens! 

After you have sprinkled the Epsom Salt on and planted your seeds, cover your seeds and pat the soil down lightly, water your soil, then cover with a clear storage container. The container will allow the sunshine to come in and will help trap the heat inside. I placed a brick on top so the wind wouldn't catch it.

And your pretty much good to go! Make sure your soil stays moist. It may take a few weeks for the seeds to start to grow. When it comes time to harvest, you can either wait till your plants get to their full size and just harvest once. If you wait till they are a few inches tall, cut them a few centimeters from the base and let them grow back. Then you can have several cuttings, as they will continue to grow. More bang for your buck!
                                                      ~Happy Harvesting~


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