Spring, we’d nearly given up on you. But today, it finally feels like you’re coming around.
I walked out to the backyard, greeting the chickens with a bowl of lettuce and preparing for my normal coop chores when I stopped in my tracks.
Because I saw green. Tiny, delicate, leaves.
But nonetheless, an actual green plant sprouting out of the ground! It’s the first sign that our oh-so-long Minnesota winter is finally coming to a close.
Inside my house is a totally different story. That’s because spring arrived a few weeks ago, when I set up my shiny new aeroponic growing system. On March 16th, I planted seeds in small rock wool vessels. I put them near a window atop a heated pad and waited for some action. It didn’t take long.
Four days later, tiny sprouts of green appeared.
And then, things really started to pop. Two days later, most of the seeds had sprouted.
Once the seedlings reach 1-2 inches in height, it’s time for them to be transferred into the Tower. By the next day, it was clear we were just about there.
On March 29th, I moved the seedlings into the Tower. It’s in a sunny window and my basil, tomato, and cucumber plants are steadily growing day by day.
So far, the indoor Garden has been fairly easy and definitely fun to watch. The base is filled with 20 gallons of water and a submerged pump pushes water up through the tower sections. It falls down over the root systems of the plants, watering them and nourishing them with nutrients at the same time. The pump is on a timer. It runs on a 15 minutes on/15 minutes off cycle. Since the base is on a dolly, I can easily turn the garden slightly every day so each side gets sunlight. I check the pH level of the water a couple of times a week.
The downside? When the water is on, it’s not exactly quiet. Jay calls it a waterfall, and when it turns on, we have to turn up the volume on our latest Downton Abbey episode. I also wish the plants were growing a little faster, but we all know I have a deep impatience when it comes to gardening inside or out.
Nearly all of the snow is melted in my yard. And whether you’re a novice gardener (like me!) or someone with decades of experience, this is the most exciting time of year. A fresh look at the blank canvas, excitedly anticipating the bounty of the summer to come!
Happy spring! Finally!